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U2 Tattoo Project’s “Ink, Icons, Identity” exhibit to open Aug. 15, 2016

From Professors Beth Nabi, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, and Christopher LeClere, Flager College:

The U2 Tattoo Project is excited to announce our first exhibit, “Ink, Icons, Identity: Exploring U2’s Brand Through Fan Tattoos,” running Aug. 15–26, 2016, in Jacksonville, Fla., at the University of North Florida Gallery of Art.

The exhibit will feature photos and multimedia displays of fans’ U2-related tattoos alongside some of the original artifacts that inspired these tattoos in an exploration of the transition from ephemeral marketing to permanent body modifications. Lectures and panels are being planned to accompany the exhibit, as well as a special fan gathering at the gallery Saturday, Aug. 20.

Look for more details in the coming weeks. Follow news and updates about the U2 Tattoo Project. 

The U2 Tattoo Project

The U2 Tattoo Project is documenting and curating U2 tattoos and the stories behind them.

When you think of bands like The Beatles, The Who or The Rolling Stones, a dominant icon emerges in your mind: the elongated type and fretboard-like “T” of the Beatles, the arrow-protruding “o” of The Who, the lips and tongue of the Stones. But what comes to mind when you think of U2? The hand-brushed grunge script from Achtung? The bold, red Block Gothic face of War? The Joshua Tree silhouette? U2 has become an iconic band with no consistent icon, but rather a history of transient visual identities that embody their eras and represent different emotional experiences for fans.

In the absence of an official logo or singular, long-running, uniform mark, how do U2 fans brand their love for the band? The U2 Tattoo Project aims to study U2 fan tattoos in terms of popular U2 iconography and lyrics, examine the connections between favorite albums and tattoos, and explore what happens to U2’s visual identity as it passes into the hands and onto the bodies of fans.

Have a tattoo? Submit via our survey. Follow the project on social media: “U2 Tattoo Project” on Facebook/Twitter/Instagram. 


U2: Made in Dublin at The Little Museum of Dublin

U2MadeInDublinLogoI was honored to be asked to help curate the permanent exhibit U2: Made in Dublin for The Little Museum of Dublin. The exhibit opened in 2013 and continues to grow.

Charting the story of the band from 1976 all the way up to the present day, this fan-curated exhibition features musical rarities, signed albums and some great photography, alongside items such as a Trabant car, a Gibson Explorer, a life-size sculpture of MacPhisto and even a pack of U2 condoms.

The exhibition was curated by fans of the band alongside some of Ireland’s best photographers and artists, as a tribute to the achievements of U2 and a celebration of their roots in the local music scene of the 1970s. A soundtrack narrated by Tom Dunne tells the story of the band with rare live recordings from the Dandelion Market all the way through to Croke Park. It’s already proving hugely popular with fans of Ireland’s most famous musical export.


The U2 Conference logo and site design by Beth Nabi.