Skin Deep 257

Skin Deep 257 10 November 2015 257

While I was out with the dog yesterday afternoon, I passed by some wall graffiti. Not the type that you can find in the feature somewhere inside the mag this month—which should be globally encouraged—but some wall art even I could have rustled up, wearing a plague doctor mask with a horse’s nosebag pulled down over the front of it.

In foot high letters, the statement declared that:

“Art is not a crime”

Yet I’ve never seen anything so far removed from this thing called art that we love so much in all my days on the planet–not that I’m counting or anything but give or take, that amounts to something like 16,000, so let’s just say ‘a fair amount of opportunities' shall we?

To recap, pointing a can of paint at a wall to declare ‘Art is not a crime’, in something very far removed from your best spray-can handwriting, is not art at all and very much a crime. A crime against art, a crime against graffiti artists, a crime against the wall and in all likelihood, a crime in the strictest sense of the word.

Should the perpetrator of this crime (or ‘perp’ as we like to say in pulp circles) happen to be passing by this page, I’d like to point out that putting four wheels on each corner of half a ton of metal does not make that thing a car—though the guy that put them there will adamantly have you believe it is.

It makes me sad to say the same is also true of tattoos. In my heart I really do think it’s getting better out there—mostly because good ink costs more or less the same as bad ink right now but the fly swimming in the ointment lies within what people consider a tattoo to be.

For some, the process of tattooing is more than enough. Needles pierced the skin and left their mark, thus: “I am tattooed.”

Somewhere along the way, there’s nothing and everything wrong with that because no matter how much I disagree, it’s true. When it comes to art however, the difference is that on some days, a bad tattoo can be put up against a good tattoo and the owner of the bad can become inspired to get something better—whether that be something new, a cover-up or has lasers involved. A lesson learned and taken on board perhaps?

Then there are the days I see sadness walk into a room, cap in hand and the bad tattoo is put up against the good but the owner of the bad sees exactly the same damn thing.

A tattoo.

It has absolutely no value to them other than being a tattoo, prompting the following conversation to take place within the confines of their own head:

“Isn’t that swell… we're tattooed and the two of us are a tribe… blood brothers in arms…”

Maybe we’re all just the kings and queens of the walls that we spray on?


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