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February 19, 2005 through March 12, 2005

Track 16 Gallery is pleased to present concurrent exhibitions: Ghost Writers and Automatics, two painting series by Don Ed Hardy, The Spin Cycle: Fat Mark Bikes and Trikes as Objets d’Art, custom bicycles built by Fat Mark and cohorts, and “Bicycle Gangs of New York.” an installation by Cheryl Dunn.  The exhibitions run from February 19, 2005 through March 12, 2005, with an opening reception on February 19 from 6 to 10 P.M.

Don Ed Hardy’s series, Ghost Writers, is inspired by various sources including ancient Chinese and Japanese Buddhist sutra scrolls; exposure at an early age to large-format black-and-white negatives shot by his father, a professional photographer; and most recently, due to a series of surgeries, the x-ray transparency. The work of American mystic painter Morris Graves continues to make an impression on Hardy. Graves often used white lines on dark grounds, inspired by the “white writing” of his fellow Northwest Coast artist Mark Tobey. Much of the subject matter of the Ghost Writers series derives from Asian mythology and symbolism. The name for the series was triggered by the old cowboy song “Ghost Riders in the Sky”.

The Automatics group of paintings, all done in a brief period during the fall of 2004, are the latest development in Hardy’s exploration of calligraphic brush marks. More or less abstract, these paintings are done rapidly with black gestural forms laid in, then washes and details of color added. No “subject” is intended when the work is started but as shapes develop some quasi-recognizable forms emerge. Elements of this style began appearing in his work beginning with the 2000 Dragons scroll five years ago as a way of breaking free from the tight work methods that have dominated most his visual career and move toward pure painting using the aesthetic of classic Chinese and Japanese calligraphy.

This exhibition marks Hardy’s fifth at Track 16 Gallery and we are continually amazed at the output and evolution of this important artist. California native Don Ed Hardy–determined to be a tattoo artist from the age of ten–has been tattooing professionally since 1967. Fusing Asian aesthetics, traditional Japanese art, Western art history, and the aesthetics of surf culture, hot-rod art, and California funk, he has been instrumental in developing tattooing’s artistic potential and fueling the late-century international tattoo boom. Currently in its second printing the “encyclopedia of Ed,” Tattooing the Invisible Man pays homage to his extraordinary lifetime of work.