This Museum Exhibit Includes Live Public Tattooing by L.A. Tattoo Artists

Ink as art

While it’s not unusual to sign a waiver before getting a tattoo, L.A.’s newest tattoo parlor, located inside the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, includes a few special terms and conditions. You’ll have to sign off on statements such as, “You understand that the tattoo parlor is in a public space, and your tattoo experience will be visible to Museum visitors inside the exhibition.” And if you were thinking of getting your nether regions tattooed, this isn’t the place. The terms specify, “The location of your tattoo needs to be on a party of the body that is appropriate to be seen in a public space at the Museum.”

The Natural History Museum’s Tattoo exhibit opens November 19 and runs through April 15. Created at the Musée du quai Branly – Jacques Chirac in Paris, the traveling exhibition explores the history and culture of tattooing around the world. Its latest incarnation features 3,000 square feet of new content that focuses specifically on tattoo culture in Los Angeles, including an on-site tattoo parlor where more than twenty L.A. tattoo artists will be inking people with art specifically created for the exhibition.

You can check out the available designs, many of which feature local flora and fauna, on the museum’s website. Each tattoo is $250. Interested in getting some body art as museum visitors watch? Reservations are open now for appointments between November and January, and if all the slots are full, there are waiting lists available for each artist. Appointments for the second half of the exhibition, from February through April, will be available early next year.

“As a Museum of, for, and with L.A., and committed to exploring the region’s nature and culture, we are honored to present Tattoo in Southern California. This is the birthplace of several pivotal tattoo movements, including the Long Beach Pike scene and the black-and-gray style,” said Dr. Lori Bettison-Varga, president and director of NHMLA. “Tattoo provides a special opportunity for our community to explore an often-misunderstood art form and shed light on the history and traditions of tattooing around the world and right here at home.”

The Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County is located at 900 Exposition Blvd. Museum admission, including timed tickets to Tattoo, is $24 for adults, $21 for seniors (62+) and students with valid ID, $11 for children (3-12), and are free for children age two and under.

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