Art & Photography

Scott Campbell: If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long

From flesh to page, Brooklyn tattoo artist Scott Campbell releases the first printed collection of his work through Rizzoli.

Scott Campbell is best known for his work as a tattoo artist, and for establishing the now legendary Brooklyn parlour Saved Tattoo. But whilst his talents as a tattooist have been recognised the world over – mostly on the arms of celebrities and designers such as Marc Jacobs – his skills as an artist have yet to be fully presented.

At 208-pages, If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long is the first time Campbell’s sketches, engravings, carvings and experimental artwork have appeared alongside his tattoo work.

The result is an exhaustive collection of images documenting his prolific and playful sense of style, with portraits burnt onto tortillas, skulls carved out of dollar bills and flowers inked onto the interior of ostrich eggs all demonstrating Campbell’s idiosyncratic engagement with his environment.

Hard bound with an embossed flock cover, the book is a beautiful addition to any bookshelf. Inside is sensory offering of high-gloss colour images and porous black and white flash/transfer sheets on tracing paper, which help compartmentalise the book into sections, and offer a rare glimpse of the working practice behind Campbell’s design skills.

Examples of his sugar-skull tattoos are mixed in with pop-culture images of Mickey Mouse, fine watercolour paintings and fastidiously detailed graphite drawings of roses etched onto the inside of ostrich eggs, demonstrating a curiosity and a standard of execution popularly held to be exclusive to Fine Art.

The book’s forewords by American author and screenwriter Richard Price (The Wanderers), Al Moran of progressive publishing house OHWOW and actor and director Justin Theroux offer a personal insight into Campbell’s work, although the images largely speak for themselves.

If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long is on sale from March, RRP £25.00
Images appear here courtesy of Scott Campbell: If You Don’t Belong, Don’t Be Long, Rizzoli New York, 2012