Guest Lecture: "Life in Pictures" by Ed Hardy
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Don Ed Hardy, "Future Plans," 1967. Etching, 11 13/16 x 9 1/4 in. (30 x 23.5 cm). Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Gift of the artist, 2017.46.56 © Ed Hardy, image courtesy of the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco
Donald Edward Talbott Hardy was born in 1945 in Des Moines, Iowa, and grew up in Corona del Mar, on the Southern California coast. For over twenty years, Hardy worked exclusively as a tattoo artist, developing the medium’s potential and fueling the late twentieth-century boom in the practice. In the late 1980s he returned to painting, drawing, and printmaking while continuing to tattoo, and his work was exhibited widely. In the millennial year 2000, Hardy created a 4- by 500-foot scroll painting, 2000 Dragons. He describes this piece as a decisive turning point in its scale and expansive gesture that freed him to explore abstract elements along with recognizable forms in his art. In 2005, Hardy licensed his designs to Christian Audigier, who developed popular merchandise featuring Hardy’s tattoo imagery.
Hardy has written and published more than thirty books on alternative art under his imprint Hardy Marks. In 2010, Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World, a film by Emiko Omori was released, and in 2013, Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos, an autobiography with Joel Selvin, was published by St. Martin’s Press. Hardy divides his time between San Francisco and Honolulu, where he has had a home and studio since the 1980s.
Ed Hardy: Deeper than Skin is the first museum retrospective of the renowned tattoo artist and surveys Hardy’s life in art that has as its inspiration both traditional American tattooing of the first half of the twentieth century and Japan’s ukiyo-e era culture. Paintings, drawings, prints, and three-dimensional works spanning forty years track Hardy’s goal of elevating the tattoo from its subculture, “outsider” status to a more important visual art form. Featured exhibits will, in the words of the artist, “reflect the disturbing nature of tattooing itself, the blurry patina of aged tattoos that have been in the skin for many decades, and design sheets yellowing on old tattoo parlor walls—a faded world almost extinct” in the fad tattooing of contemporary culture.
Free. No reservations.
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