Bodysuit-Tattoo von Luke Atkinson
© Luke Atkinson 


Hidden out of sight in winter, proudly displayed to all and sundry in summer: tattoos have become a ubiquitous trend. But tattoos are not just a current mass trend and a cult fashion accessory. The exhibition “Tattoo” draws our attention to the lively, innovative and highly diverse tattoo culture, focussing on artistic and technical issues and the specific cultural context. It shows international attitudes from various perspectives and picks up on the current debate. 

Posted 20 November 2014

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This is the first time that an exhibition has embraced such a wide palette of relationships while approaching the phenomenon with a focus on art and design. The indelible images, inscriptions and symbols of the tattoos also inspire artists and designers. One aspect pursued here is therefore the mutual exchange of influence between art, traditional tattooing and visual design. 

Maud Stevens Wagner, Tattoo Artist, USA 1877-1961 

The exhibition “Tattoo” shows more than 250 pieces of work, including photographs, coloured woodcuts, paintings and sculptures, as well as video clips and audio installations. Historical tattooing instruments will also be on show and there will be information stands dealing with the colours and pigments used. 

Thea Duskin: Untitled, 2011
Foto: Kimberly Frost
© Thea Duskin 

Wim Delvoye: Donata, 2005
Foto: Bernd Borchardt
Courtesy Arndt & Partner, Berlin
© VG Bild-Kunst, Bonn 2014 

Ashleigh tattooed by Saira Hunjan
Foto: Tareq Kubaisi
© Saira Hunjan 

The MKG also looks back in this show on the long tradition of the Hamburg tattoo scene, which had its cradle in the port milieu of the late 19th century. Legendary tattooists such as Christian Warlich and Herbert Hoffmann exemplify the beginning of a many-facetted and highly expressive art form in Hamburg, whose contemporary exponents conjure ever new triumphs from the design experiments with colour and forms. 

Ma Hla Oo aus Laytu-Chin, Nördliches Rakhine, Burma
Foto: Jens Uwe Parkitny 

Utagawa Kuniyoshi: Tanmeijirôgenshôgo, 1827-1830
Farbholzschnitt, Papier, 38,7 x 26 cm
© Museum für Kunst und Gewerbe Hamburg 

Tattoos by Gwendal & Karl Marc
Foto: Gewendal & Karl Marc
© Gwendal & Karl Marc 

The exhibition „Tattoo“ is a production of the Gewerbemuseum Winterthur, Switzerland, curated by Dr. Susanna Kumschick, and is on display for the first time in Germany.

D-20099 Hamburg
+49 (0)40 428134-880

Christian Poveda : El Gangster de Iberia (Mara Salvatrucha), San Salvador, 2008
Der Bandenkrieg der Mara Salvatrucha in El Salvador
Foto: Christian Poveda
© Christian Poveda / Agence VU'

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