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Posts Tagged ‘Roberto Gemori’

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“Life is like a tattoo: we have a certain space available and that’s it. The more we fill it with negative elements, the less space will be left for the positive ones. Shape your life like a work of art as you would do with your tattoos, and keep the good in it.

Shape your dreams.”

Roberto Gemori

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At the opening at the Principle Gallery on Friday, as I was speaking with some folks, I noticed a man standing just on the edge of the group, not part of it. That’s not unusual at openings. Sometimes at these things I get to tell stories about the work and people often step up to listen in. After the group departed, this man moved up and said he had something he wanted my opinion on.

His name was Kevin Jobe who explained he was a police officer there in Alexandria and said he hoped I wouldn’t be offended. He was such an affable guy I couldn’t imagine what he could do that would offend me.

He proceeded to pull up his sleeve and, lo and behold, there was the image of a Red Tree painting on his bicep. The tattoo artist had done a great job replicating the trees and other elements of my work, using their own technique for creating texture in the field rows in the lower part of the tattoo, which I really liked. It had the impact of one of my paintings for me.

I was stunned and couldn’t take my eyes off of it. I felt a bit awestruck as well as deeply honored that someone chose that image to permanently engrave on their body. I mean, how do you respond to that?

I told Kevin that I thought it was awesome. And I do. And it is.

He explained that it was still a work in process and he asked for my opinion on how he should finish the sea and sky. Not knowing the tattoo medium too well, I hesitated. It was like looking at a painting that’s it’s at a point where I am afraid of screwing it up because I am not sure which is the next right move. We discussed the possibility of using a swirled pattern in the sky, as I sometimes use in my work. The painting here on the left, Energizing Light, from a few years back has a pattern in its sky ( and possibly in the water) that I think might translate well to the tattoo without crowding out the Red Tree.

Any suggestions from my tattoo knowledgeable friends out there?

I am still very much honored by Kevin’s action though I will point out that I did feel slightly uneasy afterwards. I mean, that’s permanent! It’s not like he had a t-shirt made or carved a red tree out of an old 2×4. That’s his skin and it will most likely, pending a thresher accident on the farm, be with him forever. I have to admit that I felt a little pressure to somehow live up to Kevin’s confidence in committing that image to his skin. I worried that just meeting me might have him doubting his decision.

Hopefully, I can live up to his confidence. Thank you, Kevin, for showing me your work in progress. I am honored and still awestruck. Can’t wait to see the finished product.

On the subject, here’s a little song from the Dropkick Murphys about a tattoo. And the Roberto Gemori from the quote at the top is a well known tattoo designer.

 

 

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