Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Shawn Barber Tatooes You


Shawn Barber is a portrait artist in the most classic sense of the phrase, whether he's painting tattoo artists and their subjects, dolls, or celebrities for any one of his dozens of magazine clients. His portraits are essays in paint, saying so much more about the subject than just what they look like. And the classic, masterly style of the brushstrokes elevates his subjects from mere people to myths, akin to Caravaggio's biblical victims of violence or Boticelli's Greek gods and goddesses.

Much of his recent portraiture and painting has focused on tattoo artists and their art, and in fact Mr. Barber is training to become a tattoo artist himself. Meanwhile, he is opening another outstanding show of gorgeous portraits set in the world of inkers and ink this Saturday at Billy Shire Fine Arts in Culver City. The subjects range from artists such as Kat Von D to the hands and tools of the artists themselves. Maybe someday art scholars will study Mr. Barber's work and wonder about the myths of the illustrated gods and goddesses lovingly set to canvas.


"Tattooed Portraits" at Billy Shire Fine Arts

Shawn Barber's Official Site

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