Wednesday, December 23, 2009

Woman, Deconstructed

With winter upon us, I have been tempted to bemoan the scarcity of visible ink on the streets (or subways) of New York.

But Mother Nature giveth, as well, by depositing the powdery white stuff and causing delays that held up commuters in Penn Station.

One such soul was Kaeti, a visual artist passing through NYC on her way from Philadelphia.

This pheomenal tattoo jumped out from her corporeal canvas on Tat-tuesday, catching my eye as I walked by:

Kaeti originally thought she was going to get a sleeve inspired by the work of Salvador Dali, but the scale and concept didn't converge in a final design.

She went to the artist, Andrew Johnson-Lally, at Body Graphics on South 4th Street in Philadelphia. She described for him the general concept behind what she wanted, something along the lines of a representation of a female figure, deconstructed. Kaeti also is very influenced by stitching, so she brought along examples of work she had, which included stitched sculpture and sketches. Andrew drew something up based on these styles that she liked, with her ultimately yielding creative freedom to the artist.

To me, she was describing a collaborative effort, which many tattooists and their clients create. Another example of her influence on the end drawing is the empty eyes, which Kaeti said was similar to a lot of the work she herself was doing around the time of the tattoo being inked.

The whole piece took about 3 and a half hours to complete. Initially she told me that when the tattoo was initially completed, she thought that it was finished. Like many people with large tattoos, however, Kaeti is tooling with the idea of expanding the work to include background, which might involve wrapping around her arm and making it a "true" sleeve.

Incidentally, work from Body Graphics has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

I want to thank Kaeti for taking the time to speak with me in a crowded Penn Station, and for sharing her fascinating tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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