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James Reed | Rebel Collection
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Rebel Collection

Originally this project started out as a little experiment messing with photos of the Fonz and Richie from Happy Days. The plan was to take recognisable icons from the TV show and to apply them in tattoo form. Once I’d applied the tattoos to the images something didn’t sit right with Ritchie, probably because he’s too clean cut and the tattoos looked out of place. However I liked how the Fonz turned out so I decided to expand on the collection using rebel characters in classic TV and film from the 50’s era.[/vc_column_text]

I chose to use Marlon Brando (The Wild One), James Dean (Rebel Without A Cause), John Travolta (Grease) and Johnny Depp (Cry Baby). Adding tattoos, applying textures and halftones to give an authentic vintage feel to the photos whilst giving a contempaory twist using modern tattoo designs. I gave each character tattoos that relate to the films or shows they starred in. For example Danny Zucko has a lightening bolt on his cheek to represent grease lightening. See if you can spot any others. 

Generally I went for characters from the 1950’s because there is just something about that period that appeals to me. Saying that post war america did a fantastic job using it’s already well oiled spin machine to create a particular iconic image of the perfect home life and consumer goods that would go on to inspire many other generations for years to come.The reality being something far from the perfect life fed to it’s citizens living in a post war America. Cinema also played a large part in selling the american dream yet these rebel icons represent those who chose to go against the status quo.

I did have more characters in development including Matt Dillon (The Outsiders), Charlie Sheen (Ferris Bueller’s Day Off) and River Pheonix (Stand By Me) to name a few but something didn’t sit right, either they were too young or they felt out of place. I think overall this was a good thing as too many characters would over saturate the collection. It was just a fun little side project after all. You can view the full collection in the slideshow below.

Thanks for reading.


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