50 Shades of Prison Gray

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Oh, how far the tattoo has come in recent history. Mom used to whisper that people with tattoos were all convicts and biker gang members. Now she DVRs L.A. Ink and engages her tatted-up hairstylist in serious conversation about her sleeve. The film Tattoo Nation gives us a glimpse into how the tattoo and the tattoo artist have become artistic phenomena, and focuses specifically on the genesis of the “black and gray” technique from prison art to cultural tour de force. The documentary focuses on the history and emergence of the skill, which requires artists to dilute black ink and create gray-scale masterpieces that convey depth through a minimal color palette. The documentary features interviews from tattoo heavyweights Charlie Cartwright, Jack Rudy and Kate Hellenbrand, plus the likes of actor Danny Trejo, Blink-182 dude Travis Barker and artist Ed Hardy, and will screen one night only at AMC NorthPark 15, 8687 North Central Expressway, at 8 p.m. Thursday. Visit tattoonation.com for tickets.
Thu., April 4, 2013

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Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.


Join the Observer community and help support independent local journalism in Dallas.