Where have all the cowboy (and other ironic tattoos) gone?
08:45 AM
I was recently sent on assignment for another magazine that I have the good fortune to wield a pen (um, keyboard) for in defense of the written word. As I was new to this online publication, they sent me an a fool's errand to Williamsburg to cover some hipster love-ins the editors most likely thought below them. It was their loss and my great pleasure as I was blessed to hear the incredible talent of Frank Gratkowski who is, without hyperbole, one of the greatest experimental jazz musicians of this time.

But, not even the mind-opening power of his play could answer the following question for me: What has become of the hipster tattoo? There was a time when walking the streets of Williamsburg was a virtual portfolio viewing of the major tattoo shops, or at least those customizing in Americana work. Each gender-less, unwashed hair, trust fundian was covered in Sailor Jerry style ink, an ironic, albeit quality, nod to a time lost. Cowboys, pirate ships and naval insignia's graced their arms as if some young child's imagination when asked to consider what he wanted to be when he grew up.

pirate.jpgAnd, then, as if in the stroke of a "delete" button, the ink was gone. Perhaps hidden under flannel? Or, tucked into untied work boots? No. Just gone. After attending two PBR-heavy events this Sunday, I saw but one other tattoo besides my own. The Hipster to Ironic Ink ratio was ruined.

What special alchemy do these magicians have? Not only can they turn economically deprived neighborhoods to modern-day Shangrilas but, now, apparently, they can remove ink without surgery? Have I gone completely insane or has anyone else noticed this un-trend?

Good riddance to the ironic tattoo. Humor is lost when the joke plays out every day of the rest of ya life. Except of course if you're Jerry Lewis in France.

I don't know, though I'm stoked about Frank Gratkowski being featured! Awesome, in an unironic and un-postironic way.

In all honesty, Frank Gratkowski is an amazing musician. As usual, it is that which is barely heard which makes the loudest noise.

i knew i should bought a laser removal kiosk at the mall years ago.

Ironic tattoos in Williamsburg aren't gone. You just aren't looking hard enough.

Double answer: you might have to go a bit further out to bushwick these days and most folks are still sporting the long sleeves of winter.

On that note, who wants to donate to Pat Sullivan's Donut Tattoo Fund?

connect with us

Marisa Kakoulas
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.