Art that gets under your skin

While the term “tattoo artist” dates to the late 19th century, the artistic merit of such body modification been little studied. “Tattooists, Tattooed”, an exhibition opening on 6 May at the Musée du Quai Branly in Paris, offers an unprecedented view of an ancient practice. The 300 works on show include stamps, prints, photographs, masks and ink drawings on silk and canvas. There will also be some “fleshy” examples, with 13 synthetic body parts made of an experimental material and tattooed for the occasion by some of today’s most famous international tattoo artists.