Don Ed Hardy is an internationally known tattoo artist and printmaker. A Southern California native born in 1945, Hardy revived a childhood determination to become a tattoo artist and underwent a tattoo apprenticeship while simultaneously receiving a BFA degree in printmaking at the San Francisco Art Institute in 1967. Tattooing professionally, he developed the fine art potential of the medium with emphasis on its Asian heritage, and maintains the studio Tattoo City in San Francisco, with younger artists continuing to evolve and carry on his unique work format. In 1982 he and his wife, Francesca Passalacqua, formed Hardy Marks Publications and have written, edited, and published over twenty-five books on alternative art. In 2013, St. Martin’s Press published Mr. Hardy’s memoir, Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos.
In addition to showing his own works, Mr. Hardy has curated a number of exhibitions for both galleries and nonprofit spaces and frequently lectures at museums and universities. In 2000, he was appointed by Oakland mayor Jerry Brown to that city’s Cultural Arts Commission, and awarded an Honorary Doctorate by the San Francisco Art Institute. In 2004 “Ed Hardy,” a major fashion line featuring his artwork, was launched internationally. Hardy and his wife now divide their time between Honolulu and the San Francisco Bay area.