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I REMEMBER AS A CHILD GOING TO A SMALL TOWN CIRCUS: The fascination of the fat lady; the wild man of 'Borneo'; the sword-swallower; and the tattooed-lady, who was tattooed against her will by wild jungle man, left an indelible impression on my 10-year-old mind.

About six years ago, I started a "Circus Series" taking my images from 1910 to 1935 vintage photos. Recently, I have started to take photos of 'inked' young people. I stop them at the Carl's Jr., Ralph's market, the gas station or South coast Plaza. I ask if I may photograph them and I have never been turned down! Some of their art is stunning and very sophisticated. Painting these kids with their beautiful tattoos, I am also entering a collaboration with the tattoo artist.

A tattoo is, usually, life-long, unchangeable and permanent. In dealing with the subject, one comes to think in contradictions. Tattoos are taboos or expressions of freedom. Even more than fashion, they lead to a polarization. Those with tattoos are marked by life--and are marked for life. The tattoo inscribes a person's stories and myths onto his/her body-indelibly.

Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee