How often do the tattoo parlor and the white cube converge? But when they do, it’s guaranteed to be memorable. Make tracks to DiverseWorks for its final show of the summer — and reportedly the very last show ever at its north downtown digs before fall’s permanent move to a new midtown HQ. This is the ultimate solo for the man who straddles both worlds, fine art and skin art. “Don Ed Hardy: 2000 Dragons + 12” unfurls a 500-foot-long scroll painting, circa 2000, alongside a cycle of 12 new dragon paintings, all executed in Hardy’s inimitable, arduously inked style, which is informed by his time as a tatt apprentice while earning a BFA in printmaking from the San Francisco Art Institute in 1967. Hardy’s obsession prompted him to study with an Asian tattoo master and move to Japan during the early 1970s and again in the 1980s to delve further into this once transgressive medium. In the ensuing decades, he’s explored painting, drawing and printmaking; and launched his eponymous clothing line, while also exhibiting in galleries and museums nationally and maintaining the studio Tattoo City in San Francisco. It seems fitting that Hardy, the arbiter of crossing boundaries should be the closing act for DiverseWorks’ final days at the “docks.” Through July 7 at DiverseWorks, 1113 East Freeway, 713.223.8346; diverseworks.org.
IMAGE: Don Ed Hardy’s 2000 Dragons (detail), 2000. Photo courtesy the artist and Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, CA