Spider Webb

September 6, 2002

Joseph O’Sullivan, better known as Spider Webb (Fine Arts 1971), is recognized as being the first tattoo artist to mix fine art and tattooing. Following September 11, 2001, he was inspired to commemorate the cataclysm through his art. For seven weeks he worked 18-hour days to create a 9/11 tribute; it’s composed of a series of pieces that include drawings in pencil, ink and crayons, along with paintings and sculpture. Spider Webb, who is both an artist and a military veteran, incorporates familiar elements from WWII posters into his 9/11 pieces. The work expresses feelings about dealing with the enemy, and appreciation for the heroes in uniform and the bravery of all New Yorkers. His 9/11 work can be seen now through September 30 at the Clayton Patterson Gallery, 161 Essex Street. His work can also be seen in many books published this year, including Heavily Tattooed Woman, Heavily Tattooed Men and Woman, and Pushing Ink.

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