Bloodlines: Matt Stebly
March 23, 2021–July 11, 2021
The tattoo artist, based in Ocean Springs, Mississippi, developed his personal style from the talents of his family, the natural environment and the work of other coastal artists. Stebly is a great-grandson of Mississippi artist Walter Inglis Anderson, a member of The MAX Hall of Fame who spent much of his life in Ocean Springs and shared some of the same inspirations. In addition to tattooing skin, Stebly also draws and paints using tattoo ink as pigment.
“For a majority of people, tattooing is still considered taboo. Most tattooers are actually fine artists,” said Stebly. “More and more people are now realizing that tattooing is art, and it’s becoming more mainstream.”
Stebly’s clients become living canvases – walking, talking, breathing works of art.
In the exhibition, organized by the Walter Anderson Musuem of Art in Ocean Springs, Curator Mattie Codling shows a generational connection. The art forms of painting and tattooing are more closely linked than one might think. Bloodlines offers a compelling family story and educational experience, as well as an inside look at the intriguing world of tattooing.
The exhibition celebrates the history of tattooing in the Gulf South along with Stebly's unique body of work. Stebly regularly creates masterpieces on skin at his studio, Twisted Anchor Tattoo and Fine Art Gallery, located in downtown Ocean Springs, a community that has long attracted arts enthusiasts.
The exhibit is free with museum admission.