Photographer – Johan Wilke
SKIN DEEP – the beauty of the Art form.
The art of tattooing dates to ancient times when it indicated a person’s status within a tribe or community, today it is mostly used to adorn the bodies of fashion-conscious people.
My interest in the body as photographic subject led me to do this exhibition. In it I could combine the human form with my interest in the practice of body piercing and tattoos.
The exhibition was shot with volunteers that were keen on showing off their tattoos in an artistic way in the form of nude photographs. I soon found myself with the dilemma of the restriction of showing the body art and creating a pleasing nude study. The body art was to be secondary to the photograph.
My subjects ranged from lawyers, models, accountants, filmmakers, and even a sheriff of the court. The thread that linked all of them was merely their love for the tattooing or body piercing. We all have the perception that people with piercings or tattoos are different or weird, and by doing this volume of work I gained insight into the people that are into these practices. It showed me that they are no different to people that do not do it.
It merely made them more comfortable and prouder of their bodies.
The exhibition was shot over a period of 4 weeks using mostly tungsten lighting to ad to dramatic effect.