See The Best Surprise Tattoos From Scott Campbell’s ‘Whole Glory’

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Photo via Widow Tattoo

This weekend, a handful of brave souls went down to Milk Gallery, stuck their arm through a hole for a while and pulled it out decorated with a lifelong decision they had no input on or approval of. Luckily, these trusting folks were in good hands, for on the other side of the tattoo glory hole was none other than Scott Campbell, celebrated tattoo artist to the trendy and famous (and successful visual artist to boot).

The goal was to experience the same sense of artistic freedom with tattooing as he does while working in the studio. “With tattooing, I have go get permission to be exploratory,” Campbell told The New York Times“So it’s always been this romantic idea: if I could ever tattoo with the same freedom that I draw or paint.”

Comprised of skulls, roses, geometric patterns and his signature lettering, Campbell’s “Whole Glory” tattoos are, across the board, covetable ink. Here are a few of our favorites via Campbell’s Instagram. Each post was accompanied with the simple phrase, “Thank you for your confidence.”

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What We Want From Art

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Claude Monet, White Frost Sunrise, 1889

I’ve always loved art. When I was a child, my parents dragged me to museums across the country; at first, I was resentful, but then it became a regular habit in my life, like eating at least once a day, or sleeping when the clock allows. So while I was in Chicago last weekend, nothing stood against the opportunity to return to the Art Institute. I would go to bed early and wake up bright eyed and bushy tailed, ready to spend a lifetime among Japanese fan designs, a collection on Dionysus, the cautionary images of Ivan Albright, Monet’s haystacks and Mondrian’s lines forming squares.

Meandering in and out of rooms at the Art Institute, my eyes jumped from painting to painting. I was transfixed by the essence of certain pieces—not so much the content, but what it meant. Something about the museum calmed me; I lived in this blurred region of my brain where I wasn’t perfectly conscious of my consciousness, submerged in the experience of experiencing.

For a long time, I didn’t know why I loved art, or why I craved it. I tracked some of the appeal to escapism. Growing up in a town that I learned to hate, I constantly sought a new place to go, either in body or imagination. Art let me dive into a time and place different from my own. I could visit the bawdy brothels and dance halls frequented by Toulouse-Lautrec, or go back to the Byzantine era and meet Justinian’s wife, Theodora. Adventure lay in every piece of glass tucked inside a mosaic or brushstroke on a canvas. I so desperately wanted to fly away to faraway worlds, to discover new spaces and faces; art let me do that.

But in the past few years, art has become almost the opposite of escapism for me. When I moved to New York City, I started writing about dance and theater regularly, attending a show every few weeks. After a year, I stopped, and for about three months I rarely made my way to auditoriums or black boxes. And I was sad, always sad. I felt like something was missing, and when I decided to review again, it was like I had found myself in every performance, every line of a play or arch of a dance move.

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Piet Mondrian, Composition C, 1935

I finally realized why art means so much to me after visiting the Art Institute. It seems obvious now, but I’ll share my personal revelation anyway:

Art says what I can’t. The irony of my life is that I’m a writer, but I’m very bad at expressing myself. In conversation, and especially with people I don’t know well, I get nervous. If I don’t know how to speak their language yet, I don’t speak a language at all, falling into exasperated tongue-ties as I try to say something—anything—of meaning. On an unintimidating page, however, I can’t always capture the moment perfectly, just as I want it.

But language can only convey so much. I don’t know how to talk about when the auburn leaves whirled from the concrete, spiraling upward to the sky, and how stunning they were, but also how they made me sad because they reminded me that everything is ephemeral and the world will never be the same as it was in that second. Monet could have shown that, the leaves swirling. He could have made them hopeful and tragic at the same time, playing with light until the scene was just right and everyone could see what I saw.

This is the power of art, and why it’s so important to me. Both the visual and performing arts know what to say, and how to say it, usually without saying anything at all. They defy the manmade confines of language to really look at the world, as it is, and express a thousand feelings in one simple gesture. Art speaks for me when I’m at a loss for words.

I think that’s why artists create, too. It’s funny, looking at changes in art and the historical events that might drive them. For example, the return to order after World War I: painters wanted to make sense of the chaos they had witnessed, some at the front, others at home. Maybe they didn’t know how to talk about the destruction—mangled bodies and ruined lives—but it’s all there, in the classicist allusions, in the stark, lucid lines. We can read books like Mrs. Dalloway to gage the effects of World War I, and that’s all right, but really it’s much more productive to look at a few of these tableaus. It’s all there, hidden in the subtext of the superficial.

This is what we want from art: an immediate method of communication that doesn’t have to obey the cold regulations of language. Something visceral. Something ugly and beautiful. Something improper. Something cruel and comforting. Something like the thoughts we can’t express—the “us” below the surface.

‘Dash Snow: Freeze Means Run’ – Inside the Infamous Artist’s Brant Foundation Opening

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Dash Snow Bodega Stick Up Slip Up, 2006-07

Vito Schnabel, New York. Image: Courtesy of The Dash Snow Archive, New York City / Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin / Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Yesterday the New York art crowd made its biannual (that’s twice a year, not once every two years) pilgrimage to the Brant Foundation in Greenwich, Connecticut, but this time the mood was a bit different. There were fewer “scene photographers,” less young fashion types there to schmooze and make use of the open bar, fewer selfies being snapped (thankfully, there was no less burrata—does Brant lace that cheese with crack? Honestly, it’s delicious). It was a painfully gorgeous fall day (despite the fact that it’s November), yet there was a somber quality to the oft-jovial opening. That’s because this time around, Brant is showcasing the late Dash Snow.

Snow died just six years ago, infamously, of an overdose in a hotel room in downtown New York. His legend permeates the East Village; his debauchery with fellow art wunderkinds Ryan McGinley and Dan Colen—both in attendance yesterday, his mischief-making as a graffiti artist and, perhaps to a lesser extent, his actual art. I didn’t know Dash (I moved to New York shortly after he died and have since become acquainted with the better part of his crew), but upon meeting his grandmother yesterday, the great Christophe de Menil, I was struck by how senseless and tragic Snow’s death was.


Dash Snow, Untitled (The United States), 2007

Private Collection. Image: Courtesy of The Dash Snow Archive, New York City / Courtesy Contemporary Fine Arts, Berlin / Photo: Jochen Littkemann

Entitled “Dash Snow: Freeze Means Run,” the show, which was organized with the help of Lowman, Colen, Hanna Liden, Director of the Dash Snow Archive, Blair Hansen, and Snow’s last girlfriend, Jade Berreau, oozed nostalgia. The walls of Polaroids, many featuring folks in attendance at the opening in the throes of their wayward youth, a grainy home video of Berreau and their daughter, Secret, and, most tragically, a black-and-white film heavy with drug paraphernalia; a promise for the artist’s eventual demise.

And as the sun set over Brant’s gorgeous estate and I boarded the shuttle that would take me back to my apartment in the East Village, I considered all the ways in which Snow’s hood had changed in the years since he jerked off on The New York Post and wondered how things would be different if he would have lived.

This Living Replica of van Gogh’s Iconic Ear is New York’s Creepiest Attraction

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Photo courtesy Diemut Strebe

The possibilities of 3D printing are limitless, spawning a slew of projects over the years that seem completely unfathomable. Dutch artist Diemut Strebe joined in on the experimentation last year, creating a copy of Vincent van Gogh’s severed ear with tissue engineered cartilage. His eerie project, titled “Sugababe,” will be on display at New York gallery Ronald Feldman Fine Arts beginning Nov. 7.

Strebe’s ear, a “living art piece,” was composed with cells from Liewe van Gogh, the great great grandson of Vincent’s brother Theo. Using a 3D-printer, the artist approached “science basically like a type of brush,” and kept his organic replication alive in a nutrient solution—yes, this dismembered copy is living and shares approximately one sixteenth of the same genes as the Impressionist trailblazer.

Through computer engineering technology, Strebe was able to perfectly produce a piece that’s identical in shape to van Gogh’s iconic original. Once at the museum, you’ll even be able to hold conversations with the reproduction, using a microphone that triggers simulated nerve impulses inside the structure.

Imagine what the forlorn artist would’ve thought if someone told him he’d be important enough for his mutilated ear to be recreated more than a century after his death—sheer insanity.

Artist To The Popstars Roy Nachum Talks Blindness and Blindfolding Rihanna

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Photo: @roynachum on Instagram

Moving to New York from his birthplace of Israel ten years ago to study at Cooper Union, artist Roy Nachum’s fascination with blindness has captured the attention of everyone from Leonardo DiCaprio to Jay-Z, and now, the princess of pop, Rihanna.

Nachum opens up about collaborating with the Barbadian singer on the artwork for her forthcoming album Anti, convincing her to blindfold herself and add fingerprints to his paintings, which also feature Chloe Mitchell poetry in Braille, making the work accessible to the visually impaired, and encouraging people to touch the “finished” product, making the work interactive and giving it continued life.

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Photo via @roynachum on Instagram 

You and Rihanna just revealed her album art. How did you start working with Rihanna?
Rihanna approached me after seeing the work with Jay-Z and Ty Ty [Smith] in a private collection. Then I got a phone call from her to do the album art. She came to L.A. and we had an amazing connection.

You are from Israel, correct?
I’m from Israel but have lived and worked in New York for the last ten years. I have a studio in Soho and a studio in Jersey City.

What brought you to New York?
 I studied at Cooper Union, and the city is full of inspiration.

What inspired the album cover for Anti?
Rihanna saw my work in the private art collections of Jay Z and Ty Ty. She reached out to me and we immediately connected, we talked about ideas, life and art and seemed to share a clear idea of what we wanted to do from the start. I worked on ideas and sketches until we had something we both felt was perfect. First layered with sculpted Braille poetry, the oil painting depicts a young Rihanna with a gold crown covering her eyes and a black balloon strung tightly to her wrist. The crown is a symbol of power and success making people “blind”, obscuring true values. The balloon lighter than air embodies the possibility of escape and the human need to transcend physical reality.

How did you go about creating this specific cover?
When I paint I don’t think about what I see, I think about life and with the cover I didn’t think about it as a album cover I thought about it as a painting. In paintings that incorporate Braille, I begin by building up the surface of the white canvas with sculpted Braille poetry. On top of the Braille layer I paint in oil. For this painting I used photos of Rihanna as a child for reference and worked to create a painting that would capture her as she was. Painted in multiple intersecting views, her eyes are obscured by a gold crown and she is holding a black balloon. This is the first album cover to incorporate physical Braille.

How did you learn Braille?
I write and read Braille – I taught myself.

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Photo via @roynachum on Instagram

How does the album cover art tie back to your larger art practice?
I am a painter, sculptor and installation artist, but work primarily with large-scale oil paintings. My work experiments with human perception and explores the boundaries between the visual and the non-visual. The subject with a crown obscuring his or her eyes is a recurring image in my work, it represents mansí blindness caused by displaced values and desires. I see my work as an eye opener. I test the viewer’s inner vision and examine: if what we see is what we think we see. I blindfolded myself for a full week – sometimes in order to see you need to close your eyes. I have been working with Braille for the past few years. It not only allows me to extended communication to people who are Blind but is also a vehicle for sighted viewers to explore their own existential apprehensions, a metaphor for how our view of the world or understanding of values is often obscured by our ambitions and desires. I encourage people to touch and interact with my work, I feel it keeps the work alive and breaks this barrier between viewer and sacred object.

Tell me about the Fire paintings for inside the album inlay?
My most radical work to date is the Fire series. These experimental paintings are collaborative works executed with the participation of people who are blind. Each solid canvas textured with Braille poetry has a frame that I burnt to charcoal. As my unsighted collaborators ran their fingers from burnt frame to sculpted Braille, evidence of their actual physical contact left a trail of marks. The messages and poems in Braille are intended to evoke sensations in the blind viewer or participant parallel to those felt experiencing a painting through sight.

For Anti, I created a triptych of Fire paintings with collaborator Rihanna, an experiment opposite to my previous works with Fire. Rihanna a sighted subject, was blindfolded and left to experience the painting through touch, leaving behind remnants of her physical interaction with the work.

Why do you call the paintings Fire?
I call them Fire because of the burning frames – the gold detail frame – I burn it until it becomes charcoal.

Who are your other celebrity fans?
Jay –Z, Swizz Beats, Justin Timberlake, Leonardo DiCaprio.

Did you work with Kanye West as well?
With Kanye, I went to see his work – a collaboration he did with Naomi in Art Basel.

You also designed Rihanna’s single covers?
For the single covers – I got the images from them [Rihanna’s team] and I wrote in Braille on the pictures.

What are you working on now?
I’m coming back to New York – going back to the studio, thinking. I have a new show very soon and those paintings are very complex so that’s time consuming.

Where were your previous exhibits?
I don’t create art for a space, I just create art so it happened to be that my last few shows were in random spaces with Nahmad Contemporary Gallery, kind of like a pop-up.

I don’t create art for the space; I create art for the art. That marriage is very cool.

Back to your work with Rihanna, is the poetry in the art by Chloe Mitchell or Rihanna?
Chloe, Rihanna and I sat together in the studio talking about the concept and explaining the vision. Rihanna worked with Chloe on the poetry for the album’s front and back cover and I wrote the poetry for the three Fire paintings inside the album.

What is next for you?
I am about to finish an oversized sculpture in TriBeca that I am very excited about and I’m doing another installation on Bond Street.

Peter Brant, Jr. Talks Growing Up Surrounded by Art

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Photo via @backstagebombshell on Instagram 

Peter Brant, Jr. is not shying away from his art collector father’s affinity for art, speaking to Sotheby’s about his favorite pieces in the auction house’s Contemporary Curated sale.

Citing Andy Warhol and Jean-Michel Basquiat as two of his favorite artists, Brant describes his emotional connection to their pieces – from the intricacy of Basquiat’s drawings and the Warhol’s photographs.

Brant also shares how his parents’ taste for art wasn’t necessarily family friendly.

I had an understanding that things in my house were different from things in other people’s houses. There were definitely a couple of kids who weren’t allowed to come over to my house.

While some play dates may have been cancelled, we’re sure Peter and brother Harry can look back and bask in the fact they had their very own Jeff Koons Puppy – something very few, or no other, children can say.


The Indelible Iconography of Ryan McGinness

Ryan McGinness Limited Edition Bottle Preview
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Ryan McGinness with his Limited Edition Bottle of Hennessy, Courtesy PMG


In the past few years, Western culture seems to have reverted to pre-lingual tendencies with the proliferation of pictographic communication. “Love” is download (1), “anger” is 160x160x35-pouting-face.png.pagespeed.ic.w1f9t-wRwM, “celebration” is 160x160x325-party-popper.png.pagespeed.ic.nlB_GieQDx, “pride” is 160x160x307-rainbow.png.pagespeed.ic.LZQTRvUOJh. For artist Ryan McGinness, this is nothing new.

“There’s something authoritative about signs and icons, and I wanted to subvert that,” he said, nestled in a corner at midtown steakhouse Quality Meats.

For years, McGinness has produced painting, sculpture and site-specific work frequently utilizing bold icons and bright colors, most recently his series of “black hole” paintings, which he calls a “subversive symbol of wealth and luxury”, and which grace a new limited edition bottle of Hennessy. The series of elegant black holes are juxtaposed with colorful Boschian imagery of people fucking skulls and committing autoerotic asphyxiation. But since the brand wants to communicate aspirational aspects, obviously, the bottle design is light on skull fucking. There is a twist, though: the layered, multi-colored filigrees coalescing in a black hole illuminate under a blacklight. “It made sense in the club environment,” he said.

Where is the subversion in corporate collaborations, though? “I knew everyone would be scrutinizing, ‘What’s going on?’ I knew that I wanted to communicate with aspirational qualities, but I don’t really like doing this and doing that, being disingenuous. But I was like, “Alcohol? Perfect.”



Limited Edition Bottle of Hennessy, Courtesy PMG


He’s built a bridge between himself and the brand, making sense of the collaboration in a Warholian vein, which is to be expected given the impact the Pope of Pop has had on his career. A fan since he was a child, he studied at Carnegie Mellon (Warhol’s alma mater) and interned as a curatorial assistant at the Warhol Museum. But, as he’s worked in the same tradition of Pop Art, he’s seen Warhol’s true intentions be obfuscated as we progress past his time. “A lot of the sarcasm and satire have been lost in recent years,” he lamented.

McGinness still holds out some humor and irony in his work, though. His Instagram, for example, skewers the platform; instead of behind-the-scenes photos or filtered pictures of sunsets that typically litter newsfeeds, each image he posts is a black circle with a cryptic quote or design in the center. Each dot, in actuality, is part of a halftone that makes up a black and white image of McGinness removing a white fright wig. The act is a Warholian, anti-artifice gesture, a removal of a disguise. “Warhol was all about being fake – he wore a costume. But this is genuine.”



Untitled (Black Hole, Fluorescent Yellow), 2008, acrylic on linen, 72 in. dia. (182.9 cm dia.) exhibited with adhesive fluorescent vinyl on wall under black light via


He’s also began work on a series of paintings inspired by metadata, wherein he depicts an original painting hanging on a studio wall. Similar to Thomas Struth’s photographs of paintings in museums, these meta-paintings are a new twist on authenticity and the reproduction of images.

When he needs a break from painting, he ventures across the street from his studio to Landmark Diner, one of the last remaining original diners in the city. A slice of down-to-earth Americana, it reflects the air of McGinness: not pretentious or haughty as is the typical demeanor of many artists (especially if they’re white, male and straight), friendly, warm and unobtrusively brilliant.

He chronicles his thoughts and ideas meticulously in a series of identical sketchbooks, and currently he’s up to over 200. “Ideas are stickier when you touch the piece of paper. I like making things.” It shows how personal his work really is, and what anyone would say about corporate collaborations, or how he’s not using Instagram correctly, doesn’t really matter to him in the end. He continued, looking down after taking a sip of Hennessy, “make work like nobody cares.”