Skin Deep

A new exhibition at Somerset House aims to peel back the layers on the work of some of the world’s most celebrated tattoo artists. 

Large 9. filip leu

Filip Leu

For those of you who are fans of body modification and don’t think its practitioners get the recognition they deserve, there can be few more salubrious venues for an exhibition titled Time: Tattoo Art Today than London’s Somerset House. The show, curated by Claudia De Sabe and publisher Miki Vialetto, collects seventy of the most recognisable tattoo artists working today, including household names such as Ed Hardy, Horiyoshi III, Paul Booth and Mister Cartoon. There is twist to here too: each of the participants have been asked to produce a bespoke work for the show, eschewing their natural medium. The results range from oil, watercolour and silk paintings to bronze sculpture.

Large 4. claudia de sabe

Claudia De Sabe

Co-curator Miki Vialetto: “Over the past twenty years there have been many exhibitions which have considered tattooing from historical, sociological and anthropological standpoints. There have also been solo shows of tattoo artists who, in some cases, have had the privilege to exhibit their work in locations just as prestigious as Somerset House. But what is unprecedented about this exhibition is that it was organised to bring together seventy people who have created and represent the significant and momentous change in tattooing, in such an important and internationally famous arts and cultural venue.” 

Whether you’ve already been inked, are contemplating going under the needle or are merely curious, this show is liable to make a mark. 

Time: Tattoo Art Today
3 July – 5 October 2014
Somerset House, London

Large 2. ed hardy

Ed Hardy