The Blue Tattoo

On television we view shows like “Inked” and see the glorification of tattoos. To Jews tattoos mean something else.  I remember my mother’s friend Tina with the numbers on her arm.  We looked as curious children do, but we were told to: “Never ask!” I recently saw a man in the hospital.  While in the room all I could focus on was his crying in pain and the blue numbers tattooed on his arm. He was alone; no family and no friends, and yet those numbers made him part of my extended family.

In “The Blue Tattoo” I combined many symbols to complete the work; I used part of the poem "Tattoo" by Don Barnard, the poet laureate of Birmingham, England; the Holocaust number of Elie Wiesel; and the symbolic tattered stripes of a uniform.

Mixed media collage: 36” x 28”