Tattoos have never been more mainstream. A few years ago, a close friend and recent transplant from Sydney described her shock (and excitement) at how common body art was in New York, as the art form that was seriously frowned upon down under. Veering away from popular styles, such as Traditional and Old Skool techniques, Leon Shitoujii’s nomadic and textured line drawings are an interesting break from the norm. Shitoujii works primarily in black and gray, and views each canvas as an experiment where line marries movement. Luckily his fans are both devoted and open-minded, as these permanent markings are unpredictable from the get-go, “I’m pretty lucky they let me have their skin,” a remark that’s as terrifying as it is exciting.
Robyn Burgess is a master in line work. Her paintings emit abstract movement, similar to Shitoujii’s body art. One of her more recent works, entitled, The Taxi Driver: Bloodwood Forest, presents a collage of imperfect stripes, an emotional combination of opposing forces. Using burn markings to signify texture and movement, portable wooden sculptures double as rustic retail displays at Ports 1961’s new Meat Packing boutique. Drawing up parallels between these recklessly elegant sculptures to Shitoujii’s work isn’t hard.