Decorative Arts

I don't have any tattoos. Not that I object to them in principle, but two things stop me: hep C, and my mania for decorative arts, especially those that conform to an irregular three-dimensional surface, like pottery, or the body. Decoration like that has to be just so, or it drives me bats. I need to be able to repaint over it if it doesn't suit me.

Spring-break brings high spirits and the occasional burst of vandalism. Our small neighborhood's mailboxes suffered from a minor outbreak a few nights ago, which inspired me to repaint our mailbox before we re-installed it. Lately I've had an overpowering urge to paint bees; there's one on our front gate, too. This is not a good example of painting on an irregular solid, since the mailbox's shape is so simple, but it is an example of fitting graphics to their context. If I were to be tattooed, I'd agonize for a long time over the design, and finding an artist who could execute it properly.

Here are some I admire.

PS - A neighbor's mailbox disappeared altogether in the outbreak. The next day, the mailman found it in another community a couple of miles away, recognized it just by its number, "23," with no name or street, and brought it back. Small communities are nice.


bthun said...

Very nice Georgia Tech mascot, aka Buzz, on that mailbox! =8^}

Well done.

Grim said...

Now, wait a minute. No 'Tech Yellowjacket ever did anything as useful as make honey!

bthun said...

"Now, wait a minute. No 'Tech Yellowjacket ever did anything as useful as make honey!"

Heh... No argument, but one of my sibling's offspring graduated from GT, so I have divided loyalties, kinda, sorta...

OK, I just don't rag on the Jackets like I used to.

douglas said...

Tex, I'm telling you, you missed your calling going into law instead of architecture or art. I am in total agreement with you on tattoos, both about getting them (or not) and judging their qualities (or lack thereof).

I cringe mightily at most, as I suspect you do. Mostly, I think the problem is that most people think it's about finding a picture you like, and slapping it on as if you were putting a patch on your jacket sleeve. I've seen precious few that I thought were really good, and addressed the 'site' they were on, and/or seemed like the sort of thing you'd want to keep forever. Military tattoos are among those that at least make sense to me as marking a part of ones life journey in a way traditional to the role. The traditional tattoos (like the Japanese example) tend to have well established understanding of how to compose the image on the body, but do often tend toward the 'art on a canvas' angle.

I have an image of a tattoo I always thought was really nicely done from a book in the re/search series called 'Modern Primitives'-
you can see it here
One of the few that I thought really was well considered in terms of placement and proportion.
I used to think about getting a tattoo- mainly for functional reasons- as I've got a nice scar around one side of my head that shows when I get my hair cut for the first week or two, and had been considering some text in Latin to camouflage it into my dark hair, but then I got to thinking about what happens when I'm older, greyer and thinner! Can you imagine an old geezer with "Faber est suae quisque fortunae" or "Quae nocent, saepe docent" tattooed into the side of his head! Me either, though someday in the not too distant future, we'll be seeing lots of that, and worse.