The ritual art of tattooing has been practiced since ancient times.
Then in 1876, Thomas Edison invented the "Electric Pen" in the age where electricity began to make its way into our culture. Famed tattoo artist Samuel O'Reilly then used this new modern invention to tattoo in NYC.
At that time, mostly sailors got tattooed. They had their bodies marked with patriotic, nautical and religious symbols. For the next few decades, tattoo designs expanded to include a memorial, sports and romantic symbology to a broader audience.
In my new body of artwork, I take tattoo drawings from the years 1900-1940 and I blow them up from 2" high drawings to 3'-4' high 3D sculptures and hang them salon-style from floor to ceiling. I stay true to these primitive line drawings and make them larger than life just as they are remembered historically. My reverence for these original designs explains the scale shift.