I want to apologise to everyone for the photographs. They aren't my best, the Fleet Gallery doesn't have the best lighting for documenting of artworks. Or I'm just crap at photographing art, either way, I'm sorry.
The lighting though is a moot point, and I absolutely loved each and every work in this show. Jim Macairt and Thomas Hooper create works that speak to my soul, man.
Hooper and Macairt are tattooists, with Hooper working from Austin and Macairt currently focusing on painting and Buddhist practice.
Macairt's Buddhist practice is identifiable within his paintings, with a leaning to texture and pattern it is easy for the viewer to 'fall' into the image. Macairt's pieces remind me of meditation and creating works intuitively rather than plotting out each and every mark. The pieces Macairt creates are as powerful together as they are alone.
Hooper's pieces are more representational; and there is a direct correlation between his paintings and his tattooing. The viewer is able to see how each practice bleeds into each other once they are familiar with Hooper's work. Hooper creates pieces that I most definitely want to write stories about, that wouldn't be out of place in an illustrated book.
It's not often I leave a show wishing I could afford a piece of work by an artist, but I totally would have bought so much from this show if I could afford it. What is important to note too, is that although not everyone can see the art in tattoos, tattooists are artists, they have an impressive command of the medium and very often create paintings, drawings, alongside their tattooing.