Sunday, May 15, 2011

"Money To Burn"

When I first saw the work of Scott Campbell, I appreciated his illustrative style and suspected something of a tattoo-aesthetic. Not along the lines of Sailor Jerry, but rather someone who just really knew the importance of line. Upon further research I discovered that the Brooklyn-Based artist expresses his creativity on many surfaces, from graphite on eggshells to tattoos on Marc Jacob, to good old American dollars.
The artist currently has an exhibit at the Marc Jancou Contemporary Gallery in NYC. In it, he takes huge sheets of currency, (mostly from Texas - I noted, being Texan myself!) and then laser cuts them into interesting and iconic shapes and patterns, like skulls, words, and in this case, flames.

I, for one, am a fan of using alternative materials, and also of re-purposing materials, taking something familiar and everyday, and reinterpreting it into "art". The question does arise, does working with materials with intrinsic value automatically add to the worth or legitimacy of an art work? 
Now, back to the tattoos. On a few occasions I entertained the idea of getting a tattoo myself. My first interest came very young, to which my mother replied along the lines of "Not as long as you live here, you won't!" Then, another time I designed a Sun illustration for a friend's shoulder, and we all went to Houston to get inked up. But when the tattoo "artist" came out he looked eerily like Charles Manson, so I passed, though my friend Dennis got his, and to my knowledge is still running around out there with my drawing on his shoulder. My last effort was while touring with the Bindlestiff Family Circus (long story). We were in Athens, Georgia, and a friend of the circus had offered us all free tattoos. I dutifully took my place at the end of the line, only to be snatched out by my friend Una, (the only one of us with any sense), who reasoned that if I had gone this long without one I could go a little longer. And thus, to this day, I am ink-free. 
But enough about me.
For more of Scott Campbell, including some amazing tattoos, see .

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