Don Ed Hardy
Painter, printmaker and tattoo artist Don Ed Hardy was born in 1945 in southern California. Fascinated by tattoos since childhood, Hardy has become a master of his craft while continuing his work in the more traditional mediums of painting and drawing. A scholar of tattoo history and lore, Hardy has curated tattoo exhibitions and written and published catalogues about the art of tattooing.
Don Hardy collaborated with Master printer Bud Shark in March 1995 to produce a portfolio of lithographs entitled “Tattoo Royale”. These seven images based on traditional tattoo designs as well as original images, range from the spiritual iconography of “Nurse Mercy”, to the autobiographic “Frontier Justice”. Graphic images of a panther, a devil and a shark are included in the portfolio. The litho- engraving “Mondrian’s Girlfriend”, of 1997 makes use of an almost forgotten traditional lithographic technique for achieving an extremely fine engraved line which is perfectly suited to Hardy’s style. In 2000 he completed a 500-foot long scroll painting of 2000 dragons in honor of the turn of the century and the Dragon year. The scroll has been exhibited at Track 16 Gallery in Santa Monica, the Museum of Contemporary Art in Denver, the Cuenca Bienal in Ecuador and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Fransisco.
Hardy’s most recent print is “Surf or Die”. It shows a red devil surfing a Japanese-style wave while riding a ghost fish/dragon. Don Ed Hardy curated the exhibition, “Pierced Hearts and True Love”, which was shown at the Drawing Center in New York in September of 1995 and traveled to several other museums. A monograph about Don Ed Hardy’s work, “Tattooing the Invisible Man” has been published by Smart Art Press.