Shannon Gately | Contributing PhotographerTattoo Tuesday
Tattoo Tuesday: Minstrel cartoon
The idea for a tattoo started with a crown. Christian Eatman had gotten the inspiration from a tag frequently used by his favorite artist, Jean-Michel Basquiat. But when he saw someone else with the tattoo he had in mind, he decided to expand his idea.
“I didn’t want to have that exact same thing,” he said.
Eatman, a sophomore undeclared major in the College of Arts and Sciences, knew he wanted to honor his favorite artist in his tattoo, but also wanted to incorporate other elements that represented his interests.
The body of Eatman’s tattoo is, in part, inspired by minstrel cartoons, which were cartoons run in the 19th and 20th centuries that perpetuated racial stereotypes about African Americans. The initial idea started with one of Basquiat’s tags: “SAMO,” which stood for “same ol‘ s***.” Eatman related this tag to the minstrel character, Sambo.
“I thought it would be kind of cool to give him some respects in my tattoo and have the idea of Sambo,” he said.
From the initial idea inspired by Basquiat, he expanded into a character. The face of Eatman’s tattoo is a combination of his passion for acting and theater, as well as his zodiac sign, Gemini.
When it came time to decide on the body of his tattoo, Christian relied on another one of his favorite artists, Keith Haring.
“I wanted something that was sort of playful,” he said.
Eatman had his tattoo artist pick the body, which was taken from one of Haring’s works, so it would fit in seamlessly with the rest of his tattoo. He got the tattoo on Jan. 18 at Tattoo Culture in New York City.
When asked if he is thinking about getting another tattoo, Eatman replied that he is, in October. He plans to get three monkeys to represent the classic see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.
- Compiled by Shannon Gately, contributing writer, email@example.com
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