When I started Skin Deep I had a simple concept: take portraits of heavily tattooed ex-gang members and remove the tattoos using digital re-touching to create before and after portraits.
Most of the homeboys/girls hadn't seen themselves without tattoos for decades, so during the interviews I presented the images. There was a deep emotional response by the subjects.
They revealed very personal sometimes shocking details about the abuse, violence and drug addiction they had suffered for most of their lives.
With help from the Homeboy Industries in downtown Los Angeles, they fought against the odds to find something better; hope.
This book puts a very human face on a group of people that our society is so often too quick to demonize.
These images inspire personal insight from the subjects and elicit questions of how we as a society perceive and judge those with tattoos and how this stigma goes so far as to influence these former gang member"s perception of themselves.
After two years and over 400 hours on photoshop, I'm happy to announce a partnership with http://www.powerhousebooks.com that will produce a beautiful 8.5" x 11"(21.5 x 28 cm) photography book estimated 172 pages. The book will be visually stunning with a lenticular printed cover https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lenticular_printing and before and after portraits on high quality paper affording the reader a closer glimpse into the lives of these remarkable people and their daily journey to find their place in the world.
Powerhouse books are a long established publishing company based in Brooklyn,New York that produces beautiful art and photography books.
I started this project to understand the effects tattoos have on people escaping the gangs, how they are judged by society and ultimately how they judge themselves. What I learned changed everything.
Why I need your help.
The photography, interviews and digital retouching has all been completed. All funds raised from the Kickstarter will go to the production, final design, proofreading and production of the book.
The money that is raised from the Kickstarter campaign will stay 100% within the project.
If the goal is met and the book is produced, a portion of the final sales of the books produced after the Kickstarter will go to Homeboy Industries and the incredible work they do there.
I hope the striking photographs in Skin Deep will catch the attention of all people, gang members and the average reader alike, and will inspire empathy and understanding.
I am deeply honored that Father Greg Boyle the founder of Homeboy Industries and New York Times best selling author of "Tattoos on the heart" has agreed to write the forward to the book, is was his story that was my initial inspiration for this project then fueled by the subjects themselves.
Homeboy Industries are the leaders in the fight to provide a path for all gang members to re-enter society. They provide over 3000 free tattoo removal treatments each month.
Postcards reward #1
Lenticular post cards reward #2
11x14" print reward #7
13x19" prints reward #8
13x19" prints reward #9
13x19" prints reward #10
13x19" reward #11
13x19" print reward #12
13x19" lenticular print of Mario Lunes #13
13x19" lenticular print of Dennis Zamran #14
For more information about Homeboy Industries, tattoo removal:http://homeboyindustries.org
For more information about Powerhouse books:http://www.powerhousebooks.com
Risks and challenges
The risks and challenges for this project are pretty low. The photography for the book and coordinating interviews of the subjects are completed. The goal amount of the Kickstarter would be used to finalize the design, editing and proof-reading of the book that will be published by Powerhouse Books and released in the fall of 2017. If all goes as expected, it should be in the hands of the supporters by October 2017 (international orders may take longer due to customs and overseas shipping).
Packaging and shipping of the incentives/book will be handled by my family, buddies and I.
As the forthcoming support will be greatly appreciated, I will do my best to ensure timely shipping and delivery to all contributors.
If I surpass my goal, I will dedicate the balance to fund a photo exhibition of Skin Deep. All contributions will remain solely within the Skin Deep project.
- (30 days)