Russian Revolutionary Tattoo
11:40 AM
lenin tattoo.jpg
I beat the NY snow and made it to Detroit for the 15th Annual Motor City Tattoo Expo, so while I run around and stalk legends like Jack Rudy, Brian Everett and Tom Renshaw -- among so many other great artists -- I'm handing over the blogging reigns to readers for the rest of the week and have them tell ya about their tattoos.

Tattoos like this Russian revolutionary piece on Justin Frey by Richie Vomit of Siouxicide City Tattoos in Iowa. What I find particularly interesting about this tattoo is that it's a tribute to his wife. Instead of, say, getting her name tattooed on his neck, he decided to go the artful route and have a piece created to honor her birthplace.

I should just let Justin tell the story. Here's what he said:

"I decided to go with a Russian theme because my wife is a Russian. She grew up in Ulyanovsk, which is Lenin's birthplace. When she went home last year to finish up her final university term, I decided to surprise her with somewhat of a tribute to her people. I brought a couple of drawings to Richie Vomit and told him some of my ideas. I was very vague -- which I know tends to make life difficult for artists -- but Richie really took the project and ran with it, and the end result turned out to be amazing.

I had seen Richie's work while reffing for the roller derby team in Sioux City -- many of the women had work done by him and the art was just gorgeous. You could tell he put a lot of thought and effort into the tattoos, and I figured I really had to get some work done by this guy. 

During the design process he was very communicative and open with me about what elements he was thinking about drawing up and why. Then we made the appointment for me to come in and get the line work done. About a week after the appointment was made, I received a very good job offer in another state and was worried that I wouldn't be able to make it back to Iowa for a long time to get the work finished. Rich totally came through for me, cleared his whole schedule, and hammered the tattoo out in a 9-hour sitting. We were both in pain by the time he was finished, and I was incredibly happy with the end product.

My favorite part of it would be the eyes that are superimposed over the star. Those are my wife's eyes, drawn from one of her pictures. 

I'm really looking forward to heading back to Iowa to get more work done by him."

That's a phenomenal tattoo and story. Thanks for sharing!

So this is about a bazillion times better than a name tattoo. What a great idea.

I would like to see more tattoos like this, I've always thought the socialist realist style would be great for portrait tattoos or old-school pin ups but I think this is the only time I've seen it done.

Great tattoo.

The change in the relationship between the U.S. and Russia has been nothing short of phenomenal. I commonly work with Russians. Justin is married to a Russian, and even has Lenin tattooed on him And nobody gets called a commie.

I just hope Justin's wife's family don't have any issues with Bolsheviks.

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