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Babies with Tattoos: Its Not What You Think, But it May Be Worse (PHOTOS)

Dietrich Wegner

What's wrong with this picture?

There’s nothing quite so pure as a baby.

Although maybe babies aren’t actually so pure. Whether we do it intentionally or not, we ascribe brands to our children practically before they’re born. It could be a type of prenatal vitamin, diaper, bottle, formula, onesie, stroller, crib, stuffed animal or toy — often our identities (and those of our kids) evolve and are shaped exactly how we declare and define them with our wallets.

To artist Dietrich Wegner, “every society accumulates contradictions amidst their ideals.” He “employs those contradictions, situating opposites together in sculpture and photography that feed on the friction between two conflicting ideas.”

It’s startling to think of — or see — babies with tattoos (even if they’re only digital), and even more jarring to think we are the ones potentially responsible for turning our tiniest loved ones into human advertisements, helping shape and brand them based on what we stick on their bodies and in their hands

Take a look:

nggallery id=’124126′

  • Cumulous Brand, Claudia, Beatrice & Sebastian, 2009 1 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Claudia, Beatrice & Sebastian, 2009
    "When an image stands in limbo, between associations, it occupies a flexible place in our mind."
    Archival inkjet print | 33" x 41" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Sabine & Sebastian, 2009 2 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sabine & Sebastian, 2009
    "[These] babies are covered in multicolored tattoos in a meditation on how our identities evolve and how we declare them."
    Archival inkjet print | 30" x 45" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Beatrice, 2009 3 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Beatrice, 2009
    "Every society accumulates contradictions amidst their ideals."
    Archival inkjet print | 30" x 45" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Auntie Gretchen, 2009 4 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Auntie Gretchen, 2009
    When situating opposites together in mediums like sculpture and photography, it helps feed on the friction between the conflicting ideas.
    Archival inkjet print | 30" x 45" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Sebastian in the Park, 2008 5 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sebastian in the Park, 2008
    "Dietrich Wegner creates images that are safe and unsettling, abject and beautiful."
    Archival inkjet print | 40" x 60" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Sabine Sitting Up, 2009 6 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sabine Sitting Up, 2009
    Wegner creates some of his art "in an effort to explore our varied states of contentment and security."
    Archival inkjet print | 30" x 45" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Grandma Sue, 2009 7 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sebastian as Grandma Sue, 2009
    "Often Wegner chooses materials that contradict an aspect of an image while striving towards a realistic depiction of the image."
    Archival inkjet print | 30" x 45" | Edition of five
  • Cumulous Brand, Bill, 2009 8 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Bill, 2009
    Sometimes materials are chosen "reflecting what an image looks like and contradicting the tone of what a subject feels like or 'means.'"
    Silicone & urethane | 12" x 8" x 8" | Edition of three
  • Cumulous Brand, Sebastian As Grandma Susan, 2009 9 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, Sebastian As Grandma Susan, 2009
    "Sometimes the material choice does not both challenge and support an image; the material may simply do one or the other."
    Silicone, urethane, hair, glass | 15" x 9" x 17" | Edition of three
  • Cumulous Brand, 2009 10 of 10
    Cumulous Brand, 2009
    "In these cases, when the material does little contradicting, the image(s) itself must create the limbo."
    Silicone and foam | 14" x 12" x 7" | Edition of three

All images courtesy of Dietrich Wegner and the Carrie Secrist Gallery, Chicago

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