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The Human Canvas

Art Preview

Jul. 30, 2008
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If the human body is a canvas, then tattooing and piercing deserves the status of art. Fittingly, then, human canvases and body art are the focus of a new exhibition called “Flesh. Metal. Ink.” that opens Aug. 1 at WalkersPointCenter for the Arts.

Curated by Gene Evans of Milwaukee’s Luckystar Studio, the exhibit features 12 artists revealing their visions of this art form through 30 pieces in a variety of media. The work has unique appeal for contemporary society according to WPCA executive director Gary Tuma. “Body adornment and this show go beyond the decorative to tell stories of people’s personal journeys in life or connections to their heritage,” he says, adding that spirituality and bold statements of individuality underpin many of the pieces.

Individuality expresses itself through Chris Anderson’s pierced pure-white sculpture titled Katlina es Muy Picante. Artistically rendered tattoos by Nikki McGuiness appear in two photographic triptychs, Pain Equals Life and Nude Studies of Self, as well as the singular print Lollypops and Knee Socks. Adam Werther, of Milwaukee’s well-known tattoo studio and art space Adambomb Gallerie, brings a fine-art context to body art by displaying a number of complicating drawings he has used for tattooing.

Evans, who has also contributed work to the show, will give a talk about the exhibition at its reception, which will take place Aug. 1 from 6 to 9 p.m. An informal discussion by other artists in the show will follow. The exhibition continues through Sept. 6, with gallery hours extended until 9 p.m. during Harley’s 105th Anniversary Celebration at the end of August.

Meanwhile, this weekend, art comes to the streets as Historic Downtown Waukesha hosts its “Red Hot Art BBQ” art crawl on Aug. 2 from 4 to 10 p.m. While art galleries and eateries will open their doors to the exhibits and live music waiting inside, the new Clark Hotel and Black Trumpet Restaurant will feature tours of their nearly completed renovations. These tours have been organized to raise money for the city’s Wednesday-evening series “Jazz in CutlerPark.”

On August 2 and 3, the Firefly Art Fair sets up shop just northeast of the Village of Wauwatosa. This popular Milwaukee event, which runs from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days, is sponsored by the Wauwatosa Historical Society. Fine arts and crafts will be available for purchase at booths set up in the Victorian gardens of the historic Kneeland-Walker mansion, 7406 Hillcrest Drive.


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