Tuesday, 17 July 2012

Kitty's Owl-Girl, Preserving the Memory of Ben Zehner


I met Kitty back in May at a Starbucks at the corner of 31st and 7th in Manhattan. She is an actress and children's book illustrator. She also does alternative modeling, burlesque, and blogs over at The Tattooed Artist.

She shared this tattoo above, which was inked by Ben Zehner out of Studio Seven Tattoo in Wilmington, North Carolina and gave me a little history about the piece:
"It was his own [Zehner's] creation ... he was a painter, this is actually a painting he did that was very very beautiful, it was ... three feet by two feet wide, it's very large, very beautiful painting and, of course, I couldn't afford the painting, it was just too extravagant. So he scaled it down for me and when I moved to New York a couple years ago, he tattooed it on me and then, unfortunately, last November, he passed away ... it's a good piece to remember him by, absolutely gorgeous piece, I'm very very happy with it and I wish I could get more, but at least I have an original piece that is never going away."
Meeting people with tattoos done by artists who have passed away is not too common, but when it does occasionally happen, it is interesting to hear how people talk about the tattoos. Getting a tattoo from someone is a very intimate experience and to lose someone with whom one has shared that bond is hard to imagine. I have found that often the tattoos carry more emotional meaning when their artist is deceased. It is as if the host knows they are helping preserve the artist's memory and work even after the creator has moved on.

Thanks to Kitty for sharing this very poignant tattoo with us on Tattoosday!


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