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January 7, 2020

Museum of Pop Culture Produces World Premiere Exhibition Body of Work: Tattoo Culture

From history to subculture to popular culture, follow the evolution of tattoo art and the artists themselves, as they burst into the mainstream - opening February 1, 2020.

Seattle, WA (January 7, 2020) – The Museum of Pop Culture (MoPOP) launches the 2020 decade with the world premiere of Body of Work: Tattoo Culture, an exhibition created entirely by MoPOP’s own curatorial team. Body of Work explores the rich history and modern artistry of tattooing as a dynamic, ever-evolving art form whose contemporary mainstream acceptance has been driven by popular culture. This stunning exhibition will open to the public Saturday, February 1, 2020 with special festivities preceding the opening for MoPOP members and the press.

Helmed by MoPOP Curator Amalia Kozloff with Rosie Alyea and Chris Moore, Body of Work examines the social history of tattoos using large-scale infographics, historical and contemporary photography, oral history interviews, short documentary films, text panels, and digital and physical interactives to make the exhibition inclusive and accessible. “Tattooing has been part of the human experience since the beginning of time,” said MoPOP Executive Director Alexis Lee. “From historical roots to the late 19th century when tattooing carried class-based stigma, and now, in a time when the art form has been widely accepted into the mainstream - the evolution of tattoo culture is deeply fascinating.”

Body of Work aims to make the exhibition subject matter approachable to a wide range of museum visitors with a number of interactive elements, such the chance to design your own tattoo or peruse hundreds of submissions of tattoo art from around the world. Guests can get the sense of the tattoo experience in a vintage tattoo chair photo-op. Immersive and colorful, the exhibition features original artwork from 11 Pacific Northwest artists as well as from tattoo icons Bob Tyrrell, Damon Conklin, Nikko Hurtado, and Heather Maranda. Guests will also find never before seen images of the late tattoo icon and historian of the medium, Lyle Tuttle.

“The intent of the exhibition is to create a universally-accessible dialogue, making tattoo culture approachable to a wide variety of visitors, demystifying the process of tattooing, and de-othering the culture,” said Kozloff. “Tattoo art has never been examined and showcased in a museum exhibition like this ever before.”

Body of Work: Tattoo Culture will remain on-view at MoPOP through May 24, 2020 after which it will become available to other institutions as a traveling exhibition. Access to Body of Work is included in museum general admission. For more information, visit

For available high-resolution photos and video, please visit

Now in its 20th year, MoPOP is a leading-edge nonprofit museum in Seattle, dedicated to the ideas and risk-taking that fuel contemporary pop culture. With a mission to make creative expression a life-changing force by offering experiences that inspire and connect our communities, MoPOP reaches multigenerational audiences through our collections, exhibitions, educational programs and community partnerships. At MoPOP, artists, audiences, and ideas converge, bringing understanding, interpretation, and scholarship to the pop culture of our time. For more information, visit

Amalia Kozloff is a curator at MoPOP. A curatorial specialist with more than twenty years of professional museum experience including work at large and small art and history museums, private collections, and international corporate art collections. She has organized numerous exhibitions in diverse spaces all over the world. Some of her recent exhibits have included Interwoven Dialogues, Seeing Ourselves: Historic and Contemporary Portraiture in the Everett Museum Permanent Collection, and Game On: The Art of the Video Game. She holds a terminal degree in The History of Design and Curatorial Studies from the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum/Parsons School of Design specializing in decorative art and costume.

Before joining the Museum of Pop Culture in October of 2017, Rosie Alyea began her career in professional sports–designing large format stadium and game-day graphics for events like the Superbowl and NHL Allstar Games. With a focus in Interior Architecture, Rosie shifted her interest to expanding brand and culture through applied graphics and custom-designed environments for both global workplace and hospitality. As an exhibit designer at the Museum of Pop Culture, Rosie has designed many exhibitions such as Prince from Minneapolis and Minecraft: The Exhibition. Her work has been featured in GeekWire, ArtCrank, and Capsules Book, including her personal art works and murals have been featured in multiple galleries and walls throughout Seattle.

Chris Moore is an Exhibits Production Assistant, ex-tattoo artist, and a jack of all trades. He’s worked extensively on Minecraft: The Exhibition, Star Trek: Exploring New Worlds, The Jim Henson Exhibition: Imagination Unlimited, and many more over the past 5 years with MoPOP. He enjoys knitting, baking, playing with his dogs whenever he’s not busy helping create MoPOP’s next groundbreaking exhibition. His “Yeah, I’ll try that” attitude has led him to Paris and New York but the draw of MoPOP and his strong relationships here kept pulling him back to Seattle.


Michelle Leyva, Michelle Sanders Communications
(206) 595-1151