"This piece is one of two paintings that feature a figure with “tattoos” of work by artist Masami Teraoka, who has always been one of my favorites. I’ve always thought Teraoka’s work would make great tattoos, but often 2d artwork doesn’t translate very well on a body unless it’s created specifically for it. But here I can flatten out the work, and set things up as if it only needs to look good at one angle…which it does, because it’s a painting.
I’ve always stayed away from painting tattoos, even if the models had them – mostly because it really tilts things toward the modern. And I was always weary of straying into the territory of Shawn Barber and other artists that frequently use tattoos as part of their work.
The tattoos on the two pieces in the series mark the only time I've tried my hand at anything remotely in the style of ukiyo-e, even if they are essentially reproductions. This is significant to me because Ukiyo-e paintings and prints played a good part in what got me into art in the first place. I love the style but have always felt it off limits to a white guy from California. There are non-Japanese artists that can certainly pull it off, but I always felt like I wouldn’t do it justice…and shouldn’t really. So these pieces were kind of a way to get it out of my system a bit, while keeping it in a realm I was more comfortable with." - Aaron Nagel
ABOUT Aaron Nagel:
Born in 1980 in San Francisco, CA, Aaron Nagel began drawing as a child and gradually made his way to painting. Upon discovering oils in his early twenties, he became enamored with the medium and has been obsessed with it ever since. He has exhibited in solo and group exhibitions in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Portland (OR), Philadelphia, Tucson, Miami, and New York and has shown at international art fairs such as Art Miami, Scope, and Art Revolution Taipei. Nagel lives and works in Oakland, CA.