Liftoff 1999
watercolor and japanese pigments on paper
13 x 9.75 in.

Installation Views

Exhibition Catalogue

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. Tattooing the Invisible Man pays homage to this extraordinary lifetime of work. It includes such unique examples of Hardy’s artistic development as pre-pubescent tattoo flash, airbrush work from his teens (influenced of L.A. car painters like Ed " Big Daddy" Roth), tattoo work from the late sixties to the present, paintings and works on paper from throughout his career, and a display of books he has written, edited, or published. Exploring the wide visual/cultural spectrum of Hardy’s many influences as well as the profound involvement of his work within this spectrum, Tattooing the Invisible Man is a magnificent chronicle of a powerful and uniquely extreme body of work.

Accompanying the exhibition is a comprehensive catalogue of the same title, published by Hardy Marks Publications and Smart Art Press. A hardcover book with more than 500 color reproductions, many of which have never been published, it makes a stunning companion piece to the exhibition. A special limited edition of fifty copies includes an original signed and numbered etching by the artist.