Greetings from Hyperspace Studios, and welcome to the second edition of our newsletter, where we will inform you of everything exciting happening here, from recent or upcoming events to new images and store items at the Hyperspace Studios website.
We won't always have such exciting things to report as our last newsletter, where we reported the event at Alex Grey's Chapel Of Sacred Mirrors (COSM) in New York City, where we joined Paul Booth, Filip and Titine Leu, Sabine Gaffron and many other amazing artists in an historic Art Fusion performance. We probably couldn't handle that much excitement every month. But we will always have something interesting to report, and as always the art here is the most important news.
We both worked on some exciting tattoo projects this month on clients from across the world, Michele did two four-day marathon sessions on matching sleeve projects, which is the kind of project she is actively encouraging her clients to consider. She has written up an Artist's Statement describing her artistic mission as a tattooist, and the projects she did on Mindy (MindyBack) from Cleveland, Ohio and Chanel from Tucson, Arizona are prime illustrations of this mission. Other works she completed this month include BobbyD, Debbie, Julie, Sarah, and Wynne.
Guy had a busy month tattooing as well. One of the more intensive projects was a sleeve on an arm that was heavily scarred a decade ago by an electrical burn on Kevin from Baltimore, Maryland. Guy has completed a number of intensive scar coverup projects through the years, and this kind of work has become a sort of side specialty of his. Guy's organic style lends itself perfectly toward tattooing on this kind of skin, where traditional tattoo methods and designs don't work nearly so well. Although he plans to make a second pass after it heals and settles, since healing tattoos on scarred skin can be unpredictable, the piece is almost complete after four days of work (Kevin After). The follow-up will happen in early Fall, and we will post pictures of it after it heals. Guy's earliest example of this kind of work, which he did on world-renowned tattooist Grime, has held up so well after nearly a decade that we have concluded soundly that heavily scarred skin can be tattooed, as long as the design and approach are right. If you are scarred and have been turned away by tattooists telling you that your project can't be done, you just need to find a tattooist who is willing to be flexible and who takes interest in your project. If you are a tattooist about to take on a project and would like advice on how to proceed, feel free to email Guy.
Another fun project Guy did was the flower and water on Stephane from the French West Indies. For this project, Guy has Stephane sit still in Michele's garden next to a hibiscus plant while Guy drew one of the flowers onto his arm and hummingbirds swarmed around; they then retired to the tattoo studio to commit it to skin. Other tattoos completed by Guy recently include JackSleeve, JimSleeve, Kevin, KevinDetail, TuinstraSleeve, TuinstraDetail, TuinstraDetail1, Carmelo, TimCreed, BrendanSamurai, Lucas, Isabella, FoxLogo, and Robin. He also has two new paintings up at the site, Big Blur and Flame Coil.
We also have a lot of new collaborative works posted in our Collaborative gallery, some of them new and others from our archives, previously unpublished: M&GwedPaint, LyndaLock, JeffDuke1, JeffDuke2, Anthony, ThievingRaven, and AlienLizard. Guy has also posted a new coverup gallery with examples of coverup work, laser work, and information about coverups.
In the meantime, we are both in the final stages of laying out our books and preparing to send them to the printer. If all goes well, we should have them fresh off the press sometime in October. Michele's book, Moments of Epiphany, shows the highlights of the last ten years of her photographic career, incorporating many subjects into a 160 page dreamscape, and includes a soundtrack CD of Micheles's music.
Guy's book, Organica, celebrates 15 years of abstract tattooing and painting, showing the relationship between the two media and displaying tattoo imagery in the same fine art context as oil painting. Here are some sample page layouts from the book: BookSample1, BookSample2, BookSample3, & BookSample4. Organica is 160 pages as well, and almost entirely pictures, showing over 400 images in full color. Here is an excerpt from the introduction, to give a better idea of the general flavor of the book.
“What is it?” Tattoo clients who wear abstract imagery are often faced with this question. Some are simply annoyed by it- why does everything have to fit inside a box? Some have even made sport of coming up with snappy answers (it’s a dragon, it’s a bear in the woods...) but others see it as an opportunity to address the viewer’s right brain with answers like, “I don’t know, what do you see in it?” The casual viewer, after all, can’t be expected to have an education in 21st century abstract tattoo motifs. Their mysification at seeing a compelling yet enigmatic image on someone’s skin is really perfectly understandable. Fact is, even artists who create abstract imagery will often be hard pressed to give a truly specific, comprehensive explaination of their work; usually it comes from a place too deep and automatic to have a clear articulation of its meaning available for anyone who asks.
The surrealists attempted to tap into the subconscious in an effort to find a more universal, less literal graphic language. This process was often helped along by working with textures and patterns left by blotting paint-covered plastic wrap on the canvas, or taking charcoal rubbings of textured surfaces and using them as a starting point. Part of the purpose of this exercise was to see what the mind would automatically do with the unformed textural imagery it was offered, then follow that through to a finished piece of art. Working on the human form has a similar effect on the artistic process; the body has an innate form and composition to each of its parts, giving the artist a built-in set of arcs, bulges, pits and bumps to interact with.
Primitive South Pacific cultures had made a fine art of this centuries ago, weaving complex understandings of the anatomical structure into their artistic sensibilities. Faced with strict limitations in terms of what they could accomplish technically- basically, simple black shapes, no small detail or fine lines- they applied these understandings into what we know of today as the tribal style. These simple, flowing black shapes, when designed well, are a concrete distillation of complex anatomical understandings into a deceptively simple language.
The organic style I work in attempts to incorporate this basic understanding of body flow into a more complex realm of design, a realm that extends well beyond the boundaries of skin art.
We will send out a special newsletter when the books are available. We plan to have many new items, including new prints and shirts, also available around that time. Until then, stay tuned, enjoy the new images, and have a great summer!
Guy Aitchison and Michele Wortman www.hyperspacestudios.com