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Archive for the ‘Skin Art’

Technology Gets Under The Skin : 13.7: Cosmos And Culture : NPR – NPR08.06.17

The decision of a company to offer its employs the option to hack their bodies to function better in the workplace has raised eyebrows and, no doubt, generated publicity.

But it also gives us a chance to turn a light on hidden attitudes about the nature of the self.

Imagine that you could pay for your morning coffee with the swipe of your hand, or that you didn’t need to have a key on your person to start up your car. Pretty convenient, huh?

And not really that futuristic at all. In principle, you could wear a chip-enabled ring or bracelet that would let you seamlessly navigate the walls and marketplaces of the electronic world.

Well, if that would work, then why not enjoy the extra added convenience of having the chip inserted into your body the way we put finder chips into dogs and cats?

A company in Wisconsin made news last week by offering its employees the option of getting a chip surgically implanted so that they would be able to navigate electronic pathways at the company’s headquarters more easily. The company’s move has gotten tons of attention (including here and here at NPR).

Many concerns have been raised. Health is a big one: Do we know the long-term effects of having something inside of you emit a signal to an external receiver? And then there’s privacy: Assurances to the contrary notwithstanding, how do you know a device like this won’t be used to track you? It says on my Social Security card that it isn’t meant to be a means of identification. But that’s exactly how it is used in our daily life.

And then there are concerns about whether an employee is free to say “no” to a company initiative of this sort.

If we put all that aside, though, I find myself wondering: What’s the big deal? Does it make a difference, beyond shear convenience, that the transmitter is in your hand (like a splinter, say) rather than on your hand, like a ring?

If you think it does, this may be because you take for granted that to put something in you is to bring about a more basic alteration in who or what you are.

But is that really true? Just because something is inside you, that doesn’t make it a part of you. My dental work isn’t part of me, is it? The fact that it is cemented in place and, so, that it is difficult to remove doesn’t make it me. Ditto, I would say, for the grain-of-rice-sized-chip-in-the-hand. It might as well be the stud of an earring as something inserted beneath the skin for all that it forces us to rethink our natural limits.

In fact, it is easier, I think, to find conditions on the outside that more truly get under our skin and change what we are. A blind person and her cane, or even the guitarist and her instrument, these seem to be examples where the true boundaries of a person defined not by the limits of the skin, but by the limits of what a person can do are altered. Consider the way learning a new language, or the way learning to read, can alter a person by, in effect, altering their reality.

The body and the person are different things. Just because something is in me doesn’t mean, really, that it is in me; and just because something is outside me, doesn’t mean that it isn’t, really, part of what I am.

There may be interesting borderline cases. Drugs (e.g. medicines) are technologies that we consume to alter ourselves. This may be why we feel that athletes who use drugs as part of their training are only partially responsible for what they accomplish. What they have done, we some how feel, wasn’t really done by them. We don’t, in the same way, begrudge an athlete the benefits of good coaching, healthy diet, the best equipment and sports science. But is this rational?

Plastic surgery is another borderline case. Although some celebrities have proudly declared that they have had plastic surgery, there remains a lingering idea, I think, that surgically enhanced good looks is somehow inauthentic. Curiously, surgically enhanced achievements in sports is almost normal and is not associated with the stigmas of performance enhancing drugs.

Body hacking is “cool” these days. Despite the widespread practice of piercing and tattooing, the willingness to mark-up and alter one’s body still somehow carries the air of individual freedom and daring. I suspect that one reason the Wisconsin story gets so much airplay is that it is tied to this kind of buzz.

But it is harder by far, and maybe more transformative, to build shared structures tools, technologies, ideas, memes on which we can rely, and thanks to which we can do new things and reach new heights.

Alva No is a philosopher at the University of California, Berkeley, where he writes and teaches about perception, consciousness and art. He is the author of several books, including his latest, Strange Tools: Art and Human Nature (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2015). You can keep up with more of what Alva is thinking on Facebook and on Twitter: @alvanoe

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An artist who summons black faces and bodies at ease in the world – Washington Post08.06.17

NEW YORK One cant call Lynette Yiadom-Boakyes paintings of people portraits, because the young men and women in these images dont actually exist. They are composite figures, worked up from her imagination and from files of images photographs, clippings, drawings that she has gathered. They are, perhaps, invented characters, but she doesnt tell us of what kind, what motivates them or what they are about. The titles of her paintings are poetic and suggestive Ropes for a Clairvoyant and Of All the Seasons, for example but they bear no identifying traces, no clues to the people she has summoned. Stand in a room full of her work, and you have the sense that you have been dropped into the middle of something, in media res. It isnt like being in the middle of a crowd, teeming with energy rather, you feel yourself surrounded by a collection of quietly thoughtful and thoroughly self-contained individuals who are taking a moment from the stream of life to do nothing at all.

The work of Yiadom-Boakye, a London-based artist born in 1977 and a finalist for the prestigious Turner Prize in 2013, is on view at the New Museum, filling the midsize fourth-floor gallery, which has been painted a deep burgundy. The rich color of the background walls contrasts sharply with the standard institutional white favored by most contemporary art galleries, and it flatters the generally earthy tones and deep shadows of the artists oil-on-linen medium. The lights are also kept lower than is often the case in contemporary galleries, and everything seems to have a warm glow. An effort has been made to banish the bustle of New York and allow visitors to exist in a space that is backward-looking, to indulge nostalgic fantasies of the hushed art museums of the 19th century, which were also richly painted and architecturally removed from the everyday world.

Yiadom-Boakye paints most of her works in one day, and this exhibition includes 17 new ones. Several of the figures appear to be dancers (one young woman is seen in a ballet pose wearing a white leotard), and all of them have a casual, lean, athletic grace. The speed with which she paints yields broad, almost sketchy brushwork, paint that is drawn quickly and proximately over the surface of the linen, with streaks and rough edges rather than fine lines and polish. The virtuosity of her work, as well as the physicality of her mostly young subjects, gives a sense that there is something precipitous about the people she has imagined, as though they are about to tip out of the picture space and into the room.

The artist, born in London to Ghanaian parents, focuses on subjects who are of African descent, and her work is often seen as part of a larger project of restitution, shared among other artists who are seemingly working outside the mostly white, Western tradition of figure painting, to people the world of art with new faces, new figures and new subjects who arent uniformly white and European. Western painters only occasionally painted non-Western faces and bodies over the past half-millennium, and often when they did, it was to underscore the supposed exoticism or otherness of African or Asian subjects. They were represented as servants, objects of sexual desire or emissaries of far-flung and deeply foreign worlds that only occasionally encroached on European lands, as in the depiction of Balthazar, one of the three Magi, who was often depicted as a Moor in Renaissance paintings.

[Philip Kennicott on a retrospective of Kehinde Wiley]

But compare Yiadom-Boakye with another artist, Kehinde Wiley, who deliberately inserts black faces and bodies into some of the most mannered tropes of Western art, and its clear something very different is going on. Wileys highly finished images use not just the medium of painting but often the poses and trappings of European elites to create a satire on the exclusion and whiteness of the art world. He inserts a young African American into a heroic and imperial context borrowed from the Napoleonic-era works of Jacques-Louis David or renders the rapper Ice-T as Napoleon, and the resulting work is as bombastically colorful and richly finished as Yiadom-Boakyes work is earthy and improvised. Wiley is creating an ironic indictment of exclusion, whereas Yiadom-Boakye is quietly and steadily remedying the problem. There is something endearingly pragmatic about her work and her method, as if to say: The way one deals with exclusion is to open the doors and let people in.

But the more you look at it, the more you realize this isnt just a matter of increasing the sum total of people with dark skin represented in art galleries or museums. Bodies and faces arent sufficient to get at the idea of race or identity; one also needs poses, gestures and expressions, characteristic ways of standing and leaning and lounging, that have also been excluded from the way people of color have been represented in Western art.

So at least as important as the skin color of these imagined people is the fact that they are so profoundly, even extravagantly, at ease. Perhaps more important than the simple fact that people of color are represented in a traditionally white or European space is that they are entirely comfortable being there.

One might do this with snapshots of people at ease, reproduced, framed and introduced into the art space. Photographic representation captures ease and grace and the lounging frame of mind, but it also introduces real people into the equation and so sends the mind down different paths. Who are they? What do they do?

By painting people who dont, in fact, have real existence, Yiadom-Boakye keeps the focus on their physicality and on the paint and the process whereby they have been created. Sometimes, these things intersect in delightful ways. In Lieu of Keen Virtue, for example, shows a man casually dressed in an orange turtleneck while a cat lounges on his left shoulder. But the left arm isnt quite right and doesnt seem to meet his torso in a natural way. Its tempting to think the cat may have been a painterly inspiration, to divert attention from the slightly awkward arm with the introduction of a draping feline. In summoning the man in a quick and provisional way, the painter has by necessity also summoned the cat, who does indeed help fix the problem.

[30 Americans explores African American art and identity]

The kitty isnt the only interloper in these works. Sometimes birds appear, as well, and often, there is a dark, assertive shadow cast by the human figures, a shadow that takes on more personality and presence than a mere play of light. In creating a character, or painting an imaginary being, the artist may well ask a question we often ask ourselves: What completes us? What makes us whole? When are we ever pulled together as a being? Almost certainly, we experience this coming together as a real being in moments of reflection, inwardness and ease and not when we do our best (as in a grand oil painting) to project a sense of ourselves to the outside world. But does it ever happen? Only the shadow knows.

Lynette Yiadom-Boakye: Under-Song for a Cipher is on view at the New Museum in New York through Sept. 3. For information, visit

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An artist who summons black faces and bodies at ease in the world – Washington Post

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Behati Prinsloo on beauty, skincare, and motherhood — and how she gets that gorgeous glow – AOL08.06.17

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Picasso discovers the art of scratching the itch – WOWT08.06.17

OMAHA, Neb. (WOWT) — Allergies can make a mess of your world and your pets might know the feeling.

They’re not immune from the suffering that allergies can bring. Diagnosing them can be a challenge.

Picasso turned up at the Nebraska Humane Society with irritated skin. The stress of being in a shelter coupled with changes in diet and routine made things worse.

Dog allergies can be caused by different triggers. Seasonal allergies accompany the appearance of pollen and mold in the environment. Contact allergies are also caused by the environment. Picasso’s red paws could be caused by grass or whatever else he’s been walking through.

Food can also be a trigger.

Picasso was introduced to a dermatologist. He has a different diet now and gets a bath every week. A prescription addresses the itching.

The condition is manageable and NHS hopes that with continued help he might be able to ditch the meds.

Picasso needs an owner who can focus on the positives. He’s a little shy and gentle but he can startle so he probably wouldn’t be good around small children.

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Self Care Artist BethKaya’s Coffee Mint Body Butter Recipe Revitalizes, Soothes and Protects Summer Skin – Magnetic Magazine (blog)08.06.17

via Beth Kaya

At a very young age, Jersey Shore-based artist and designer BethKaya knew that art, ancient culture, and holism were elements in life she couldn’t live without. Years spent studying jewelry design and gemology at the Fashion Institute of Technology while nurturing a career in corporate marketing inspired her to begin creating unique crystal infused fragrances, soaps, and other spirited home goods for her own full-time business, an entrepreneurial endeavor she was finally able to actualize once she gave birth to her son.

With an uncanny knack for pairing scents, BethKaya possesses the ability to smell and taste colors and sounds, a superpower called synesthesia. This crossing of sensory wires grants me the ability to cross-create new products, like a perfume or lotion, that recreate a moment in time for someone on a 360 degree level, with a specific energy, shares BethKaya with a sparkle in her cocoa-colored eyes.

For several years, BethKayas found much success growing her business via Instagram and Etsy. But, coming soon, Jersey Shore residents and vacationers will have an opportunity to visit her new sacred retail space, Self Care Cafe, for snacks, sundry items, and sanctuary.

Whether its a hemp and honey soap bar with lavender, sweet orange, and tulsi leaf paired with calcite and dusted with 22kt gold mica or a cannabis flower and fig fragrance with peridot, citrine, salvia, and echinacea, her loyal customers cannot get enough of her mystical offerings. Obsessed with everything BethKaya creates, MAGNETIC asked the intuitive artist to share one of her favorite sacred summertime beauty secrets for our readers. She describes her recipe for Coffee Mint Body Butter as a revitalizing, soothing protectant for sun-kissed skin. Apply liberally after a long day basking in the suns rays or dancing at one of the remaining festivals of the summer like Outside Lands in San Francisco, Lollapalooza in Chicago, and Electric Zoo in New York City.

Geraldine Valecillos.

Coffee Mint Body Butter

By BethKaya


1/2 ounce botanicals, dried mint leaves and calendula petals

1 bottle of coffee essential oil

1 bottle of peppermint essential oil

4 cups of olive butter

8 – 12 2 oz glass jars, amber or cobalt colored to protect product against UV light

1 heat-resistant, silicone glove (I like The LoveGlove)

1 filter bag (I like Purify Filters)

1 glass Mason jar, large or large pouring Pyrex measuring cup

1 popsicle stick or tongue depressor

1 MagicalButter botanical extractor machine


Place the olive butter and dried mint leaves and calendula petals into your MagicalButter machine, and secure the head. Press the Temperature button, and select 160F/71C; then press the 2 Hours/Butter button. Sterilize storage containers by boiling them for 10 minutes. When complete, using the glove and filter, strain out the plant matter and pour the hot material into large heat safe glass. I use a 4 cup and Pyrex pouring measuring cup, which makes decanting easier. While your mixture is hot, add 25 drops of peppermint essential oil. Then, add 25 drops of coffee essential oil. Stir until mixed well with a clean, sterile wooden stirrer. Transfer the body butter into the sterilized containers. Allow the body butter to cool completely on a room temperature countertop at 70 degrees before securing the lids.

Pro Tips:

Connect with BethKaya on Instagram and Etsy.

Presented by MagicalButter.

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Tucson Fire Foundation seeks funds for imaging machine to detect skin cancer – Arizona Daily Star06.26.17

A local nonprofit organization is seeking help from the community to keep firefighters safe from a potentially deadly disease.

The Greater Tucson Fire Foundation is seeking tax-deductible donations to help pay for new skin cancer screening technology called DermSpectra, which can be used to detect the disease early.

The foundations mission is to raise $100,000 to pay for the equipment and its asking for help from the community for $89,000. The money would be used to pay for the equipment that would provide screening at no cost to the Southern Arizona fire departments, according to a press release.

The foundation has been operating since 2010. It works with firefighters to provide them with health and wellness resources.

Foundation chairman Mike McKendrick said Tucsons sunny skies create greater risk for firefighters. A recent FEMA study showed that Southern Arizona firefighters are three times more likely than the general public to get skin cancer.

McKendrick said in the last four years there have been several firefighters who have been diagnosed with skin cancer.

Two firefighters a year get melanoma, thats the skin cancer that kills, McKendrick said. Two doesnt seem like much but when you look at two out of 1,800, thats significant.

When the foundation went through its strategic planning meetings, cancer prevention was an important item.

So then we looked at what we could do as a foundation and what the community could do to help catch these early, McKendrick said. When you catch a melanoma early or any other skin cancer early, the numbers are in your favor to eradicate the cancer and save the life.

The imaging technology will be placed at WellAmerica Inc., where Dr. Wayne F. Peate advised the Greater Tucson Fire Foundation about the imaging system, McKendrick said.

Its technology that was founded here in Tucson, it was beta tested at the University of Arizona and Dr. Peate … came to the foundation and basically said we have this technology, its state of the art and our firefighters are at the most risk of any firefighters in the country.

He said after discussions with DSI Acquisition the owners of DermSpectra they were able to get the technology into the WellAmerica clinic.

Peate said when they found out the risk to firefighters, the decision was made to find a better screening process. We thought we needed to do a better job because 98 percent of melanoma, if theyre detected early can be cured. He said theres a huge payoff to early detection.

McKendrick said in addition to the wellness of the firefighters, there is a business cost to procuring the DermSpectra imaging system. He said that not catching the cancer early is not only expensive but also creates trauma for the patient and time away from work.

The community, the taxpayer, put in a tremendous amount of money for selecting these firefighters, training them and keeping them healthy so when you and I call 911 theyre ready and available to help us, Peate said.

Capt. Andy Skaggs, a spokesman for the Tucson Fire Department, said firefighters are doing their best to combat the extremely hot weather and sunny skies.

Weve got sunscreen at all of the stations, the fire chief has authorized us to use hats, and then a lot of our folks opt to wear a long sleeve T-shirts instead of a short-sleeve T-shirts to help try to keep the sun off.

Fire stations are going through safety training and being reminded about the dangers of the Tucson heat on their bodies and taking all precautions to stay safe.

The firefighters are constantly doing their part to make sure that theyre staying safe so they can keep the citizens safe, Skaggs said. If were not in the healthiest condition, how are we supposed to help the citizens of Tucson.

Shaq Davis is a University of Arizona journalism student who is an apprentice at the Star. Contact him at

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6 Amazingly Cool (& Totally Unique) Tattoo Styles To Consider For Your Next Ink – YourTango06.25.17

So many tattoos, so little body space.

With the changing times has come a greater acceptance of tattoos. Some people still look to get inked in places that are easily hidden, but more and more people are also embracing bigger, brighter and bolder body art.

For many of usthis is great since we love the way a tattoo adds a little something extra to our bodies and can tell a story we are proud to wear forever.

Tattoos are seen everywhere. People are getting them as soon as they legally can at 18 (or even younger, with parental approval or, let’s admit, a friend hookup). And more and more we are caring less of what older generations think of them as we hand over our own hard earned money to get inkd what we want.

Thanks to social media platforms like Instagram, celebrities are flaunting their tattoo covered bodies and making skin art more and more mainstream by the second.

Celebrities have lost count of how many they have and some, like Harry Styles, have even gotten them done live on television. Not surprisingly, along with the popularity of the celebrities tattoos are the growing popularity of the artists tattooing them.

But with so many stories and so much inspiration, it can be super hard to decide what we want on our bodies. Well, its about to get even harder as I remind you not only all the different types of tattoos you can get, but also all the different styles, locations and colors.

Now not only do you have to decide between a flower or a bird or a special landmark, but you have to decide in what unique way these images will be depicted.

There are so many unique ways to get a tattoo, and this list is just a start. But continue reading on to see some of the most popular and unique styles to consider for your next tattoo and some of the artists that are world-famousfor doing them.

If you don’t have a desire for a tattoo yet, or a specific tattoo that you want in mind, maybe you will by the time youre done reading.


Photo: Refinery29


Minimalist tattoos are perfect for people who love the little things in life. Often they involve thin crisp lines, small designs, and little or no color. These can be placed anywhere on your body and can be easily hid.

JonBoy, based out of NYC, has rose to Instagram fame for his minimalist designs and for his popularity among some of Hollywoods VIPs including Kendall Jenner and the Baldwin girls.


Photo: The Vandallist


Watercolor tattoos are perfect for someone who wants to stand out. The bright and beautiful colors will attract all eyes and with no rough or strong boarders, the tattoo look soft and blends well with the body.

Georgia Grey is one of the most talented watercolor tattoo artist. If her artwork cant speak for itself than her residency will. Georgia Grey can be found working out of one of the most well known tattoo shops in NYC, Bang Bang.

Geometric Tattoo

Photo: Tattoo


There are plenty reasons to get a geometric, or geometric inspired, tattoo. Maybe there is a sacred geometric symbol that you carry close to your heart, or maybe you simply have fallen in love with the look of them. Whatever the reason, you cant go wrong when considering this unique style for your next tattoo.

Portuguese artist, Nouvelle Rita is beyond talented at what she does. Her use of shapes to create realistic images is unique, recognizable, and beyond breathtaking.


Photo: Alice Carrier


Naturalistic artists look to realistically recreate nature on your body. There is nothing more beautiful than a dainty flower, or a strong tree, and the inspiration is endless. These tattoos are perfect for anyone who feels they belong in the great outdoors and you should definitely consider this style for your next ink session.

You can get lost in nature, or you can get lost in Alice Carriers Instagram page. Based out of Portland, Oregon its no wonder she is super talented at Naturalistic designs.


Photo: Tattoo


Dotwork tattoos are a unique form of tattoos that use dots rather than strictly lines and shading to create their image. Doing this helps gives the artwork the illusion of depth on a flat surface.

Its definitely worth looking at Lauren Marie Sutton out of Manchester for inspiration for a dotwork tattoo. Many of her creations take inspiration from nature, wether in the form of plant or animal, and look classic in shades of black and grey.

Color Block

Photo: Tattoo


Similar to watercolor tattoos, color block tattoos are known for the use of bright and vibrant colors to make an overall image that will definitely stand out on your body. They also take note from geometric tattoos to help bring the shape to life in an interesting way.

Sasha Unisex has combined geometric and watercolor practices to perfect her color block tattoos. She even offers temporary tattoos of her bright creations for those of use not ready to permanently ink our body, but are envious of these tattoos.

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How safe and sanitary is ‘body art’? Laws regulating tattoos, piercing vary widely. – Washington Post06.25.17

By Marsha Mercer By Marsha Mercer June 25 at 8:30 AM

Anyone who goes into a tattoo parlor in North Carolina can be assured that it has a permit from the state health department and that inspectors have checked the premises for safe and sanitary conditions. But go for a body piercing in the state and theres no such protection. A state law, approved in the 1990s, regulates tattoos but doesnt apply to other forms of body art.

Most people think its all regulated, said state Rep. Kevin Corbin, a Republican. But we found out theres no law on the books.

North Carolina is not alone. State legislators and health officials across the country are trying to keep up with the growing popularity and evolving trends of body art.

Health officials worry that unregulated body art studios may not follow safe practices, which can lead to scarring, nerve damage and infections, including hepatitis C, the leading cause of liver cancer in the United States.

The body art industry is much more nimble than the government, said Doug Farquhar, who tracks the issue in his role as the director of environmental health for the National Conference of State Legislatures.

Nearly 4 in 10 people born after 1980 have a tattoo and 1 in 4 has a piercing someplace other than an earlobe, the Pew Research Center has reported. (The Pew Charitable Trusts funds both the center and Stateline.)

Nearly every state regulates body art, but laws vary widely. Most states do agree on one thing: age limits. At least 45 states (including Maryland, Virginia and the District) prohibit minors from getting tattoos, and 38 states prohibit body piercing and tattooing minors without parental permission, according to NCSL.

Oregon extensively rewrote its tattooing regulations in 2012, updated them last year and in January clarified that microblading, in which a practitioner uses fine needles and pigment to create eyebrow hairs, is tattooing and not an aesthetic, or cosmetic, practice.

Oregon requires practitioners to have hundreds of hours of training and pass written exams before being licensed for specific types of body art. Georgia is among states that do not regulate the industry, but most Georgia counties have adopted ordinances regulating body art.

Maryland does not license body artists, though it requires them to use sterile instruments, wash their hands, wear disposable gloves during procedures and cleanse customers skin. They also must maintain three years of customer records and make them available to health officers if requested. But some Maryland localities require licenses.

Virginia issues licenses for tattoo artists and requires an examination. The District has regulations, but according to at least one report, they are loosely enforced.

North Carolina is one of at least six states considering body art legislation this year. Corbin co-sponsored a bill updating the tattoo law to include other types of body art. It passed the state House in April and is under consideration in the Senate.

The sharp increase in hepatitis C cases in the past few years has intensified states concern about sterile and sanitized needles and equipment and about associated health and safety training.

New hepatitis C infections in the United States tripled between 2010 and 2015, to more than 2,400, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported last month. The CDC blames the increase on the rise of injection drug use associated with the opioid epidemic and says major studies have not shown hepatitis C to be spread through licensed tattooing facilities.

However, the CDC said, transmission of hepatitis C (and other infectious diseases) is possible when poor infection-control practices are used during tattooing or piercing.

An old concern

Health officials have worried about the health risks of tattooing for decades. New York City banned tattooing in 1961, citing concerns about hepatitis. Tattooing continued underground, however, and the ban was lifted in 1997.

In 2015, New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo (D) signed a law requiring tattoo artists to use single-use needles and supplies of ink. The body art community protested that the laws language was overly broad, and Cuomo rescinded the measure. The state health department is developing new rules.

The American Red Cross requires someone who has had a tattoo to wait a year before donating blood if the tattoo was applied in Georgia, Idaho, Maryland, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Hampshire, New York, Pennsylvania, Utah, Wyoming or the District jurisdictions that do not regulate tattoo facilities. No waiting period is required if the tattoo was applied in a state that requires tattoo shops to use sterile needles and single-use ink.

Tattoo ink, which is not regulated or tested by the federal government, is a potential health risk, but no outbreaks of infection from contaminated ink have occurred since 2012, the Food and Drug Administration reports.

Craving regulation

State legislators, recognizing that they arent experts in body arts best practices, often call on practitioners to help write and enforce laws.

San Francisco body piercer Steve Joyner of the Association of Professional Piercers has helped about two dozen states write legislation over the past two decades.

The downfall of politicians is that they really dont understand our industry, he said, adding that many state legislators have never set foot in a tattoo or piercing studio.

One of the first instances of body art practitioners asking to be regulated was in Florida, where a piercing law was enacted in 1999 with input from the industry. Tattooists soon started lobbying for state regulations, too.

The tattoo industry wanted to pedigree their profession. Thats the word they used, said Gina Vallone-Hood, environmental administrator for the Florida Department of Healths Bureau of Environmental Health.

The Florida legislature passed a tattoo law in 2010, and the Department of Health started licensing tattoo artists in 2012. Now, 450 piercing shops and 6,000 tattooists are licensed in Florida.

Michael Crea, a piercer for 20 years who owns a shop in Sarasota, is president of the Florida Environmental Health Association. He also runs the certification class that is required of piercers.

You really dont want people working out of their house, he said. We do deal with blood and body fluids. We break the skin. You can be spreading hepatitis, MRSA [methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus] or AIDS, and you dont want that.

But Crea and other practitioners say that even when regulations are on the books, enforcement can be weak. Health inspectors often are responsible for checking out a wide range of potential hazards from septic tanks to swimming pools and cant be expert in everything.

Thats why the National Environmental Health Association will feature a live tattooing demonstration at its annual conference in July in Grand Rapids, Mich.

It will be a safe space for health inspectors to ask questions, said Christl Tate of the association. Our mutual goal is protecting the public health.


Read more

Questions raised about tattoo inks, cancer

A Japanese artist takes on a country that despises tattoos

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Now You Don’t Have to Travel to Rome to See Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel – Observer06.24.17

Its summer in New York City, which means the air is thick and the sun is downright oppressive. In Lower Manhattan, Santiago Calatravas Oculus beckons tourists and commuters into its white cathedral-like, air-conditioned interior for a chance to soak up the sun through its sweeping skylight, without the added UV rays. But stroll through the Oculus between now and July 23which on any normal day would be packed with shoppers perusing the offerings from Westfield World Trades mall or connecting to the PATH train or the subway undergroundand youll be greeted by a towering masterwork which painted over 500 years ago by Michelangelo for Romes Sistine Chapel. No, its not the real deal, but its about as closemaybe even closerthan youll get without taking the trip to Rome and braving the snaking lines through Vatican City to see the aging frescoes in person.

Up Close: Michelangelos Sistine Chapel features 34 near life-sized reproductions of panels from Michelangelos frescoes for the Sistine Chapel, along with a towering recreation of The Last Judgement. Iconic imagery such as The Creation of Adam (God nearly touching fingers with the first man), the great flood and Noahs Ark, and the banishment of man from the Garden of Eden are all displayed on large-scale panels, in photographs taken by photographer Erich Lessing. Visitors can inspect the looming cracks that threaten the historic works, which conservators have been painstakingly trying to repair with staples.

Art historian and researcher Dr. Lynn Catterson took gave an annotated tour of the show to media on Thursday afternoon, pointing out the hidden symbolism in Michelangelos fading brushwork, along with and historical tidbits that provide socio political insight into the complicated relationship between the artist and the Catholic Church. For instance, in the Last Judgement, Michelangelo has inserted a self-portrait (as artists are often wont to do) on the flayed skin of Saint Bartholomew, a nod to how he felt the Pope was skinning him alive with the ambitious commission on the Sistine Chapel ceiling, said Catterson. More subtext painted into world famous fresco by Michelangelo is his fascination with Dante, as seen in depictions of the souls being condemned to Hell.

We dont have a lot of interior spaces with frescoes of this scale and quality, Catterson told the press. Not only is Michelangelos version of the biblical story one of the most famous images in the world, its also a grand statement from the Catholic Church at the height of the Reformation, she says. While the Pope who was in power during its creation was on board with Michelangelos depictions of the nude body, twenty years after he finished the work, another artist was brought in to cover it all up.

So why come see a giant reproduction of Michelangelos famous work, instead of making the trip to see the real thing? A release for the exhibit states: For art lovers and the devout both, this exhibit allows a way to experience the work in a contemporary and curated experience, uncluttered, self-timed and in-depth. For a fee of $15, visitors can certainly take their time with the art, and inspect the artists handiwork much closer than they would be able with the original.

Photographic documentation of art is hugely important, Catterson said during the preview. I just wish wed use it more in public spaces. And to that, I agree. The show is no Sistine Chapel. For that, you must go to Rome, even if you only get a few minutes to see the real deal. But for now, while the city is steaming in the summer heat, this display of heavenly imagery provides a brief sanctuary in the middle of the citys urban landscape.

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Now You Don’t Have to Travel to Rome to See Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel – Observer

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Russian tattoo artist helps domestic abuse victims hide scars with ink – USA TODAY06.24.17

Manon Masset, Le Courrier de Russie 6:02 a.m. ET June 24, 2017

Evguenia Zakhar, left, and Laysan examine the finished tattoo.(Photo: Vadim Braydov)

In a small basement at the corner of the main road in Ufa, the capital city of the Republic of Bashkortostan in Russia, Evguenia Zakhar is painstakingly outlining flowers along wisp-like scars.

Facing her, her arm stretched out across the work table, Dinara purses her lips in pain and stays silent. Only 20 years old, the young woman has been through hell.

Having suffered beatings from her father her entire life, and then her husband, the young womans entire body is covered in traces of this painful past. Today, she has left her partner and lives alone with her 3-year-old daughter, Amelia.

Seeing my scars, confides Dinara, my daughter started to draw the same marks on her arms … I feel so ashamed, I cant bear it.

Zakhar listens attentively before speaking, a lump starting in her throat, Well make sure all that becomes just a bad memory.

Two hours of work later, the scars are completely covered with small delicate flowers, tinged with blue. The traces of Dinaras injuries actually make the insides of the flowers look more realistic.

Warm and naturally optimistic, Zakhar, 33, has been working as a tattoo artist for 10 years. Its an exciting job! It was the natural choice for me to become a tattoo artist, because I liked drawing but I did not want to curb my creativity at art college, the young woman explains.

Last August, Zakhar came across the work A Pele da Flor (Flower-like Skin in Portuguese)by Brazilian tattoo artist Flavia Carvalho, who covered over the scars of female victims of domestic violence. Inspired, the young Russian decided to follow her example by offering her services for free via the Russian social network, Vkontakte.

The tattoo artistwas surprised, at the time, at the extent of her success.”

In just one week, I already had fifty requests!she exclaims. In six months, more than 200 women found themselves beneath the expert hands of Zakhar, who dedicates every Monday to these special tattoos. She offers them for free, covering all the costs involved.

After being stabbed by her husband, Laysan receives a tattoo to cover the scar.(Photo: Vadim Braydov)

Tattooing victims of domestic violence has come to be more than a job for the artist: it is a real mission. On top of helping them, I leave my mark on the world. The majority of my clients are younger than I am, and when I am gone, they will continue to bear my tattoos, which remind them that a new start is possible,explains Zakhar.

At the same time, for the women who come to the studio, Zakhar is unmistakably an artist, but also a genuine psychologist. To start with, it was terrible to hear all of these stories, but bit by bit I learned how to listen. Now, I even suggest that they tell their story one last time before leaving it behind them forever once the tattoo is finished, she says.

In the future, Zakharis hoping to set out on her motorbike with her partner for a tour of Russia, so that she can offer her services to abused women from other regions. Victims already come from all over the region to meet me … but I would like to do even more, and why not, she suggested, encourage tattoo artists in other provinces of Russia, even abroad, to do the same.

For the moment the project remains a dream: the young woman is on the lookout for potential sponsors.

The commitment of this woman is even more symbolic in Russia, which recently introduced a law decriminalizing domestic violence. Since Feb. 7, domestic violence in cases where blows are cast for the first time and do not affect the health of the victim is considered an administrative misdemeanor rather than a criminal offense,and penalized with a fine between 5,000 to 30,000 roubles (about $86-$520).

The bill provoked strong reactions among the public, some fearing it might trivialize the phenomenon.

According to the Russian Ministry of Internal Affairs, every year 26,000 children are victims of violence from their parents, 36,000 women are victims of domestic abuseand 12,000 women die as a result of violence from their partners, which translates toone woman every 40 minutes. In Russia, 97% of domestic violence cases don’t make it to court.

Worldwide, nearly one in every three women is a victim of domestic violence.

This article is one of dozens being shared to media outlets around the world for Impact Journalism Day on Saturday, June 24, 2017. It was produced and edited independently from USA TODAY.

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Russian tattoo artist helps domestic abuse victims hide scars with ink – USA TODAY

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