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University of Colorado Denver Center for Bioethics and Humanities

Tattoo Nation: Photographs by Eric Schwartz

October 4 - December 19th at the Fulginiti Gallery

Embellishing the body with elaborate and complex tattooed designs was a highly developed  form of religious and mythic practice in many civilizations throughout the world for millennia, and the  practice is enjoying a revival among a number of indigenous and tribal cultures, as well as the youth of today.

Tattooing has multiple levels of meaning – physical, social, religious and personal. Becoming tattooed can be seen as a reclamation and reappropriation of the body, an affirmation of group identity and solidarity, a spiritual “manifesto” proclaiming the bearers deepest beliefs and aspirations, and an iconographically essentialized form of autobiography – a pictorial narrative inscribed on the geography of the skin.

Eric Schwartz’s larger-than-life photographs focus on a style of tattoo artistry – “black and grey” -  which initially flourished amidst the Chicano pachuco gang culture of Texas and Arizona.  The film Tattoo Nation, conceived and directed by Schwartz, is an extension of the photographs in this exhibition and provides social, historical and cultural context in which the Black and Grey tattoo emerges and evolves.

Click to view the exhibition brochure

Read Tyler Smith's story about Tattoo Nation in the UCH Insider

Read the Denver Post review of Tattoo Nation, by Ray Rinaldi

Learn about breast cancer survivors and tattoos at P.INK

Read Adam Goldstein's article, Body of Art: Tattoo Nation, in the Aurora Sentinel

View an interview with Eric Schwartz on the Aurora Channel

Gallery hours are Monday - Friday from 9am-5pm

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