Longtime Reader contributor Andrew J. Epstein took this photo for a 1973 interview with tattooer Cliff Raven, who at that time operated out of a storefront on Belmont Avenue. Raven talked about drawing political cartoons for the Seed, his love of science fiction, and the government crackdown on tattoo parlors in the early 1960s. He took pride as one of a younger generation reviving a moribund skill, infusing their work with borrowings from the Art Nouveau fad and psychedelic art. But Raven bristled at the suggestion that tattooing was an art form, instead calling it a craft that at its best revealed “good mechanics.” Epstein’s photos and interview are featured in an exhibit of tattoo-related art opening this Friday, March 10, from 6 to 10 PM at the Aron Packer Gallery, 1579 N. Milwaukee (suite 205). It also includes watercolor “flash” designs, drawings, photographs, and jewelry by Rob Billings, Jeff Crisman, David Kotker, Dianne Mansfield, Brent Riley, and Sandy Sager. The gallery will hold a free artists’ talk and demonstration at 2 PM Saturday, March 25. Call 862-5040 for more.
Art accompanying story in printed newspaper (not available in this archive): Photo/Andrew J. Epstein.