Ed Hardy Gets the Spotlight at the de Young Museum

Jenn Thornton | August 20, 2019 | People City Life Culture

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A new show traces the influences of both American tattooing in the first half of the 20th century and Japanese ukiyo-e era culture on ink-master Ed Hardy.

Not that he needs more ink, but Ed Hardy is the subject of a new exhibit at the de Young museum. Opening July 13, Ed Hardy: Deeper Than Skin goes beneath the surface of the trailblazer’s efforts to take the tattoo from cultural outlier to high-art form. “From the very beginning, Ed Hardy has been on the leading edge of tattoo innovation,” says Karin Breuer, curator in charge of the Achenbach Foundation for Graphic Arts at the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco. He was the first American tattooist to live and work in Japan, she notes, and in developing his repertoire, Hardy expanded the international tattoo aesthetic. And he was the first to set up an appointment-only tattoo practice in San Francisco, where he created the now commonplace custom tattoo. Now, Hardy, who cast off a Yale fellowship for 40 years in the tattoo trade, marks his first museum retrospective. 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Drive, San Francisco



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Photography by: “CLIMBER” (2011), © DON ED HARDY, IMAGE COURTESY OF FINE ARTS MUSEUMS OF SAN FRANCISCO