A lot of people get tattoos to be unique, spending thousands of dollars on one-of-a-kind designs. Then there’s flash tattoos, the usually cheesy images on tattoo shop walls that everyone drunkenly gets at one point or another. A new exhibition at Cooler Gallery explores the artistry behind their symbolism. Flash Me features work from 24 New York artists asked to turn their artistic visions into flash tattoo sheets, challenging both themselves and the form.
When it comes to high brow art exhibits, tattoos are rarely considered. But in Flash Me, the exhibiting artists were able to bring new depth to an oft-overlooked art. Neon artist Kate Hush reimagined her neo-noir vixens as flash tattoo maidens, subverting the usual submissive Sailor Jerry tropes to create a feminist flash tattoo manifesto, while Shabd Alexander-Simon’s ink blots completely abstract traditional form. Through a renewed look at the artistry behind tattoo work, Flash Me analyzes both the flash tattoo history and its artistic potential. Plus, you can actually get the designs done by live tattoo artists at the opening.
Flash Me opens tomorrow, until February 24, at Cooler Gallery in Brooklyn.