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Eight kilometers southwest of Tattoo City, a lively exhibition that opened Friday at the de Young Museum sheds light on Hardy as wide-ranging artist and tattoo pioneer.The exhibition, which follows Hardy's donation of 152 prints to the museum, bursts with color as it tracks the 74-year-old artist's evolution.It features crayon drawings of sample tattoos Hardy made as a 10-year-old, when he set up a tattoo shop for friends in his Southern California neighborhood of Corona del Mar. Prints from his college days at the San Francisco Art Institute are displayed alongside lithographs and etchings by the likes of Rodolphe Bresdin and Gordon Cooke, who inspired Hardy.The exhibition comes full circle with its final image, a blown-up 2009 photo of a bare-chested, tattoo-covered Hardy, now a full-fledged artist retired from tattooing thanks to the financial windfall of the clothing brand.Hardy was also the first Western tattoo artist to study traditional Japanese tattooing abroad.Before Hardy, no other tattoo shop operated that way.
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