Model: Meagan Wilson
Graphics: Dan Bushnell and Sarah Gallagher
If the ’80s and ’90s tattoo scene was post-modern, the 00’s were post-post-modern. As in, categories are beyond even mattering any more. Everybody seems to know everything there is to know about tattoos whether they have one or not, thanks to reality TV. And just like mass media does, a culture is created that is based in fantasy and held to near-mythical standards. The tattoo as marker of social class is not based on its mere existence but on other signs like exclusivity and cost. Extensive ink, especially high quality ink, demonstrates either membership in the tattoo industry or at least in a higher income bracket. Small, ubiquitous images are on par with clothes bought at Walmart.
This month’s poster is an homage to Shepard Fairey, the street artist whose aesthetic ushered in what Sarah Palin so eloquently called that “hopey-changey thing” which symbolized the Obama era in America. Fairey’s style is perfect for symbolizing the layering of symbols and the interaction with the urban environment that is the 2000’s, a decade of iteration. It is also an homage to the fashion of Montreal, which has always been avant-guard. “Montreal-style” tattoos, in my mind, are black – always black – and have a look like they might have been scratched out on a napkin in a 24-hour cafe. Inspiration is just as likely to come from a sketch in a historical scientific book as from the way a jumble of pipes casts a shadow on the cracked wall of an abandoned building.