Scott Campbell Tattoos Gallery Goers in "Whole Glory London" at Lazarides

Oct 25, 2016 11:15AM

Scott Campbell's exhibition and performance "Whole Glory London" presented by Lazarides has been a huge success, with hundreds of people gathering together to share an absolutely unique experience.

Nine artworks—tattooed pigskins in stainless steel frames—hung in a white room, a black hole in the centre of one of the walls and a simple barber chair in front of it: this was the setup for the newest edition of Scott Campbell's "Whole Glory" project, presented by Lazarides Gallery in conjunction with Frieze art fair. For three days, skin and ink became the mediums through which the artist and his audience interacted at the most intimate level.

Participants, who were randomly chosen through a raffle system, placed their arms through the hole and received a tattoo by the legendary artist. Separated by the wall, they were not allowed to communicate with him in any manner or have any input for the design or position of their tattoo. The surrounding artworks were the only foretaste of the final result for both the volunteers and the spectators. 

"Thank you for creating an event that has given myself a piece of art."

Campbell executed every one of his artworks with the highest degree of precision and compositional mastery, combining gothic skulls, floral ornaments, and geometrical figures. 

“I bring all my sketch books, and then like to keep it as spontaneous as possible. Whatever subliminal clues you get just from touching someone’s arm – I can’t help but make up these stories in my head about who they are. How accurate that is, I don’t know,” the artist said in conversation with The Guardian.

"Whole Glory London" attracted widespread attention and saw hundreds of people queuing from the early hours of the morning to try their luck in the raffle. Some had the event in their diaries for months, while others were passers-by who became interested in the event as they saw the crowds.  

During the three days, it became clear that for all participants one of the main aspects of it was not only the thrill of the possibility of winning a free tattoo done by the same hand that inked rock stars and actors, but also the opportunity to share a unique, one of a kind experience with both friends and complete strangers. Scott Campbell's performance has been a beautiful example of how art can connect people with each other.