What Happens When You Get a Blind Tattoo From Scott Campbell Pt. 2
The weekend has been a flurry of people, ink, and hope as Scott Campbell set up shop in Milk Gallery for his blind tattoo installation Whole Glory. Scott’s done over 20 tattoos at the time of publishing, but that hasn’t changed the quality of the work – that’s just as skull and rose filled as ever. His attention to detail has had each participant of the installation floored with how careful and exact the artist is. Mixing realistic and cartoonish elements in his work, Campbell has outdone himself with his precision line work. Each participant has walked away from the experience dazed, but not unhappy.
We talked to one such participant, Amanda Webster, an NYU student who got her very first tattoo from Scott today. “This is my first tattoo, so I had no idea what it was going to feel like. I couldn’t see the needle or anything. I had no idea what was going to happen.” Amanda got an elegant rose tattoo that is stretched out on one side – which Scott’s right hand man Josh explained that he did by dragging his sketch on a xerox machine as he printed it. We were all a little apprehensive for Amanda, who looked very anxious at the beginning of the process. “I was nervous at first. The drawings on the wall are some of the potential tattoos, so you see the rats that are humping, and that wouldn’t have been my first choice. I would have been okay with it though.”
She assured us that in the end, it was the experience, not the piece itself that she was after. “No matter what I got, it would be interesting. This is a piece of artwork on my arm. It’s interesting to think how art reacts with the skin, how it will change over time.” Once she unveiled her arm, the anxiety melted away and was replaced with a reflective take on the whole thing.”It requires a lot of trust. It was a very interesting experience that I’ll be thinking about for a long time to come.”
One of the last people to get tattooed was Klever Lliguipuma, who has a completely different view of tattoos from the start. “For me it’s not about what I get tattooed, it’s who I get the tattoo from.” Klever got an excited little skull, with a top hat and flower combo, with the word ‘magic’ tattooed beneath. However, as an aspiring tattoo artist himself, Klever has had a longstanding appreciation for Scott’s work. “I feel like he’s always been with me in spirit. I really appreciate his aesthetic.” And he was determined to get some ink from his artist idol. “I was here for Friday, Saturday, and now Sunday. I was sitting on my ass for almost 5 hours. I need an ass massage or something.”
It was all worth it though, as Klever explained the kind of inspiration he’s gotten from Scott. “I’ve been really looking up to his work for a really long time. He inspired me to travel. He showed me how to be a tattoo artist in so many different ways.” In the end though, Klever captured the whole spirit of an installation based in trust, art, and just a hint of something out of this world. “I got a really magical tattoo. I haven’t gotten a tattoo in awhile, and I’m really glad it could be Scott.”
Behind the scenes imagery by Blaise Cepis
Tattoo imagery by Scott Campbell