Art: The Open Question

Tattoos have been a part of our culture for years. Some of the earliest known tattoos date back to the prehistoric times.

In many cultures around the world tattoos are a sign of social class, occupation, or even a right of passage.

At the same time though it is a taboo in many cultures around the world, including our own, although granted it is not as much now as it used to be.

With all these taboos aside, we want to ask the question, “Are Tattoos Art?”

I have decided to explore this form of “art.” I, personally, have a tattoo. I received mine after a four month trip to China.

I spent many long hours in consideration of the the design and meaning behind it until I finally decided on what I was going to get.

I paid close attention that it would portray the meaning I wanted it to as well as be visually pleasing without being offensive.

Dale Callahan is a tattoo artist based out of Lebanon, Pennsylvania.

He is the artist who “inked me,” so to speak.

He explained to me how he is an artist who not only just paints on a canvas but also gets to put his work on people.

When I asked him the question “What your favorite tattoo that you have given?” his replied caught me off guard.

“All the tattoos I give are my favorite; if I was working on one I didn’t like what would the point of me being an artist be?” He continued by saying that tattoos are not necessarily what he is feeling but rather what the person receiving the tattoo is feeling at that moment.

So I pose the question to you; are tattoos art?

This article first appeared on “Allagi Art,” a student run blog dedicated to defining what art is and showing what effects art can have on society. Dylan Bomgardner is the author behind Allagi Art.

-Dylan Bomgarder, Contributing Writer


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