Visitors look through merchandise for sale during a media preview of "Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin." AP
When people hear the name Ed Hardy, they likely think of the flashy, tiger- and skull-emblazoned clothing that rocketed to popularity in the 2000s, appearing on the likes of Paris Hilton, Britney Spears and cast members from the reality TV show "Jersey Shore."
But few know him as a prolific fine artist.
"The clothing was one little blip on his whole career, which was staggering," said Mary Joy Scott, a tattoo artist who apprenticed under Hardy and works at the San Francisco shop he founded, Tattoo City.
Five miles (8 kilometers) southwest of Tattoo City, a lively exhibition opening Friday at the de Young Museum sheds light on Hardy as wide-ranging artist and tattoo pioneer. Through 300 paintings, prints, drawings and objects, "Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin" is the first retrospective of his work and shows how Hardy intertwined fine art with tattooing to push both forward.
"Ed Hardy's mission (was) to elevate the tattoo form from its subculture status back in the 1960s at least to a level of a folk art. I think he surpassed that," said curator Karin Breuer. "Here it is in museum culture."
The exhibition, which follows Hardy's donation of 152 prints to the museum, bursts with colour as it tracks the 74-year-old artist's evolution.
"I'm part of a continuum," Hardy said of his art idols. "There's a lot more to my life than tattooing."
Visitors can get a projected animation of a Hardy tattoo design "applied" to their skin. They can also walk along a snaking, 2,000-square-foot (186-square-meter) scroll suspended from the ceiling on which Hardy painted 2,000 dragons in the year 2000.
"Ed Hardy is the only tattooer in the Western world who could merit a show of this kind," said Matt Lodder, a University of Essex professor who studies the history of tattoo as art. "Tattooers of a particular mode are all working, whether they know it or not, in a kind of pattern Ed Hardy was the first to lay down."
When Hardy began tattooing in 1967 after abandoning plans to attend Yale art school, he was one of the few American tattoo artists with a fine arts background. Hardy was also the first Western tattoo artist to study traditional Japanese tattooing abroad.
The exhibition displays Hardy's custom pencil sketches and watercolours beneath photographs of the works inked on human bodies.
"It's rather shocking to some people that we can jump from an exhibition of Monet paintings to an exhibition of a tattoo artist," Breuer said.
"It's a terrific affirmation, not only for myself, but for a lot of the old bandits and pirates that helped me in the business," Hardy said. "They operated outside polite society, outside of the structure that controls what people think of as art."
This is a big weekend for Avengers fans who have eagerly been awaiting the release of Endgame. In celebration of Marvel’s 22nd release, we are taking a look at some of the best Avengers characters who have kept audiences coming back for more.
When it comes to fashion, Resort collections have got to be the most fun. From floaty dresses and loose tops to light fabrics and floral prints, this week we are taking a look at some of the nicest ready-to-wear pieces from a few different brands.
American Fashion in the 1930s and ‘40s,” the Chicago History Museum’s newest exhibit, features 30 dresses from Paris, New York, Chicago, and Hollywood that tell the story of how fashion in movies guided the ensembles of women during that time.
Actor Gerard Butler says he was amazed to see the energy of 82-year-old Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman, while filming action scenes for their new film, "Angel Has Fallen."
Julianne Moore is accustomed to working with her husband, director Bart Freundlich, on set, but it was a real family affair when their daughter joined them for their latest collaboration.
Peter Fonda, the son of a Hollywood legend who became a movie star in his own right both writing and starring in counterculture classics like "Easy Rider," has died.
Paule Marshall was an exuberant and sharpened storyteller who drew upon classic and vernacular literature and her mother's kitchen conversations for such fiction as "Brown Girl, Brownstones," ''Daughters" and "Praisesong for the Widow."