Stay Stoned: Madness, Cannabis & Tattoos
A colourful and creative look at the intersection between tattoos and cannabis, developed in collaboration with the compilers of the book Stay Stoned.
Enter a fantastical cannabis concept of a classic tattoo parlour, housed within the Hemp Gallery – which, appropriately enough, was formerly Henk Schiffmacher’s Amsterdam Tattoo Museum. Here, over forty newly-made sheets of marihuana tattoo ‘flash’ (off-the-peg tattoo designs) from Stay Stoned are displayed to the public for the first time. They provide an intriguing new context for a selection of related images and objects curated from the Museum collection.
A unique album of crowdsourced photographs and stories illustrates the meeting of the two subcultures: tattoos and cannabis.
For this exhibition, we have teamed up with tattoo experts and cannabis aficionados Gilberto Cannarozzi and Samuele Salvadori. The pair are currently finalizing the second volume of Stay Stoned, a collection of cannabis tattoo flash by contemporary tattoo artists. The first volume, a limited edition of 420 copies, sold out almost immediately. The next edition will be published in early June 2022 and launched at the opening of the exhibition.
Stay Stoned: Madness, Cannabis & Tattoos revolves around the original designs from this project, by tattoo artists selected by Cannarozzi and Salvadori such as Danny Boy, Jondix, Bill Loika, Robert Ryan and Henk and Morris Schiffmacher. In these visually astonishing sheets, the tattoo artists investigate and celebrate their personal experiences with, and in relation to, cannabis.
A brief history of cannabis tattoos
In the 1960s and 70s cannabis firmly established itself as an integral part of the counterculture lifestyle – ideals revolving around peace, love, and happiness dovetailed perfectly with the mind-altering effects of cannabis consumption. It is no coincidence that in these years cannabis-themed tattoos also became a subcultural phenomenon.
Tattoos in the Western world ceased to be the sole domain of sailors, bikers, and prisoners. Hippies and other alternative types began getting inked with cannabis leaves, the Zig-Zag man, stoned cartoon characters and other symbols referencing the subculture. This specific tattoo genre has flourished ever since, evolving to include designs based on the molecular structure of THC, photo-realistic trichomes, and early botanical prints.
About the guest curators
Samuele Salvadori, also known as Sam Boy, is an Italian tattoo artist currently based in Tuscany, where he is the resident artist at Old Boys in Livorno and Classic Tattoo in Viareggio. A fanzine and book enthusiast since he started going to punk gigs at a young age, in 2012 he began tattooing, specialising in the traditional style. He channels his love for cannabis into his practice, making it a recurrent theme in his designs.
Gilberto Cannarozzi is a multidisciplinary Italian artist currently based in the Netherlands.
He has been passionate about graphic design, fanzines, and drawings since the early 2000s, when he started skateboarding, a passion that has influenced his artistic practice ever since.
Stay Stoned is a project born from a long friendship between Samuele and Gilberto, founded on their shared passions for tattoos, graphic art, and publishing.