History brush as healing: Photographer erases years of gang memories


posted Monday, October 31, 2016 at 4:15 PM EDT


Using Photoshop to remove a tattoo isn't new - photo editors have to do this all the time. But when your subject is an ex-gang member from Los Angeles, and tattoos cover most of the body, you have your work cut out for you. Photographer Steven Burton set off on an ambitious project over two years ago, to take before and after photographs of heavily-tattooed people who had left or were trying to leave gangs, in order to help create empathy for the situation they were going through.

The resulting photographs create strong emotional reactions from the subjects. Mr. Burton has created a Kickstarter to fund a book showcasing the photographs; funds in excess of the $25,000 goal will be used to fund an exhibition of the photographs. With just under two weeks to go, the project has almost reached half of its funding goal; if you're interested in a copy of the book, you can head over to the Kickstarter page.

Skin Deep