Time: Tattoo Art Today, a free exhibition presenting original artworks from 70 of the world’s most influential tattoo artists including Ed Hardy, Horiyoshi III, Paul Booth and Mister Cartoon, curated by fellow tattoo artist Claudia De Sabe and publisher Miki Vialetto,in collaboration with Somerset House. Each artist has been commissioned to create a completely new work for the exhibition on the theme of time, working with any medium and on any canvas apart from their usual surface of skin. The resulting collection ranges from oil painting, watercolours and traditional Japanese silk painting to paint layering on real skulls, airbrush and bronze sculpture.
Time and all it infers (such as life and death) is a classic, common motif in tattoo art, expressed through a vast variety of iconographic combinations. For example, the popular inkings of butterflies, blossoms and the handled cross signify life, while Memento Mori works such as skulls or the goddess Kali denote death. Many of these symbols are also present in the original pieces displayed.