“Frontier Justice”


Hardy states: “I was going for the look of a 19th century ‘wanted’ poster or advertisement. The limited color scheme of red and black, a homage to the severe (and difficult) simplified flash style of Bert Grimm, my first mentor in tattooing. The composition echoes 1920’s ‘back piece’ designs that were derived from lodge emblems, proclamations, etc. The skull cowboy is a direct take from a 1930’s Cap Coleman (Norfolk) design. It is paired with a Sailor Jerry stylized geisha. These represent my father and stepmother (married in 1953 Occupation era Tokyo, she a secretary 27 years his junior). His obsession with Zane Grey stories led him to leave his English home at the age of 17 and work as a cowboy in the 1920’s in upper Alberta. He has maintained a lifelong romance with the Old West, and continues to wear cowboy hats and boots. The broken arrow is for the trust he destroyed with various wives around the world. The kewpies are representative of the unknown number of children fathered in his travels (That’s me on lower left with palette and brushes). The camera at the base of the heart represents his photography profession. A traditional Japanese dragon supports the entire construction, which includes a Hiroshima blast at top center, and the Enola Gay flying away (my stepmother is from Hiroshima prefecture). The international “No Babies” symbol at the heart center is my contribution to stop global overpopulation, our most pressing issue.”