For HENZEL STUDIO, Scott Campbell translated one of his signature dollar bill artworks into a design that features the letters "L, L, Y" in handwriting, spelling out LONELY.
"People always ask me if i destroy real money in my work. Of course i do. It's the laying down of something of value that demands attention to whatever symbol or text i am trying to communicate. It's like in any religious sacrifice, the gods only hear your plea if what you sacrifice is truly precious to you."
Scott Campbell is known worldwide as one of the most talented hands in the art of tattooing. His formation began at Picture Machine, one of the oldest tattoo shops in California, and he further practiced his profession by travelling the world in a nomadic fashion, including performing tattoos on prison mates in Mexico and on American soldiers in Afghanistan. He owns and operates the legendary Saved Tattoo shop in Williamsburg, Brooklyn. Campbell's work has not only taken part in elevating the art of tattooing to acceptable, even commendable art form status – it has seduced the existing spheres and media of art and fashion, and furthermore, it has marked them. Tattoos' ability to transcend the special and the chronological has also infiltrated Scott's work as a visual artist, bridging his art and redirecting his intricate line work from the inked skin to sculpture, watercolor paintings and graphite drawings done on the inside of eggshells.
Campbell exalts the ordinary language of the tattoo and elevates it to something else, touching on matters of religion, cult worship, authority, rituals and honors, as well as codes within the tattoo world, that ultimately have an affect on the human condition. In one of his his most multifaceted bodies of work, Campbell takes symbols and narratives drawn from the intimacy of tattoo experiences and translates them into sculptures made entirely of real US currency. It is an exploration in our emotional attachment to money, the role we give it in our lives, and how it feels to literally have our thoughts and feelings carved into it.