Karly Etz '13 and the art of the tattoo
Art history major Karly Etz ‘13 is fascinated by mode of expression that is being elevated to an art form — the tattoo.
Etz is a doctoral candidate at Penn State, where she received her master’s degree in art history. In the process, she became intrigued by the notion of the social aspect of art.
In an article in StateCollege.com, Etz discusses her dissertation topic. “I want to address how a tattoo can be thought of as an object, even though it’s not a separate thing — it’s on a body,” she said.
“According to Etz, tattoos — like other forms of art — provide insight into a culture and time period. “But it’s more powerful, because it’s permanent,” she said, noting that most tattoo artists believe those who paint temporary tattoos, or use ink that can be easily removed with lasers, are not creating true “tattoos.”
“They think temporary ink goes against the essence of what tattoos are,” she explained. “They believe tattoos are art objects, and question why someone would create an artwork — or tattoo — knowing it would be destroyed.”