Those familiar with Kurt Gohde and Kremena Todorova’s work know that once you begin to pull apart the components of their community based projects the connections you find periscope infinitely between the simple concepts from which they are conceived and the vast networks of impact in which they create. The Cincinnati Tattoo project is no different. Those familiar with The Lexington Tattoo Project will recognize the project’s concept, lines or words of poetry tattooed onto proud city dwellers who wish to display their civic devotion, but in this third, city specific tattoo project the focus has shifted to the Queen City of Cincinnati.
Partnering with Cincinnati non-profit Artworks, the poets of Chase Public, and the tattoo artists at One Shot Tattoo, Kurt and Kremena took the tattoo project concept first conceived in Lexington, Ky across the river in September 2014, where they designed of all the tattoos, mixed the recording of the poem’s reading, processed the photographs taken of participants, and made the final video artwork to be shown at a celebratory closing party. Kurt and Kremena have staked their artistic practices on amorphous bodies of work that engage the community directly, and with this latest iteration of their tattoo series they repeat this approach to art production in order create another, successful and ongoing public piece, but here is where the citizens of Cincinnati took over. The Cincinnati Tattoo project continues to grow into what is now called CincyInk, the name now given to all aspects of the tattoo project’s core values and goals as they grow into new manifestations of public art.
Whether this latest development of The Cincinnati Tattoo Project was expected from all the various collaborators and contributors is hard to say, but as Kurt and Kremena continue to develop Love Letter to the World, a similar public art piece on an international scale, one can imagine very little surprise from the program’s originators.
You can view participants of The Cincinnati Tattoo Project and their tattoos in the slide deck below.