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This 'new school' artist inks a different kind of canvas

By: Laura Newell Folsom Lake Entertainer
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Artwork has always been a form of expression, and in Folsom “new-school,” eclectic style artwork is coming alive in local galleries through tattoo inspiration. James “Danger” Harvey, 31, of Folsom has always been an artist, but said he doesn’t specialize in any style. Instead he just creates pieces that inspire him. “I was always the kid who doodled on my math homework,” Harvey said. “I am a self-taught artist and specialize in spray paint, acrylic paints, metal welding, wood crafting, sculptures and tattooing.” His more famous piece of artwork is a creation of two Hollywood icons. In 2005 he became a tattoo artist to broaden his artistic outlet. “I wanted a tattoo but couldn’t find the right person to give me one,” he said. “So someone told me to learn it myself, so I did.” Harvey, who grew up in Folsom, now owns Painful Pleasures Tattoo and Body Piercing at 5739 Auburn Blvd. in Sacramento. He said he is, and always will be, an artist first, so his tattoos are all custom-designed artwork for bodies. “This is completely an art-form type of shop,” Harvey said. “At my shop, everything I do is hand drawn. We are a full custom shop, it’s an individual process.” He said at times he will also create designs and not have a person to tattoo. So, to keep his ideas flowing, he decided to start tattooing on pigskin and frame the unique pieces for display. “Tattoo artists tend to learn tattooing on pig skin, so I thought it’d be a good idea for artwork,” Harvey said. “I decided to go to Dick’s Taxidermy locally and get some pig skins to tattoo artwork on that I felt like doing.” He said tattooing is very individual to the person, and to some, it’s a way to collect art. “To me, I don’t think art has any rules,” Harvey said. “Art is kind of like music. It comes from a creative place within me and from life experiences.” He said he usually paints women he knows and incorporates them into his artwork. Still, he said there is a long way to go to end the “tattoo” stereotype and create a new open mindset for all people to appreciate this new style. “I am interested in having an art gallery open that is geared toward my younger generation,” Harvey said. “Artwork for me is a creative outlet.” Lucky’s Barbershop and Men’s Club, 511 E. Bidwell St. in Folsom, will host an art show of Harvey’s work at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 12. KNOW AND GO What: James “Danger” Harvey Art Gallery When: 7 p.m., Saturday, Nov.12 Where: Lucky’s Barbershop and Men’s Club, 511 E. Bidwell St., Folsom Information: (916) 247-3538