Ancient Ink: Mark Perrott

June 23, 2017 to July 28, 2018
Ancient Ink: Mark Perrott
411 State St
Erie - 16501 PA
Photographer Mark Perrott has spent the past several decades documenting the ever-expanding tribe of tattooed Americans. He began his study at Island Avenue Tattoo in Pittsburgh, PA in 1979, and since then has explored tattoo parlors all across America. In Perrot’s current series, ANCIENT INK, he turns his camera to the now diminishing tribe of highly decorated and graying Americans. Through photographs and accompanying interviews, Perrott introduces the viewer to dozens of individuals, including Brian, a retired steelworker and "ink addict" from the seventies, Marge, a 74 year-old former Cleveland police officer, and Henry, an 87 year-old WWII era Navy veteran. "These subjects," Perrot says, "speak to me of resilience, loss, mystery, and the emancipation that sometimes comes with growing old."

Pittsburgh native Mark Perrott has worked as a professional photographer for the past fifty years. In addition to his commercial work, which includes portraiture and photography for annual reports, Perrott has spent his life making photographs that document Pittsburgh’s citizens and its rich industrial landscape. In the early eighties, he gave special attention to the life and death struggle of steel in the Mon Valley, with a special focus on the Jones & Laughlin steel mill and its Blast Furnace Department, informally known as "Eliza." Photographs from this project were used to create the book ELIZA, published in 1989 by Howell Press. In 1999 he published HOPE ABANDONED, a four-year investigation of Eastern State Penitentiary, located in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. In 2013 he published his third book, E BLOCK, an extended photo essay on Western Penitentiary. Perrot’s photographs are included in numerous museum collections, including the Carnegie Museum of Art, the Brooklyn Museum, The Westmoreland Museum of American Art, and the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art.
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