Sunday, February 8, 2009


I have always been interested in body art, whether it be tattoos, body painting, or piercing . Growing up, my Aunt Jeannie had a great many on her and would always describe in detail all the intricate meanings behind each one. I choose for this experiment to document the tattoos of my artist friends and ask them to explain the reason behind each. I think that artist are people that are extremely connected to their emotions, the environment and spirituality so body art for these people ( in most cases) are deeply personal or serving as visual representations of themselves for the world to see.

Josie Ford
"Well originally the wings had the symbolosis of "freedom" for me, growing up, my mother was very controlling and I became really sheltered, and felt like I was hidden away from experiencing my own mistakes and never had any freedom. Then when they got divorced, I started on the tattoo, and over the years-it has kept that same meaning -serves as a reminder to me, to never hold back, experience any and every freedom that i can when the time calls for it. Since the tattoo is taking so long to finish, having just the one wing and hearing people's feedback on how I should keep it that way -put some more interesting ideas in my head-but to stay strong and continue getting both wings ( even if it hurts like hell) it all contributes to the years of meaning and experiences I've had while attempting to finish the work.

"Well Kim, I love Star Wars."

Joe Hogan
"I am a very spiritual person and always have been. My family is also Irish Catholic, so all of my tattoos refer to God and my own spirituality. " I have 2 trinity symbols on my wrist, a celtic cross on my right forearm, a celtic warrior symbol on my chest above my heart for when i had heart surgery, "God be with you" in latin on both my arms and an IHS symbol on my upper back, that I want to eventually get wings around. IHS is what was put above Jesus's cross when he was crucified, it also means "In this sign you will conquer and Constantine put it on his armys shields. God and my faith effects my art very strongly and inspires me everyday.

Chelsea Clifford
"The arm tattoo means "Love conquers all" in latin because I believe that love, does prevail sooner or later over anything. The foot tattoo I just got , and it means "Everything happens for a reason". The meaning stands by it. Everything in life and in our lives happens for a reason, whether its good or bad. There is a reason why it happened.

Matt Mclachlan
Needle in the Hay is a song by Elliot Smith I have always identified with...even though it was used as the suicide song in The Royal Tennenbaums:/ I have a batman symbol on my back, and this one on my side which is a quote from Fight Club. Bad ass movie. As you can see, im not a really serious guy, prob why im a theatre major.

I feel like i am still here for a reason. I died when i was really little, came back and then was in a three day coma with really no chance of living. So I always am aware of who saved me and how life is precious and not to be wasted. I got my first tatto0 which is a celtic knot symbolizing eternity ( i later found out that it doubles as the celtic symbol for love). The second one I just got down on my foot which is meant to represent myself coming back from the dead to live on and also to reference Jesus. I want to get more, when i figure out what. I think that it is important to be reminded of events in your life.

Stephanie Wrong
"The key on my wrist is actually a photocopy of an actual key that unlocks a diary that is passed down from mother to daughter through generations. We are not allowed to read it until the eldest daughter passes away. Like my mom has the diary so when she passes on I get to read all these awesome indiscretions that my grandmother did in like the 20s, like smoke weed and stuff. The back tattoo is part of a poem from a book called "Still mostly true" I have always loved the guys charcoal drawings and writings and think of the words as life lessons to live by."

Katie Costedio
The beatle on my forearm is a beatle and is my power animal".


  1. Thes are very interesting. Thanks for sharing!

  2. can you make some connections to readings to larger ideas? they are personal stories that are interesting to read. how can you think of these in a broader way?