Don Ed Hardy

Born in 1945, Des Moines, IA
Lives in Honolulu and San Francisco

Don Ed Hardy is a painter, printmaker and tattoo artist. Fascinated by tattoos since childhood, Hardy has become a master of his craft while continuing his work in the more traditional mediums of painting and drawing. A scholar of tattoo history and lore, Hardy has curated tattoo exhibitions and written and published catalogs about the art of tattooing. Don Hardy collaborated with Master printer Bud Shark in March 1995 to produce a portfolio of lithographs entitled “Tattoo Royale”. These seven images based on traditional tattoo designs, as well as original images, range from the spiritual iconography of Nurse Mercy, to the autobiographic Frontier Justice. Graphic images of a panther, a devil, and a shark are included in the portfolio.

In 2000, he completed a 500 foot long scroll painting of 2000 dragons in honor of the turn of the century and the Dragon year. The scroll has been exhibited at Track 16 Gallery, Santa Monica, The Museum of Contemporary Art, Denver, the Cuenca Bienal in Ecuador and the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts, San Francisco.

Hardy’s most recent prints are Ink is King and Man’s Ruin, images that draw on tattoo flash and Japanese iconography.

Don Ed Hardy curated the exhibition, “Pierced Hearts and True Love”, which was shown at The Drawing Center in New York in September 1995 and traveled to several other museums. His work is represented in the collections of The Honolulu Academy of Art, The Contemporary Museum, Honolulu, The San Francisco Fine Arts Museum Achenbach Collection, and the University of Colorado Fine Art Galleries.

A monograph about Don Ed Hardy’s work, “Tattooing the Invisible Man” has been published by Smart Art Press.

For more information about the artist visit Don Ed Hardy Archive

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