Truly setting the stage for the work of Tattoo Artists to climb the ranks of low to high brow…
If you are in the area, please stop in and pretend you are me… shake everyone’s hand. Take pictures with them. Interview them for the blog. Do other unsavory acts… hell, you have a scapegoat right here… lol
Shawn Barber is an apprentice.So why would I devote a Tattoosday to an apprentice?Well, Barber is not your ordinary new kid on the block.
In 1999 Shawn graduated with a BFA from Ringling School of Art and Design.By 2003 he was written about in Juxtapoz Magazine, by 2004 he was appearing in published books, and by 2006 he was having a major body of work published in his own book.As Barber’s publications grew, he began a string of teaching jobs, lectures, and visiting artist positions that took him from Florida to California, not to mention a quick stop or two in International venues.He now lives in San Francisco and teaches Illustration at the California College of Arts.
The body of work that I am best familiar with is his portrait series documenting contemporary tattoo culture.I became familiar with it when I first contacted him to participate in an exhibition I was organizing for the University of Houston.Even with his busy schedule, Barber graciously agreed to take part in the show.That is really neither here nor there, what is important is that the body of work is one that must be seen to appreciate.You can check out the YouTube video that showcases some of the works, or do yourself a favor and pick up the book “Forever & Ever” through 9mm Press.
This past year has been spent working on a new body of paintings entitled Anathema which is to be unveiled in a two person show at Paul Booth’s Last Rites Gallery in New York City.The show opens on Saturday, December 13th and will continue through the 22nd of January 2009.You can check out a sneak peek of the paintings on Barber’s website, www.sdbarber.com.
Shawn is currently working through his apprenticeship with Mike Davis at Everlasting Tattoo in San Francisco.I honestly don’t know how far he has come or if he has started working on clients, but I can say that if Barber brings his knowledge of painting on canvas to the art of marking on skin, watch out and get an appointment!