Slusser is associate vice president for development with KU Endowment and is an affiliate of the College of Liberal Arts & Sciences’ Center for East Asian Studies.
Just a few months ago, Hardy asked Fowler to write a catalog essay for the de Young show, and, with Slusser’s help, she agreed.
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That’s partly why she, along with her husband, Dale Slusser, was asked to contribute an essay for the catalog that accompanies the forthcoming Hardy exhibition at San Francisco’s de Young Museum. 6) is the first museum retrospective of the man known for elevating the tattoo from its subculture status to an important visual art form.
The catalog is edited by curator Karin Breuer and published by Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco in association with Rizzoli Electa.
She said the central figure, known as Zao Gongen, “is a hybrid Shinto-Buddhist deity.
And the print is emblematic of his career because it has so many different things going on, mixing very traditional Asian art with goofy stuff and personal things.” Among the smaller figures surrounding the deity, Hardy has even depicted himself as a rat offering up a valentine heart to his wife, Fowler said.
Although I took care not to put myself in the narrative, I was thinking about it as I wrote.” For instance, Fowler recalled, she served as interpreter for “the legendary Horiyoshi II” during the 1985 National Tattoo Association Convention in Seattle, an event mentioned in the catalog as one of many important milestones in Hardy’s career.
And while tattoo artists like Horiyoshi II, Horiyoshi III and Sailor Jerry Collins were influential on Hardy’s tattoo style, so, too, was his training in East Asian art, Fowler argues in the catalog. For instance, Fowler begins her essay by considering Hardy’s 2007 print titled “Our Gang.” It’s based on a bronze plaque dated to the year 1001 and held in the Tokyo National Museum.