Saint Patty gets tatted

Which came first? The art or the tattoo?

Artist and curator Aaron Hodges tackled the question last weekend at the “Façade” art exhibit at Place Pigalle in Hayes Valley:

“I am interested to see at what point does fine art and tattoo art intersect. And what are the similarities and differences in these two industries.”

Mostly local artists displayed their artwork at the show with the intent to invite viewers into their creative process.

Place Pigalle — usually a beer and wine bar — was transformed into an art gallery for a night with drawings, photographs, paintings and other tattoo-inspired media decked on the walls.

One of the works was a photo portrait of a tattooed beachgoer by Matthew Remer:

“I was visiting my hometown in Maryland and decided to do an impromptu photoshoot of people at the beach by my house.  I brought my assistant with me so I could get the lighting just right.”

Juan Puente, a tattoo artist at Blackheart tattoo, had a beautiful latin-inspired drawing of a woman and a skull entitled “Pain and Love, which he describes as “cholo style.”

“It’s great to work with so many creative people,” Hodges said.  “I was really excited to see everyone come together their own rendition of a façade.”

Gallery visitors like Anthony Smith were happy with what they saw:

“Tattooing is one of the oldest artforms on the planet. I’m happy to see it taken seriously.”