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Denise Kreb
Denise Kreb

14 Magnificent Map Tattoos

Denise Kreb
Denise Kreb

These days, most people rely on GPS to get them from point A to point B, but there are those who still have a soft spot for good old fashioned maps. Here are some people who love cartography so much they got maps permanently inked into their skin.

1. The Traveler

Bill Passman is a world traveler who keeps track of his adventures with this massive back tattoo. Every time he visits a new country, he gets it shaded in. Based on his progress so far, it looks like Passman very well may be able to fill in his whole map within the next few years. The outlines were done by Mike at Tattoo Antigua in Antigua, Guatemala, and the colors were filled in by Natural Mystic Tattoo in Pineville, Louisiana.

2. Unraveling Earth's Mysteries

The stretched and squished proportions make this map completely unique and entirely beautiful, especially when viewed in full—the map explodes from an unraveled string of DNA. This lovely work was photographed by DeviantArtist ComaBlue.

3. The Weight of the World on His Shoulders

He may not have the whole world in his hands, but he's got it stretched across his back. No word on who did this tattoo, but the photographer and model are both Oliver Joe McLaughlin.

4. Worlds And Worlds

Photographer Denise Kreb's friend Maria has a lovely map tattoo on her back, which looks particularly impressive in front of a full-color world map.

5. Colors of the City

Deanna Wardin tattooed this beautiful watercolor version of a map of San Francisco on one lucky local's arm.

6. Beguiling Belgrade

This striking tattoo truly looks like a piece of abstract art. It was done by the Dark Arts Collective of Serbia.

7. Rounded Out

These beautiful stereographic hemispheres, complete with their own sea monsters, were tattooed by Adam Bomb of Milwaukee.

8. Traveling Lily

Compass alstroemeria doesn't have quite the same ring to it as a compass rose, but artist Alexander Lincoln Wolff's tattoo of a compass and a Peruvian Lily on a burnt map shows that any flower will work well as a navigational tool.

9. Surfing the World

Photographer Alan Light captured this fantastic photo of a surfer in Waikiki with a world map tattooed across his back. I have no information on the surfer or who did his work, but the photo is certainly impressive—it perfectly captures that surfer dream of catching the biggest waves across the globe.

10. National Pride

This break dancer has a map of the Philippines tattooed across his back, which is regularly on display during competitions. Like the surfer, there's no information on who he is or who did the work, but the photo was taken by DeviantArtist Schizoasylum.

11. Brazilian Beauty

Northeast Brazil is obviously home to this proud tattooee. Artist Alex Fontes of Arsenal Tattoo did a magnificent job capturing the terrain of Brazil in this impressive piece.

12. Kicking It Old School

This gal is obviously a fan of the classics—though she's obviously not into stuff that's too old or she would have left off the New World altogether. This wonderful map was inked by Karrie Lynne Whitfield.

13. Something Old and Something New

This tattoo by DeviantArtist Strangeris has the burned, frayed look of many classic maps, but the land masses look like they've been removed from the picture, giving the work an all new and intriguing look of its own.

14. Tools of the Trade

Paper maps, globes, and compasses were once all you could use to navigate the brave seas. Andrew Mitchell's cool navigation tattoo reminds us of the majesty of travel pre-GPS.

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The Getty Center, Surrounded By Wildfires, Will Leave Its Art Where It Is
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The wildfires sweeping through California have left countless homeowners and businesses scrambling as the blazes continue to grow out of control in various locations throughout the state. While art lovers worried when they heard that Los Angeles's Getty Center would be closing its doors this week, as the fires closed part of the 405 Freeway, there was a bit of good news. According to museum officials, the priceless works housed inside the famed Getty Center are said to be perfectly secure and won't need to be evacuated from the facility.

“The safest place for the art is right here at the Getty,” Ron Hartwig, the Getty’s vice president of communications, told the Los Angeles Times. According to its website, the museum was closed on December 5 and December 6 “to protect the collections from smoke from fires in the region,” but as of now, the art inside is staying put.

Though every museum has its own way of protecting the priceless works inside it, the Los Angeles Times notes that the Getty Center was constructed in such a way as to protect its contents from the very kind of emergency it's currently facing. The air throughout the gallery is filtered by a system that forces it out, rather than a filtration method which would bring air in. This system will keep the smoke and air pollutants from getting into the facility, and by closing the museum this week, the Getty is preventing the harmful air from entering the building through any open doors.

There is also a water tank at the facility that holds 1 million gallons in reserve for just such an occasion, and any brush on the property is routinely cleared away to prevent the likelihood of a fire spreading. The Getty Villa, a separate campus located in the Pacific Palisades off the Pacific Coast Highway, was also closed out of concern for air quality this week.

The museum is currently working with the police and fire departments in the area to determine the need for future closures and the evacuation of any personnel. So far, the fires have claimed more than 83,000 acres of land, leading to the evacuation of thousands of people and the temporary closure of I-405, which runs right alongside the Getty near Los Angeles’s Bel-Air neighborhood.

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This 77-Year-Old Artist Saves Money on Art Supplies by 'Painting' in Microsoft Excel
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It takes a lot of creativity to turn a blank canvas into an inspired work of art. Japanese artist Tatsuo Horiuchi makes his pictures out of something that’s even more dull than a white page: an empty spreadsheet in Microsoft Excel.

When he retired, the 77-year-old Horiuchi, whose work was recently spotlighted by Great Big Story, decided he wanted to get into art. At the time, he was hesitant to spend money on painting supplies or even computer software, though, so he began experimenting with one of the programs that was already at his disposal.

Horiuchi's unique “painting” method shows that in the right hands, Excel’s graph-building features can be used to bring colorful landscapes to life. The tranquil ponds, dense forests, and blossoming flowers in his art are made by drawing shapes with the software's line tool, then adding shading with the bucket tool.

Since picking up the hobby in the 2000s, Horiuchi has been awarded multiple prizes for his creative work with Excel. Let that be inspiration for Microsoft loyalists who are still broken up about the death of Paint.

You can get a behind-the-scenes look at the artist's process in the video below.

[h/t Great Big Story]

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