Film and TV

Tattoo Nation director Eric Schwartz on the oral history of the Chicano black-and-grey art form

When Denver-based fine-art photographer Eric Schwartz set out to photograph people with tattoos, he didn't expect to find a detailed history underneath the artwork. After a chance meeting with California tattoo legend Edward "Chuco" Caballero at a national tattoo show, the story for Schwartz's first film, Tattoo Nation, began to reveal itself -- the documentary profiles some of the biggest artists and tattoo recipients to come out of the the early Los Angeles-based, Chicano black-and-grey tattoo scene.

In advance of Tattoo Nation showing at two theaters in Denver this Thursday, April 4, Schwartz spoke with Westword on how the photography project became a film, and the people he met along the way.

See also: - Photos: Stovall Costilow Collective blends a tattoo studio with an art gallery - The most ridiculous tattoos at Water World this weekend - Water World: Where your bad tattoos take on a new meaning

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Bree Davies is a multimedia journalist, artist advocate and community organizer born and raised in Denver. Rooted in the world of Do-It-Yourself arts and music, Davies co-founded Titwrench experimental music festival, is host of the local music and comedy show Sounds on 29th on CPT12 Colorado Public Television and is creator and host of the civic and social issue-focused podcast, Hello? Denver? Are You Still There? Her work is centered on a passionate advocacy for all ages, accessible, inclusive, non-commercial and autonomous DIY art spaces and music venues in Denver.
Contact: Bree Davies