Tattoo News Review
I dredged the tattoo news headlines over the past week and uncovered everything from hard rocks to gems. Let's get to the good stuff first...
It was a gag-inducing piece on a Dallas TV station called Women Getting Tattoos to Feel Sexier (with an animated tattoo machine spelling out the words "tramp stamp" at the start) that led me to the video above (also found here) of 67-year-old Dixie Hammond and her tattoos. Dixie began getting tattooed in her fifties and continues to collect work for her extensive body suit.
When asked why she is so heavily tattooed, she says: "The tattoos are a completion of my feelings...I collect memories on my skin." Dixie is shown as a smart, elegant tattooed woman -- a sharp contrast to the station's "Tramp Stamp Slideshow." Now, when I'm asked by strangers (repeatedly) what I think I'll look like when I get older with all my tattoos, I will channel Dixie's dignified manner and not punch them in the face.
From seasoned tattoo collectors to budding artists, tons of press featured three-year-old Ruby who is set to become the World's Youngest Tattoo Artist once she completes her first tattoo, a spider on her father's leg.
Ruby's father is Welsh tattooist Blane Dickinson, owner of Inkaholics Anonymous in Conwy, who has been teaching her to tattoo when she comes home from nursery school. [He's gotten her a special tattoo machine designed for her tiny hands.] The current record holder is Emilie Darrigade of Canada who tattooed part of a butterfly on her father when she was five.
When asked whether he's pressuring his toddler to tattoo, Blane says this:
"I'm not a pushy parent, but she's been in a tattooing environment since she was born and it's a part of her life. She comes up to the studio and she gives my customers advice. She tells them not to pick their scabs and she repeats the stuff I tell them.[...]This will set her off on a fantastic career, and a tattoo machine is a lot cheaper than university fees."
Yikes. Attending college and learning to tattoo are not mutually exclusive, Blane.
[I hope we don't start having a "stage parents" in the tattoo world.] Nevertheless, we could be looking at a tattoo prodigy here. Or just an adorable little girl with a tattoo machine.
A number of tattoo artists were in the news this week...
The NY Times profiled Scott Cambell, the Louisiana-born tattooist who now works with a celebrity clientelle in Brooklyn, NYC. The focus of the article is Scott's first solo show of his fine art in Miami. You can find Sean Risley's post on that show here.
The Seattle Pi offers a reader's account of his experience getting tattooed at Under the Needle with some nice photos of the shop.
Fright magazine Fangoria talked to John Devilman of Zombie Tattoo in West Hollywood who explains the popularity of horror tattoos: "I know many horror fans who've used tattoos to help express their affinity for such films. It speaks more clearly and more faithfully than any Pinhead shirt or a trowel signed by Kyra Schon might."
While the tattooists above are featured for their artistry, two are in the news for behaving badly. Very badly...
Edmonton tattooist Eric "Zipp" Anderson has to pay $12,880 for ten violations of the health code, including using dirty needles and tubes (his sterilization equipment was over 30-years old). He was shut down in 2007 but opened another studio last year, which was fined as well. The judged who ordered the fines said that Anderson's disregard for the health of his clients was "shocking."
Jeffrey Dekmar of Roxbury, MA was indicted for sexually assaulting two female clients while tattooing them--both on the same day. Details in the article. I'd feel dirty just typing them.
I've posted these links as a warning that, no matter how far the industry has come artistically and professionally, scratchers and predators still lurk; the stories are a reminder to stay vigilant when choosing an artist.
Ok, let's cleanse our palettes of that nastiness with these links: