Indiana Tattoo: History and Legacy

  • January 13, 2017 - February 3, 2017
  • Recurring weekly on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday
  • Grunwald Gallery of Art
  • 1201 E. 7th Street, Fine Arts Building, Room 123, Bloomington, IN 47405
  • (812) 855-8490
  • 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM
  • Free

Roy Craig Cooper aka "Roy Boy" is one of most iconic tattooers and overall wild men in the history of the State of Indiana. Roy began tattooing in 1969 in Balboa, Indiana and later moved to Gary, Indiana. He would eventually set up his own shop, "Roy Boy's Place" and then later opened up his World Famous shop "The Badlands ". Roy was an apprentice under the legendary Tatts Thomas and later studied with Cliff Raven, one of the most influential tattooers in Chicago tattoo history and a former Indiana University Fine Arts graduate. "The Badlands" was more than just a tattoo shop, which at the time was illegal in Indiana. It was also a weightlifting gym, photo studio as well as the place where he kept part of his collection of exotic
animals, including tigers and large snakes. The name "The Badlands" is an ode to Gary, Indiana that at the time was the "murder capital of the world". In 2002 "The Badlands" shop was actually firebombed and destroyed. Roy would end up owning multiple shops in the Northwest Indiana region where he worked closely with his wife Deb Cooper until his death in 2010. Roy and Deb were featured in many tattoo and biker magazines from the 1980's and 90's, which helped to spread his legend nationally and internationally. It was his filmmaking however that legitimized his eccentric and often surreal lifestyle. These films offer a glimpse into Roy and Deb's world of tattoo's, motorcycles, guns, boats, racecars, jewelry, guitars,
weightlifting and large exotic animals. The Roy Boy collection that will be displayed in Welcome Back to the Badlands is owned by tattoo artist and collector Eric Smolinski. This extensive collection of art, photos, signage, films, clothing and other objects from the life of Indiana native Roy Boy is the only one in existence.
For further information, please contact the Grunwald Gallery at (812) 855-8490 or grunwald@indiana.edu. We invite you to visit our website at https://studioart.indiana.edu.The Grunwald Gallery is accessible to people with disabilities. Gallery hours are Tuesday – Saturday, 12:00pm – 4:00 pm, closed Sunday and Monday or by appointment. All events are free and open to the public. For more information on the Studio
Art Department, the School of Art and Design and the Grunwald Gallery at Indiana University, please visit https://soad.indiana.edu/.

Magic and Mystery, Flash Sheet – Colin McClain- 2016, Time & Tide Tattoo, Bloomington, IN

Indiana Tattoo: History and Legacy