Tattoo Age 2: Mutsuo Part 2
I've been looking forward to Wednesdays for each new episode of Vice's Tattoo Age video series. With all the reality TV shows, I consider it a tattoo cleanse. The episode that dropped today is Part 2 of the three-part feature on Mutsuo of Three Tides Tattoo.
You gotta see it, but I'll tell you my personal highlights. First, what Tattoo Age has been doing is showing not just telling you about the artists featured, through their personal interactions and filming how they usually live day-to-day. It opens with a sweet interaction between Mutsuo and a woman who works at a noodle shop he's eating at. It's very telling about the artists' personality. Of course, you do have his friends (and colleagues) like Masa, who owns the shop, and Chris Garver, who does regular guest spots, talking highly about Mustuo. And revealing stories of drunken nights. It's all fun. But there's also a lesson about how one becomes a renowned tattooist. In Mutsuo's case, it's not just about dedication but the education he received from those talented artists around him like Horitomo, and guests from around the world including Garver, Chris Trevino, Adrian Lee, and Grime. It explains why his portfolio is so incredibly diverse.
Mutsuo joined Three Tides in 1999. There's an interesting discussion about the evolution of the shop itself, which Garver says will go down in history as one of those "legendary shops." He further explains how Three Tides was the first "Western-style shop" in Osaka, with the goal of becoming like the best shops in America.
Perhaps, the greatest highlight for me was seeing footage of the 1999 Tokyo convention. Damn, everyone looked so young! The convention is discussed as a turning point of tattoo culture in Japan when the art became open to different artistic styles.
Like the other episodes. It's a must see.
If you missed Part 1, check it here.