The human body is often the focus of art, but at Artists of Permanence: The Fine Art of the Tattooist, the human body is the canvas as well. Tattoos, around for almost 10,000 years, have evolved considerably during the last two decades, maturing in both quality and aesthetics, as tattooists use more painterly and realistic styles.
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Artists of Permanence includes photos of tattoos and painted designs by tattoo artists. Nick Baxters oil painting Desire shows a snake wiggling into a bright red apple. Another work, Heffron Sleeve, is a photograph showing 360 degrees of a persons arm, which is covered in a colorful underwater scene with a half-naked mermaid (do they come any other way?) and sea life; the result is surprisingly detailed and complex, as if it had been airbrushed on, rather than tattooed. The same is true for his York Sleeve, a lush nature scene showing flowers, birds and giant bugs. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays to Thursdays, 8 a.m. to noon on Fridays. Through March 14. University of Houston Clear Lake Art Gallery, 2700 Bay Area Boulevard. For information, call 2812837600 or visit www.uhcl.edu. Free.
Tuesdays-Saturdays. Starts: Feb. 5. Continues through March 14, 2008