David Allen Exhibit: Mastectomy Tattoos and Post-Surgery Healing

International Museum of Surgical Science

September 1, 2018 – November 25, 2018

Opening Reception: Friday, August 31, 2018, 5:30 – 8:00pm. Free and open to the publicRegister Here.

David Allen: Mastectomy Tattoo Innovation

David Allen has been tattooing women who have undergone mastectomies since 2010. Typically recreating the nipple shape, mastectomy tattoos have been around for some time. David’s work, however, uses design principles to draw attention away from the scarring. This process has quickly become a new, viable option to help women take back control. For him and his clients, the tattoo station has become a place of listening, caring, and approaching an area of trauma for revitalization.

Taking on a handful of clients a month, Allen’s screening process is incredibly thorough. He states that he spends more time talking with the women than working on them. Since Allen recognizes the tattoo procedure as a healing process, it’s important to sense that a client is ready to begin that process. While the tattoo work itself is individually-focused and highly technical, Allen claims that the tattoo for him is of less importance than the sharing of trauma, stories, emotions and the demonstrations of empathy.



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So crazy, stupid excited for the opening of the @davidallen exhibit at @surgicalmuseumchicago ❤️❤️❤️ As someone with many, many surgical scars that sometimes vie to define my body and reauthor my corporeal being in accordance with their narrative rather than one of my own choosing, being tattooed by this artistic miracle worker of a man would be a dream come true. I might never get that opportunity (although hey, @davidallen, if you happen to read this, I’m totally game if you are 😊) but I am so ready to marvel at the beauty of those who have had the opportunity to be transformed at the intersection of his hands and their courage. 💕💜💪🏼 #tattoo #tattoos #beauty #artist #tattoosthatheal #tattoosthattransform #mastectomytattoos #mastectomy #breastcancer #courage #strength #survivor #female #surgery #scars #scarsarebeautiful #surgicalscars #chronie #spoonie #ulcerativecolitis #fighter #unstoppable #ibd #ocd #warrior #nocolonstillrollin #fangirl #scholar #internationalmuseumofsurgicalscience #chicago

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