Paris-based photographer David McCairley has long sought images that skirt the center and subjects who live on the wild side. He's photographed prostitutes, the down and out, the down trodden and most recently, dozens leather-clad French men and women who gathered at the Paris Art Tatoo Expo this spring getting, well, down. His subjects, often sporting a half pound of metal piercings, happily collaborated with McCairley for these "action" skin photos in black and white. They sit or lay on tables while the skin doctors get to work, weaving illustrated fantasies on their arms, backs, legs, bellies and elsewhere." It becomes an addiction," says David. "Once they start, they want more and more of them. Until they are a living tatoo." [Click on the images to get a full-screen shot].
These signs give body language a new dimension – one of fantasy – much like Ray Bradbury's "The Illustrated Man." But tatoos are not new. Every culture practices the art of the tatoo – from body painting in New Guinea to scarification of the flesh in dozens of African tribes. The meanings are as diverse as the images and marks added on to the flesh. "While they might look intimidating, these tattooed types turned out to be amongst some of the nicest people I have ever met," says David. "Really."
McCairley works out of Paris on a range of projects documenting outsider lifestyles and edgy attitudes across Europe. "I've been concentrating up until now mostly on my web galleries, but I'm looking to explore large-scale exhibitions and various printing options on paper with Lalande." We've worked with David on a number of small print pieces, but this series is more expansive and we will produce a number of proofs for him on a variety of papers – Epson matte, Epson brilliant and Canson matte – in order to deliver the grit and the beauty of these crisp, elegant images. David says he'd like to make a signed and limited edition of prints as large as one-meter wide. (Contact him for orders). Cool stuff, should draw a crowd.
"Travels with a Sufi," a photography book with Mary Inayat Khan, the widow of the venerated Sufi leader and teacher, Pir Valayat is another of David's current projects. "Wherever the wind blows, that's what's interesting to me," he says. You can contact him via his web site, and while you're there also take a look at some of his other clients – most (but not all) of whom are wearing shirts.
Le photographe basé à Paris David McCairley est un photographe atypique. Il a photographié des prostituées, des douzaines d'hommes en cuir vêtus, ainsi que des femmes participant à l’exposition Paris Art Tatoo ce printemps dernier. Ces sujets, souvent percés, assis ou couchés sur des tables, tandis que les perceurs arrivent pour travailler leur corps, tissant des fantaisies illustrées sur leurs corps...
"Cela devient un penchant," dit David. "Une fois qu'ils commencent, ils veulent de plus en plus d'eux. Jusqu'à ce qu'ils soient une entièrement tatoué."