Tattooing as an art form? Stéphane Chaudesaigues is very intent on showing it to the world, and this very official award presentation was a sign that he’s certainly getting his message across.



The verdict is in. The first Chaudesaigues Award, named after the Avignon tattoo artist who opened Art Tattoo fifteen years ago, place Pignotte, was given in the United States. The newly-created award was presented in Iowa to American tattoo artist, James Kern. Holding a degree in fine arts from the Art Institute in Chicago, Kern now lives in Portland, Oregon. He gave thanks to his mother for her support in his acceptance speech, after wowing the jury and collecting the maximum points awarded in all four judging categories: technique, creativity, esthetics and theme. The international contest prompted entries from 60 artists from the United States, Mexico, Great Britain, Finland, Bulgaria and France. The event was, in Stéphane Chaudesaigues’ words, “a way to show the world that tattooing is an art form.” Ten years ago, the 44 year-old tattoo artist opened ten different tattoo shops in Paris and Philadelphia among other places. His son is also a tattoo artist at Graphicaderme, rue Thiers, in Avignon.

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