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If You Don't Belong, Don't Be Long

New works by revered tattoo artist Scott Campbell in his first NYC solo show

by Laura Neilson in Culture on 27 April 2010

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Scott Campbell, who's inked the skin of celebrities, supermodels and Hell's Angels, opens his first solo NYC show this week at Ohwow Gallery with an all-new series of sculptures, paintings and intricate drawings under the title "If You Don't Belong, Don't Be Long."

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Owner of Brooklyn's vaunted Saved Tattoo studio and the artist behind tattoos gracing the skin of Marc Jacobs, Lily Cole, Courtney Love, as well as the late Heath Ledger and Dash Snow, Campbell's fascination with the various cultural treatments of tattoos carries through to his fine art practice. From folklore to prison life, he likens the art of tattooing to that of storytelling, with each piece representing a memorialized tale. On paper and other mediums, Campbell's signature illustrative style translates seamlessly.

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The mostly black-and-white collection of works includes ornate latticed designs and cursive phrases "tattooed" with lasers into dollar bills. Stark images of makeshift tattoo pens—inspired by a visit to Mexico's Santa Marta prison, where Campbell applied his craft to some of the inmates—mark a new visual style for the artist.

His second solo show with Ohwow, "If You Don't Belong, Don't Be Long" opens this Thursday, 29 April 2010, and runs through 30 May 2010.

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