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Can Tattoos Be Classified As Art?

by Eddy Smith

What is art? What is its purpose? Its purpose? Many believe art has the ability to make a statement and change people’s perceptions. What does all this mean for tattoos?

Tattoos are a controversial topic that is debated for many reasons. These permanent creations are where they fit into fine arts. Is it possible to use the medium in this world, or can it be used elsewhere?

Why Are Tattoos Considered To Be Art?

Absence = Art

Many contemporary artists and famous museum curators have a simple answer: If someone intends that their tattoo be art, it automatically gets the label. This is a common rule. It does not matter whether the tattoo is made by a tattooist or if it’s designed for the intended user. The intention behind the design is what defines its meaning.

The Art Debate and Tattoo Stigma

Tattoos, just like any fine art, remain controversial. The stigma surrounding tattoos has been slowly dissolving. Twenty per cent are now wearing one around the world, while the proportion of those with one is even higher among those below thirty. Even in professions once stigmatized by tattoos, employers are accepting their employees as having one. Some employers now allow their employees openly to show their ink. Many workplaces allow employees to show off tattoos, including in schools and banks. However, they must be appropriate for the work environment. They are no longer considered a sign that a person is rebellious or has an alternative lifestyle. Therefore, customers are not concerned about their appearance.

Art has Collectible Value, Do Tattoos Exist?

Tattoos, like other art, have a collectible worth. Tattoos can be expensive. Some are even more costly than fine art. Tattoo collectors will travel the country seeking out tattoo artists who have left their mark on human skin. A tattoo can run into the hundreds to thousands depending on the artist. The ink quality, better equipment, and better artists will all influence the price you pay for the next project. You’ll also be more satisfied with the result. The cost of a tattoo can be considered an investment.

Recognition within the Art World

In recent years, tattoos have appeared in museums and galleries and even spawned a number of tattoo conventions. A resurgence in tattoo artists has seen them create tattoo museums. These exhibit artifacts include the machinery and tattoos as well as their own skin.


In Portland, Oregon tattoo shop takes hygiene and safety seriously. Tattoo artists often work with blood and needles. You should consider the health practices and safety of your potential artist when selecting a studio.

  • We never reuse ink or needles. Each client gets a brand new sterile, disposable needle.
  • An autoclave is used to sterilize all our equipment. It is a device that is used by doctors, dentists, and hospitals to sterilize medical equipment. Each piece is cleaned and placed in a bag.
  • We always wear latex gloves and keep our ink fresh in individual containers. Vaseline is always distributed using disposable instruments.
  • Before you start your tattoo, we clean and disinfect our work surface (our chair or arms stand).
  • It doesn’t matter where you get your tattoos; we urge you to use an autoclave. This is the best defence against the spread and transmission of disease.
  • Questions about our health habits or tattoo health, in general, are always welcome.

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