04 Jun Beyond the Tattoo
Once considered the mark of sailors, bikers and rebels, tattoos are now found on the bodies of all ages in all walks of life. The sharing of practices and styles from Japan to Europe and the Americas has led to an explosion of artistic expression that has been recognized in major museums.
Beyond the Tattoo presents the work of Hyannis tattoo artist Mark Corliss that reflects his love of the traditional Japanese design. Beyond the decorative tattoo, Corliss has also used his artistic skills at shading, coloring and adding dimension with ink beneath the skin to create life-like nipples for women who have had mastectomies.
For over 20 years, Corliss has immersed himself in the traditional tattoo art of the Japanese culture, “I was instantly drawn to magic and mystery of Japanese style imagery. It relies so much on nature, the elements and seasons with endless possibilities. Every piece tells a story some more evident than others but in the end the most important aspect is balance. It’s all about the balance.” He has created thousands of large body tattoos from his own imagination or built on images his clients have requested.
What sets Corliss apart from his peers is that he has also worked with over 400 women who have had mastectomies. He does this for no charge, because he says “When you see how it helps women, makes them feel whole again, and see that art can be used to help heal, it’s a good thing.”
In a recent Cape Cod Health News article, Dr. Michael Loffredo, a Hyannis plastic surgeon with whom Corliss has worked said, “Mark plays a big role in the reconstruction process. It’s the finishing step on a long journey that begins with the mastectomy and builds toward restoring the breast to be as natural as possible.”
One client expressed her gratitude saying, “The tattooed nipples allowed closure and after my children they were the best gift.”
The number of referrals from doctors and requests from women keeps growing and Corliss has begun to form a non-profit project to expand the service to more women and to train other tattoo artists around the country. He chose the name Project Paper Crane because it is a traditional symbol of hope and healing. It was believed that if one folded 1,000 origami cranes, one’s wish would come true.
On ARTfull Thursday July 12, Corliss will be tattooing in the Museum throughout the day.
This exhibit opens visitors to the intersection of art and health and the future ways art may be used to contribute to a healthy life.
About Cape Cod Museum of Art
Founded by artists in 1981, CCMoA is the home of Cape Cod art. It preserves the work of the Cape’s finest artists and celebrates the distinctive artistic identity of the Cape, the Islands and the region. The Museum is a major hub of cultural creativity. It educates, inspires and excites the imagination through its outstanding art collection and diverse programming while caring for and connecting its many communities. The Museum is situated in a beautiful setting surrounded by a Sculpture Garden at the Cape Cod Center for the Arts. CCMoA has seven galleries, a museum shop and a film screening room. It is supported in part by the Massachusetts Cultural Council and the Arts Foundation of Cape Cod.
CCMoA is located at 60 Hope Lane, just off Route 6A, on the same campus as the Cape Cinema and the Cape Cod Playhouse in Dennis, MA. Hours are 10 am to 5 pmTues through Sat and noon to 5 pm on Sunday. The Galleries are open on ARTfull Thursdays from 5 – 8 with no admission fee. General Admission is $9, $7 for seniors and students 19+ with school ID, $5 for students 13 to 18, and free for children 12 & under. For more information, see www.ccmoa.org or call (508) 385-4477. Follow on Facebook and Instagram
Attached are images Courtesy of Mark Corliss