Shirtless and Inked

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Images by: Andreas Hofweber

This Thursday a New York-based photographer and director Sophy Holland presented her latest and oh-so-hot project, which she started in 2016: The Illustrated Man. This was a one-night exhibition that was hosted by Nick Wooster at the Agora Gallery. Tattooing is so desirable right now and tattooed men are at the greatest point of the cultural spotlight whether it’s done to attract attention, express creativity, flex your identity or for use as an armor.

The Illustrated Man is a large scale photographic series and also a full-length documentary that features shirtless male and of course tattooed celebrities, fashion icons, athletes, musicians, models, actors,  and influencers. Included in the portfolio are portraits of Dave Navarro, Nick Wooster, Zombie Boy aka Rick Genest, Miles Chamley-Watson, and many others. This project covers the topic of historical transition and development of tattoos from being associated with sailors and criminal classes into the nowadays tattoo phenomenon developed with the help of pop culture, fashion, branding and social influence to the point of tattoos becoming mainstream.

Another topic covered is no doubt the very intimate expression of yourself through tattooing, the documentary includes many stories of self-expression and the meaning of tattoos to some individuals from the photo series. “There is still a stigma attached to the tattooed male,” Holland said, “but it’s changed from that of the counter-culture of criminal classes and underground to celebrity, pin-ups, and heartthrobs.”

Sophy Holland’s exhibition was not only educational and featured interviews with interesting tattooed men with backgrounds either in the fashion industry or within tattoo counterculture but also inexplicably exciting eye candy.