Stories on skin: scenes from the Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention

27 Photos

Photos and text by Algerina Perna

Every tattoo tells a story… of honor or identity or religion or love or cars. The list goes on and on. The ritual of making indelible pictures on the body by inserting permanent pigments in the top layers of skin dates back at least to 2000 B.C. where archaeologists have discovered designs on ancient mummies.

At the Baltimore Tattoo Arts Convention recently held at the Baltimore Convention center, thousands of people converged to have tattoos imprinted on their bodies. Many of the tattoos they chose reflect more than just an appreciation of a beautiful flower, geometric pattern or movie character. The tattoos reflect something intangible, something meaningful from their lives which is then translated into a physical design by the tattoo artist. Through the collaboration of artist and subject, their stories are revealed. And just like their clients, the artists have their own unique stories.