By Jill Diver
Natan Alexander is 40 and has been a tattoo artist for 18 years. He has been tattooing in Massachusetts, since it was legalized in 2001. Alexander was one of the people who had been lobbying for the the legalization of tattoos in Massachusetts since the 90s.
To celebrate the legalization of tattooing in Massachusetts, Alexander has helped to put together the Boston Tattoo Convention, now in it’s 9th year.
The Boston Tattoo Convention will be in Boston at the Boston Back Bay Sheraton Hotel, from today, Friday, Sept. 3 to Monday, Sept. 6.
“We organized a tattoo convention as a way for tattoo artists to celeberate and express themselves legally,”said Alexander. “The tattoo convention has been a showcase for the entire east coast, it’s a way to show people tattooing is an aritist medium, a real valid form of artistic expression.”
According to Alexander “tattoos have become the most popular art in America.”
And he may be right. These days tattoo culture is becoming prevelant in sports and even clothing, as evidenced by clothing designer Ed Hardy.
“In Boston, there has been a tattoo exhibition at the Instutue of Contemporary Art,” said Alexander. “The Museum of Fine Arts will have an exhibit on Oct. 16, on contemporary tattooing.”
Tattooing may have reached a new level of popularity.
“More people know about tattoos,” said Alexander. “There are lots more shows and this year’s show has gotten a lot more attention.”
Perhaps consumers are realizing that tattoos are not just for old uncles and sea captains, and instead are realizing that a tattoo is art you can take with you.
“It’s something you can never lose and it’s a way to collect art,” said Alexander. “There is more recognition in the way creative artists can create a living and the common man can find an appreication of art.”
When Alexander lobbied to get tattooing legalized, he and fellow lobbists made the regulations strict to keep and elevated quality and professionality at each shop.
The convention will not only offer tattoo artist portfolios, but seminars as well.
“There are education seminars on color and light theory,” said Alexander. “People should go (to the convention) and find (their) artist, take their time and and make an educated decision.”
And getting a tattoo is no small decision.
“This convenation is about encouraging people to make educated decisions,” said Alexander. “Consumers need to have an understanding and appreciation of the art form.”
IF YOU GO:
What: The 9th Boston Tattoo Convention
Where: Boston Back Bay Sheraton Hotel, 39 Dalton St., Boston
When: Friday, Sept. 3, 1 p.m. to midnight; Saturday, Sept. 4, noon to midnight; Sunday, Sept. 5, noon to midnight; Monday, Sept. 6, noon to midnight.
How:Tickets $25. For more information visit bostontattooconvention.com
This story ran on the Eagle-Tribune Pop! blog on Sept. 3, 2010