Project 003: Freddy Negrete
Tucked away in the back of Shamrock Social Club in Hollywood, CA, Freddy Negrete sits with laser-like focus over another masterpiece on the arm of a 25 year-old girl, adding to her collage of black and grey ink. After first learning the art of tattooing in prison as a young man, Negrete has since become known as the godfather of black-and-grey tattooing, also referred to as "Chicano Style." Although most would not know him by name, millions have seen his work. His influence can be seen in tattoo shops, and on people, around the world. One of Freddyy's most iconic designs "Smile Now, Cry Later", representing revenge and love, stands as an inspiration for thousands and has particular significance to those who were once imprisoned. Of course, each artwork created by Negrete is permanent, memorialized on the individual canvases who enter his shop. And so, we wanted to give those unable to visit him in-person, and those more hesitant to get their own ink, a chance to own a piece of his work and support a good cause. Project Save Art partnered with Negrete to produce a limited edition temporary tattoo of his famous "Smile Now, Cry Later" design. Proceeds from sales of the tattoos will be donated to the William James Association, which provides art workshops for inmates that "teach self-discipline, problem-solving, and concentration through absorption in a specific creative endeavor." Project Save Art hopes this limited run of such a highly recognizable design challenges the art worldy's traditional notions of artistry, collectability and permanence, and also funds opportunities for even more inmates' lives to be changed through art. Tattoos may be purchased here.