Friday, April 10, 2015

Sell Out?

   Ed Hardy is an amazing artist and tattooist that was influenced by Japanese tattoo and Sailor Jerry.
Unfortunately to many people he is no longer seen as a great artist, and is unpopular among many old-school tattooists. People like me heard about him from his fashion line which made many people view him as a sell out.

   Once people start being successful some artists begin to despise that artist or stop seeing that work as art, especially when it becomes commercialized. Ed Hardy's work has been commercialized. Otherwise, people like me and young people around the world would not have even heard of him or seen some of his tattoo designs. Yet we know of him as a designer, and I did not even know his designs were created to be tattoos. I thought they were merely for fashion.

   This class has shown me how ignorant I was about Ed Hardy. That wasn't even his name when he started out. It was DE Hardy. I am now more interested in the way he uses his tattoo designs and preserves them in something that will last longer than a lifespan, in clothing. It is interesting to think that he is representing his work on the body in a way that will last past the generation of people tattooed by him.However, it makes me question the way we view art. Ed Hardy is indeed successful, but that does not mean he has less passion for the art or diminish the quality of his work.

   He has made a lot of money from art, but perhaps his work is contributing to the tattoo industry. He has shown that you can commercialize your art, and live successfully from it. Yet, he still tatooes people occasionally and works on his art. I think perhaps a sell out should only be used to describe someone who is in art for the money, makes money, and then leaves the world of art. YEt, Ed Hardy is not like this. He went into tattooing with a passion and has continued to tattoo and do art even after he has become successful.

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