TV shows like LA Ink and Ink Master are a testament to America’s love of tattoos. Perhaps it’s mostly an adoration of tattoo gun-wielding babes like Kat Von D and Tatu Bab. Regardless of motivation, people love to watch customers squirm as sensitive rib tattoos takes shape. Finding great work while it’s in progress can be a crapshoot, since every Joe Schmo thinks he’s Pablo-freakin’-Picasso nowadays.
Great artists earn their reputations through years of training and that leads to customers happily showing off their ink. For a look at the Valley’s pool of tatted talent, the free exhibition “Inked” finds artists leave their tattoo guns at the shop. It showcases body artists’ work in any medium that isn’t ink on skin, so fans can enjoy tattoo art in such formats as oil, digital, graphite, and sculpture without having to wear it forever.