The question about Art...


Certain exhibition or artworks face us with the question "Is this Art?" Till there's a final definition of what Art is, living in doubt is very interesting. Ticio Escobar, curator of the MNBA's exhibition Tekoporã, explains it clearly:  “This exhibition allows us to encounter a more popular culture and the discourses and particular signs of those placed in less favorable areas of the social scene, excluded from partipating and being represented in the great museums." 
As the artworks presented in that exhibition, other artistic practices are generating the same discussion. For example, tattoos.
The Museé de Quai Branly in Paris (also known as the Museum of the First Arts or Museums of Art of the African, Asian and American Civilizations) is currently presenting tattoos. The exhibition focuses on their origins, distribution, evolution and worldwide renaissance. 
At first tattoos had a religious and mystical function, specially among Eastern and African people. Now they can be found everywhere. And if some cases it is possible to identify the style of the tattoo artist, then why not consider tattoos as part of the artistic scenario?
Lady Viola - Anonymous (1928)
Tattoos are made with a handful of tools and pigments and, above all, the craft of the artist to work on the human body. The meaning of tattoos has changed through history: some were made to heal, others to venerate, punish, segregate or as symbol of status. They can have any form, geometric, abstract or figurative. If it is not easy to decipher a tattoo, then it remains encrypted to everyone except the bearer or his group of friends. Sometimes the enigma is only shared between the artist and the client.
Portrait of Algerian women, by Marc Garanger (1960)
Angelina Jolie with a tattoo artist from Thailand - Siglo XX
"El tatuaje chicano contemporáneo", by Jean-Gabriel Périot
Les  Films d’ici - Francia 2014
While more traditional examples of art endure through time and transcend the life of the artist, tattoos are more brief... They die with whoever carries them...

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Liliana Wrobel

Production & Translation

Carla Mitrani