Photographer Shows Peoples’ Hidden Tattoos

People feel differently about tattoos. For some, a tattoo is a badge, announcing a message or image in the brightest of colors to all it encounters. Yet oftentimes the bold lines and ferocious colors that comprise one’s permanent ink rest hidden beneath one’s clothing, a permanent secret for only the wearer and her intimate circles to realize.

Talented Photographer Spencer Kovats recruited hundreds of such individuals, providing them an opportunity to show off their undercover ink for all to see. In a photo endeavor called “Uncovered,” Kovats invited strangers to pose before his camera, exposing their hidden tattoos.

For the first shot, subjects appear dressed as usual, their clothing covering up the intricate designs that dwell on the skin beneath. For the second shot, you guessed it, the clothes come off, unveiling a previously unseen aspect of each stranger’s identity and existence. Intricate constellations of color and shape adorn the flesh, revealing anything from an aesthetic sensibility to a decisive message or memory.

The Vancouver-based photographer juxtaposes the two aspects of each subject, covered and exposed, in a side-by-side series of portraits. For most of the models, their expression changes as their clothing is removed, as if a protective shell has been shed. Their faces and body language changing from stoic to animated, the pictured persons display the various aspects of themselves.

At the same time, Kovats’ series challenges his viewers, alerting our attention to the way we read, process and judge others based on their appearance. As we see each two-part image, our interpretation of the stranger shifts as well, illuminating the many details that are missed upon first encounter.

Kovats is one of 11 photographers participating in “The Tattoo Project,” an endeavor that began on a long weekend in 2010, when hundreds of tattooed individuals journeyed to a shared studio space to pose before the cameras. Thousands of portraits were captured that weekend, each exploring a different aspect of body art.

Check out a couple of Kovats tattoos below:

The_Tattoo_Project_01

The_Tattoo_Project_02

The_Tattoo_Project_04

The_Tattoo_Project_05

The_Tattoo_Project_06

The_Tattoo_Project_07

The_Tattoo_Project_08

The_Tattoo_Project_11

The_Tattoo_Project_12

The_Tattoo_Project_15

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Back to top button
Close