Formerly local artist Zac Scheinbaum's indentifier might change depending on with whom you speak—is he a fine arist? A tattooer? Some mixture of both? The latter, it turns out, is true, and though Scheinbaum has a solid decade under his belt in skin art (full disclosure: This writer has numerous Scheinbaum pieces), he began as an illustrator. And now the prodigal son returns for group show, Escripto en Sangre, which opens Friday Aug. 11 at 5 pm at KEEP Contemporary (112 W San Francisco St., Ste. 102). Let's see what all the fuss is about.
What kind of pieces will you have in the show?
Big paintings. Like, 4-by-8-foot paintings. They started as pieces of weird members of tribes or cultures that were going extinct or going through genocide and then sort of evolved from there with my own twists on them. It's sort of a rememberance for things that are no longer here. It was being away from the Southwest and doing a lot of research about tribes in the Amazon and Native American cultures. … I'm not saying it's my people, that's why they're not specific places peoples or tribes, it's just more of a reminder of what we've destroyed.
How much of your tattoo style goes into the artworks?
A lot of the approach is similar, same with subject matter, but I try to make my art outside of tattooing as far away from tattooing as much as I can. Tattoo culture and art is more popular than ever, and I don't see me re-painting any of that imagery and adding to that voice in tattooing is going to help it. I feel better trying to be original and doing something people maybe haven't seen before.
Do you prefer being called tattooer or artist? Either?
I don't know how to answer that. I feel like I try to make my tattoos into more artistic pieces by taking more risks and trying stuff that people wouldn't try.Sometimes it works or sometimes it doesn't, but it's important to me to push the boundaries of tattooing.