Senior admires photography, art history with two tattoos

Some people get tattoos to preserve a memory. Others seek to color the bare canvas that is their skin. 

On the other hand, Deanna Crane, a senior photo-communications major at St. Edward’s University, has gotten tattoos for one simple yet bold reason: passion.

Crane’s first tattoo rests on her right side, successfully covering a majority of her rib cage. 

The tattoo is three separate drawings of varied apertures, a setting used to properly expose a photograph. The aperture stop is adjusted to control the amount of light reaching the film or image sensor if you’re shooting it digitally. 

Photography and art have obviously had a significant influence throughout Crane’s life.

Her second tattoo is different.

“I can do shading just fine, but this tattoo was pretty much all lines. That was definitely the hardest part of the process,” she said.

At first glance, her tattoo reads as two clocks hanging side by side. Both are set to the same time.

The reference may be blurry at first, but it’s actually a piece done by acclaimed installation artist Felix Gonzalez-Torres, titled “Untitled (Perfect Lovers).” Gonzalez-Torres is known for his minimalistic installations and sculptures, as well as his cultural activism and community education.

Crane first heard of Gonzalez-Torres in her art history class and was quickly drawn to his work.

“His work really touched me – it’s a great metaphor of living and dying, and I was going through a really rough patch in my life. I felt that this piece was very relevant at the time,” she said.

The piece is a painfully simple allegory of life, love and partnership. The two clocks, in sync, resemble two heartbeats, mechanically moving from moment to moment. Though at first perfectly synchronized, the two clocks fell out of alignment as time passed. The installation was designed this way to mimic Gonzalez-Torres’s relationship with his long time partner Ross Laycock, who tragically died of AIDS in 1991.

Crane really enjoys Gonzalez-Torres’s passionate work and plans on getting more art history related tattoos in the future.

“I’m not sure what I’ll get next, but I know I’m definitely getting more tattoos,” she said.

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