Ink & Paint: Shawn Barber’s Memoir
“If you step outside of your comfort zone and challenge yourself to acknowledge your weaknesses, are completely critical of your shortcomings, and sincerely internalize your habits (good and bad), you will be amazed by the progression waiting ahead of you.” – Shawn Barber
To celebrate the launch of his new book, Memoir: The Tattooed Portraits Series, L.A. based artist Shawn Barber opened a new show last week at the Joshua Liner Gallery in New York. The show includes twenty-five paintings from the 250-plus page book, which is the third in Barber’s ongoing series exploring the artistry of tattoo as seen through the eyes of a classically trained painter. The centerpiece of the show is an enormous 6×9-foot triptych of the artist Shige, shown in nine full-length views. The piece, like each of the others in Barber’s body of work, is beautifully rendered and shows the intricate detail of Shige’s full-body tattoos. I first got turned on to Barber’s work a few years ago and have been a fan ever since. I especially like the pieces that show multiple views of the artist’s hands as he works through the tattooing of his clients.