May 2013 Archives


May201330
09:19 AM
larry brogan tattoo.jpglarry brogan tattoo 2.jpgThere are many reasons to spotlight Larry Brogan:  his ability to create tattoos in different genres and make many different people happy; his focus on promoting fine art; his drive to further the artistry and also help other tattooists become better business people; and he's also just one down-to-earth cool guy.

Last month, Larry celebrated the opening of his new studio & gallery in Lockport, Illinois, Tattoo City and Flower of Life Art Gallery. Check photos of the gorgeous new space here. Over two hundred people attended the opening, including the Mayor of Lockport, and other city officials. I spoke with Larry while he was working on opening the new place and dealing with zoning issues. In effectively pursuing his right to do business within the city, he was not only able to open up the new shop, but he was able to change officials' minds about tattooing and show them that it really is an art form.  He's also working closely with the community by holding quarterly art shows that will benefit local charity organizations, particularly working for art education in schools.

The new tattoo shop houses four other great artists: Jessica Weichers, Chucho Rodriguez, George Zabala, and Steven Middleton. 

Check out all their work on Tattoocityskinart.com.

larry brogan tattoo 3.jpg
May201329
08:47 AM
scott campbell tattoo gun.jpgscott campbell tattoo gun art.jpgHomemade tattoo machines made in Mexican prisons are the subjects of Scott Campbell's solo exhibition Things Get Better at OHWOW, in Los Angeles, on view now through June 22, 2013.  The exhibition comprises "a series of ink wash paintings on paper that realistically illustrate novel objects and improvised tools." OHWOW offers more on the story behind this work.

The NY Times featured the exhibit last week as well. Here's a bit from the article: 

"I was looking for a way to fall in love with tattooing again," said Campbell, the Southern-born, Brooklyn-based founder of Saved Tattoo, who is renowned for both his artwork and for having inked the likes of Marc Jacobs and Terry Richardson. "Prison tattoo culture holds a certain amount of gravity. There's a population given orange suits and known by numbers -- it's homogenized -- tattoos claim the little personality that these guys can have." [...] The pictures depict his "Frankenguns," jury-rigged contraptions he built inside Mexican prisons to administer tattoos to inmates -- a personal project he pursued two years ago as an antidote to the superficiality of the contemporary tattoo world.

The article further runs down a list of what Scott had to do for this project, from bribing prison wardens to experimenting with different materials. Definitely worth a click through.

The Times article also has more images from the show as does Arrested Motion.

While the series of paintings is new, this isn't the first time Scott's homemade guns have been featured in the press.  In 2011, we posted on this video in which Scott takes viewers along as he rummages through trash to build a machine and then tattoos someone in Thompkins Square Park. I wasn't a big fan of this how-to video, for safety reasons really. But the series of paintings I can get behind. 
May201328
01:40 PM
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We spend a lot of time here at the Needles and Sins Compound discussing the application of tattoos but, every now and again, the issue of removal comes up. More often than not, any discussions of removal are about making way for a larger piece or eliminating a youthful "mistake," but I recently watched the documentary "Erasing Hate" and another facet was revealed: what happens when your tattoos no longer represent your personal ideology, much less your ability to function in society?

The documentary profiles Bryon Widner who joined the racist skinhead movement in the American mid-west as a teenager and it wasn't long before he had adorned his face with the violent markings of a violent ethos and lifestyle. But as he grew older... he grew up - recanting both his bigotry and beliefs. The one problem? Well, it's kind of hard to re-enter a culture of equal rights when your face is covered in images of racism.

In an interesting turn, he reached out to the Southern Poverty Law Center for help - an organization known for battling and monitoring hate-groups. They not only located a plastic surgeon who agreed to do the removal, but they also provided $35,000 for the grueling two-year procedure through an anonymous donor. The documentary follows Bryon and his family over the course of his journey and it's definitely worth a watch (especially if, like me, you hate neo-Nazis).

"Erasing Hate" is available on Netflix streaming, or for $1.99 on Amazon instant video.
May201326
09:38 AM
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tattoo law lecture.jpgNext Sunday, June 2nd, I'll be giving a Tattoo Law Talk, after the Bloodborne Pathogens Training, at Sacred Tattoo at 424 Broadway, NY in SoHo.  The training -- which will satisfy artists yearly OSHA requirement -- runs from 1 to 3:30pm. And my talk is from 4-5pm.

You can attend both or just come in for one of the classes.  The best part:  it's only $40. When was the last time a lawyer talked to you for so little?!

I'll be giving an overview of the top tattoo law issues facing studios, artists and collectors as well. My talk will cover the following:
  • how protect your art and business via copyright & trademark
  • how to license your artwork outside of tattooing
  • how to help protect studios from frivolous law suits (which are many these days)
  • how to navigate employment relationships through non-compete agreements
  • how to navigate client relationships through waivers & releases
  • how to manage the legal aspects of media/press relations ...  And more!
I'll also be taking your questions. You can shoot them to me in advance, via marisa at needlesandsins.com, or at the lecture itself.

You can reserve your spot via Unimax Supply hereHope to see you Sunday, June 2nd!
May201323
09:25 AM
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One of the great things about tattooist Stefano Alcantara -- aside from his most excellent portfolio and super friendly personality -- is that he is on the road a great deal so you may actually score an appointment near you!

He's been at Last Rites tattooing these days, where he was a full time member of Paul Booth's family, but you can check his tour page and FB fan page to see where he'll be next.

Stefano's fine art work will be part of the "Zombie" exhibit, curated by Travis Louie, at Last Rites Gallery, which opens May 25th and runs until June 26th. 

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May201322
07:24 AM
black and grey virgin mary.jpgPhoto by Edgar Hoil. Tattoo by Josh Lin.

Despite being covered in ornamental blackwork tattoos, I love all genres of the art, which is why it has been fun exploring them all in my books when I can't have them all on my bod.

One of the volumes from the Black & Grey Tattoo box set, focused on photo realism in tattooing, and on its pages were lush renderings of images, from pop culture portraits to wild animals to family tributes, and much more. There are so many ways to explore photorealism in tattooing, which makes it an exciting art form.

And when something is exciting, well, it usually ends up on TV.

The folks at Oxygen's tattoo competition show, Best Ink, have asked me to do a post on photorealism in light of tonight's episode, which pits the tattoo artist contestants against each other as they vie to create the best realistic drawings, and tattoos on clients who expect an artistic miracle in five hours.  You can catch a preview of the episode here.

insect tattoo by tim kern.jpg Insect tattoo by Tim Kern, Tribulation Tattoo.  

Realistic tattooing has not merely developed in in the past decade--it has mutated, leaping far beyond normal progression in its artistry and execution. There has been explosion of photographic representations tattooed with great precision and depth. It has invigorated the tattoo community with the possibilities of mastering a difficult art on a difficult canvas.

Both new and experienced artists face a number of challenges in realistic tattooing; the most obvious one is making it look real--capturing the look, and even the soul, of the subject. Many portrait tattoos, for example, commemorate the loves of the wearer: family, pets, cars and even fictional characters. The personal significance prescribed to these tattoos adds to the great responsibility of the artist.  Another challenge concerns the longevity of the tattoo. A skilled tattooist may choose not to render certain details in the tattoo exactly as they appear in the photo because, as skin ages, lines blur and ink fades, which could leave a portrait of Marilyn Monroe looking more like Marilyn Manson. Realism specialists also find ways to create a harmony with the body so that the tattoos don't look "slapped on" but appear organic to the wearer. It's particularly difficult to have this balance and stay true to the image but stellar artists find the right mix.

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Beyonce portrait tattoo on Karolina by Andre Tenorio.

Keeping all this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the contestants on Best Ink do justice to the genre and come up with work that demonstrates the true artistry and exciting possibilities of photorealistic tattooing. The show airs at 10 PM EST ... and yes, we'll be drinking.
May201321
09:08 AM
tattoo are not a crime.jpgEarlier this month, tattoo news headlines included a story of how an Australian politician proposed a ridiculous anti-tattoo law that seemed like the work of another conservative crackpot. However, it turns out, that it is indeed something to pay attention to and fight. Sharron Campbell, a solicitor in Queensland, who works in privacy and information rights, explains here how serious this issue is and how all of us around the world can get involved.

By Sharron Campbell

Down in Queensland--land of beers, barbies, and shrimps to throw on them--a politician has proposed that anyone who gets a tattoo should be registered with the government. He thinks this will somehow stop bikie gang money laundering.  Natural first reaction is to laugh: a law that ridiculous could never happen, right?

Wrong.

Australia has limited rights to free speech, there's no Bill of Rights, there's no general right to privacy. And in New South Wales, the State just south of Queensland, they passed laws just as bad as what's been proposed.

If you want to tattoo in NSW, you have to:
  • consent to a National Police Check
  • attend a police station to have your finger and palm prints taken
  • undergo a security determination by the Police Commissioner.
It's even harder if you want to actually run a studio and if you actually get your license the police can enter any time, no warrant required, to:
  • inspect and take copies of records
  • take photographs and videos
  • bring in drug and gun sniffing dogs.
These NSW laws, Queensland's proposed laws, seem to imply the link between tattooing and crime is so strong the rights of tattooists and the tattooed are somehow worth less than everyone else's. If those laws can pass in NSW, the proposed laws could pass in Queensland; the two States have the same basic rights, freedoms, and powers.

Once the wheels of government start grinding out a Bill it will be too late to stop it. Wherever you are in the world you can help, before it's law, before it goes any further, by telling the Queensland government this is not okay.

Find out how at www.tattoosarenotacrime.net.
May201320
08:35 AM
mad huero.jpgThe NYC Tattoo Convention took place this weekend and, as usual, I took some bad pics and posted them to the N+S Flickr page. Consider it more reportage than fine art photography.

You can also find convention pics from other convention goers on Flickr, on the convention's Facebook page, and via #nyctattooconvention on Instagram.

It was wonderful seeing old friends and meeting many of you. Til next year!
May201317
09:29 AM

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Yekra is a revolutionary new distribution network for feature films.

Tattoo Nation


For years people saw tattoos as a sign of rebellion. A middle finger salute to the rest of the world. Outlaw bikers got tattoos. Sailors on leave in Singapore got tattoos. Lifers in the joint got tattoos. But now in the United States one out of every three adults under forty has a tattoo! So what happened? How did tattoo go from something that was put on you to an expression that comes from within you? Tattoo Nation tells the story of a few people who helped transform the world of tattoo, and the way we think about tattoos, forever. This is the true story of the ink revolution.

The documentary "Tattoo Nation," has been lauded as one of the best contemporary films to explore tattooing to date. While the basis of the movie is black & grey tattoo culture, overall, it educates on the roots of how the art form arose from the streets to the galleries. Now the film is available for viewing straight to your computer or TV.

Click the link above to learn how you can watch it online or via DVD.

May201316
12:11 PM
dotwork calf tattoo.jpg
Last night, I was reminded just how much tattoos hurt. It hurt in a way that I wanted to travel back in time and slap my 20-year-old self who would proclaim, "Oh, it's just like scratching a sunburn" because, back then, I had never sat for hours while needles drilled into my bony shin [or 5 hours of line work on the ribs like last year.]

Over the past 4+ years, since I've moved back to my native Brooklyn, I've only been getting tattooed once or twice a year, when my artist, Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo travels to NYC or when I make a trip back to Liege, Belgium -- home to Calypso Tattoo and where I lived for almost 8 years.

As I work on a unified body suit, a year can feel even longer because I'm excited to see my body continue to transform and to become the person I envision myself to be. At times, when working piece-by-piece on the design, it can feel like I'm in a state of flux. That "I'm not done." But the pace is important for a number of reasons.

In an age of instant gratification, there's something special about having to wait for what you want. It offers a greater sense of gravity and even ritual to the tattoo process. On a practical level, it also allows for more time to research patterns and gather ideas on how to bring all these motifs on my body together. Dan is really a master at creating that harmony and flow and taking a holistic approach to how the tattoos look on the body overall.

And then there's the fact that I have enough time to forget the pain.

The new tattoo on my calf and shin, is comprised of all dots. No lines this time. When it heals, I'll post better pictures so you can really see how Dan worked the density of the dots to create some beautiful light effects. Using a rotary machine, which doesn't have the harsh buzz of the coil, Dan worked tirelessly for over four hours to make every point perfect. And as always, I'm thrilled -- although my happy dance will have to wait until the swelling goes down.
May201315
07:29 AM

adrian dominic apokalupsis.jpg

As I mentioned yesterday, there are some wonderful events this week leading up to the NYC Tattoo Convention, which takes place this Friday through Sunday at the Roseland Ballroom.

Another art show we'll be attending tomorrow -- a show I've been excited about since I learned about its progression last Fall -- is "Apokalupsis" A Contemporary View From the Revelation of John The Divine by the wonderful Adrian Dominic.  The show opens tomorrow at Sacred Gallery (from 8-11pm) and runs until June 30th.  Based on the preview, it's really a must see. And the story behind the series is compelling as well. Here's a bit from it:  

In this series, Adrian ambitiously attempts to illustrate characters from the most abstract and visually confrontational book of the Holy Bible. Inspired by a genuine search for knowledge of self and freedom from spiritual dogma, this series approaches characters with respect to the descriptions of the ancient texts and attempts a certain level of accuracy while instinctively and naturally infusing the sense of spiritual urgency and emergency currently prevalent in many of the world's aware and seekers of personal truth. With these very old and powerful symbols, reintroducing them to the audience to bring about a dialogue of ancient human spiritual conditions and how they are more than relevant in our modern fast moving times, outside of the dogmatic constraints of judgement. His goal is to truly inspire and challenge the audience to see where we each stand in this epic tale and to see their own reflection in the characters intentions.

Beyond painting, Adrian has been creating exciting tattoos, described as dynamic sculpturesque designs, since 1999.You can see more of his tattoos and fine art at www.adriandominic.com.

So, I hope to see y'all at "Apokalupsis" tomorrow. Considering that David Sena's "Blunted Paranoia" show is in walking distance to Sacred Gallery, I'll be hitting up both exhibits. Should be a fun night!

May201314
08:26 AM
CracklingLittleSena_low.jpgWith the NYC Tattoo Convention in town this upcoming weekend, there are many events leading up to it, particularly, some exciting art shows. 

One show I'm looking forward to attending is Blunted Paranoia, which features the collaborative works of Carlos Little and David Sena at the tattoo studio and art gallery, SenaSpace, located at 229 Centre Street, NYC. The artists will be presenting new drawings and some sculpture, along with a device for making their next series of drawings.  They offer this on the show:

IEAD Fireworks Hardware Candy Cigarettes 229 Lungs Oil Tar Bar Smoke Bombs USA Map 10 Gallon Hat Hurricane Iraqi Map 111 Cat Heads Combustion Blunts 157 Logo Boot Optics Mushrooms Fuse Respirator DMT May 1975 Cooper Union The Tombs McKibben Street Carfire Where's The L At? Zack Thompson Street Tattoo Construction Site Brooklyn Swedish Girls Fire Robbers Weed Terrorism Doom Dance 9/11 Rooftops Terrorists Travel  London Amsterdam '93 Till Infinity Raves Strip Search Bunker 255 Juice Bar Spot Crack Weed Invaders Washington Square Summons Sulphur.
Blunted Paranoia is open May 16th through June 16th. We'll be at the opening this Thursday, which takes place from 6PM-9PM, with an afterparty following to celebrate the birthdays of both artists with DJ, drinks, and treats. RSVP to das@senaspace.com.
May201313
07:44 AM

Brad Fink Tattoo.jpg

The "birthplace of modern American tattooing" is often traced to The Bowery, and even more specifically, Chatham Square.  It was home to Samuel O'Reilly and Charlie Wagner, both of whom patented the first modern tattoo machines. Mildred Hull tattooed in a barber shop on the Bowery. And naturally, it was home to the famed Bowery Boys: Stanley and Walter Moskowitz.

So it seems fitting that a long-time fixture in today's NYC tattoo scene, Daredevil Tattoo, would chose a spot just a few blocks from Chatham Square to make it their new home.  Daredevil is a place where you could get a stellar custom backpiece or a small flash banger and be treated with equal courtesy and respect. The no-attitude tattoo studio is owned by Michelle Myles and Brad Fink, who you'll often find at international tattoo conventions when they're not at Daredevil or Brad's regular home base, Iron Age Tattoo in St. Louis, where they both hail from.

Daredevil's new home will officially be open for business by June 1st, as Michelle writes in her blog post on the move. Here's a bit from that post.

I moved onto Ludlow Street in 1993. I was tattooing out of a little studio apartment facing the street. I shared the space with the bar downstairs. Their giant A/C unit was in the middle of the room. I lived upstairs with my dog and a roommate in the tiniest apartment, the tub wedged between the sink and the stove. My rent on the shop was $500. Everyone told me Ludlow was bad news, dangerous and seedy, kind of like tattooing. When tattooing was legalized In 1997 Brad and I opened Daredevil across the street from my old place. We've seen the neighborhood morph from the sort of area people stayed away from to one of the trendiest blocks in the city. 

And with that trend comes fancy highrises, boutique hotels, and very high rents. While Michelle adds that it felt like she was "punched in the stomach" when her landlord said he'll be raising the rent by 50%, it prompted a move to a bigger and better space--a place where they can properly pay tribute to tattooing's roots. She adds:

The most exciting news for the new shop is that Brad will be bringing his historical tattoo collection to be on display at Daredevil. Brad's collection is massive. It includes a Thomas Edison engraving pen that the original electric tattoo machine patent by Samuel O'Reilly was based on. He also has an original O'Reilly sheet of tattoo flash. We love that the new space is only a few blocks from Chatham Square, which is the birthplace of modern tattooing. New York City is so important to tattooing historically we are honored to pay tribute to that history and to create a destination to share that history with others.
With an expanded shop, comes the need for an expanded crew, and so they are looking for a new artist to join their tattoo family. More info on Devil City Press.

The new space is at 141 Division Street, and their hours continue to be noon until 10 pm seven days a week. 

Check the work of Michelle (see below), Brad (see above), and their tattoo crew here.

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May201310
09:42 PM

The Union presents Dan Dringenberg from Fellowship Supply Co. on Vimeo.

Watch this video and understand why Dan Dringenberg is a legend.

May201309
08:14 AM
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The wonderful Amanda Wachob is no stranger to this blog as she continues to expand tattooing's vocabulary, beyond representational art, with her experimental work. Largely known for her brushstroke effects, Amanda takes a painterly approach to the art form but still keeps the strength of a traditional tattoo.

Amanda talks about this approach on Boston's NPR news station, Here & Now, with a segment entitled "Turning Tattoos Into Fine Art." Along with photographer Paul Nathan, who is the author of "Generation Ink," she also answers some of the standard questions like, Does it hurt? or What will happen if you no longer like it? And she does so in a way that best represents our community. You can stream the show or download it to your media player for offline listening.

A few weeks ago, Amanda was also featured on Huffington Post with a short profile and slideshow of her tattoo and fine art. 

Amanda works out of a private studio in Brooklyn. Find out more about her on AmandaWachob.com.

AmandaWachob abstract tattoo.jpg
May201308
09:13 AM
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If you're looking for inspiration for your next tattoo, check the resources available at Illustrated Monthly -- a one-stop shop for artist reference material. The materials are packaged as virtual sketchbooks, available for download in medium and high resolution. The ebooks are are organized by different themes, like lettering, flowers and foliage, pulp imagery and more. Most downloads go for about $2.99 for medium resolution.

Interestingly, for me at least, the copyright notification states: "All the images featured in the galleries are originally the works of artists who, to the best of our knowledge, have been dead for over seventy years, which makes them part of the public domain in many countries. However, laws on copyright being prone to vary from one country to the next, it is advisable that you ensure that the use you intend to make of them agrees with the laws of your own country." They also disclaim any liability, which means that if you find yourself being sued, you can't go after them.

That said, if you're looking for a jumping off point in creating your own personal design, these digital books could be well worth the download.

[Via Tattoo Culture Magazine]  
May201307
08:51 AM


There's a great video of Ed Hardy in his San Francisco art studio by Bloomberg Business week, entitled "The Hideaway of America's Most Famous Tattoo Artist" (embedded above). While less than 3-minutes long, it packs some juicy info, from Ed's past to the art he is creating today. The highlight of the video is when Ed whips out a box filled with old tattoo designs he created when he was just 10 years old, and he chats about using Maybeline eyeliner at the time to "tattoo" the kids in the neighborhood. You'll also see his latest paintings, which are quite different from his iconic tattoo imagery. It's a must watch.

Also, on Bloomberg Business week, there's a short piece called, "How to Get Rich With Tattoos, by Artist Don Ed Hardy," in which Ed writes of his start in tattooing and how he ended up being a brand name.

The real Ed Hardy story comes out in his memoir Wear Your Dreams: My Life in Tattoos, to be released on June 18th. I have an advance copy next to me and will be writing a review soon. Meanwhile, you can pre-order your copy on Amazon.com.

For more on Ed, check my 2011 interview with him for Inked mag.
May201306
08:48 AM
rapidrealty tattoo.jpg
Last week, the following story hit the headlines: New York Company Offers Pay Raise For Tattoos. If you hit up that link, you'll see a video in which the CEO of Rapid Realty, a New York apartment rental brokerage, discusses how he offers a extra 15% commission bonus on all deals for employees who have the ugly Rapid Realty logo tattooed on their bodies (as shown in the screen grab above).

I was happy to see the story posted and discussed in the N+S Facebook group page, but I really just chalked it up to another of the many tattoo publicity stunts -- akin to the Marc Ecko's Branded for Life promo, where those who get Ecko logo tattoos also get "20% off For Life" on Ecko merch.

But reading the tattoo headlines this morning, this story grew some serious wings and has been appearing in the media worldwide. For example, the UK's Daily Mail had an extensive article with video and images of employees with their Rapid Realty tattoos. The thread throughout these articles is about brand loyalty and tattoos being the ultimate expression of that.

I've discussed this in my post on Tattoos & Trademark and a lecture I did at Fordham Law School on tattooed logos. In that post and in my talk, I largely looked at those who got logo tattoos because they felt a strong commitment to what that brand represents--how the ideologies of the companies represented on their skin reflected their own values. 

What doesn't sit right for me here is that the employees getting their Rapid Realty logo tattoos are incentivized, not necessarily by the ethos of the company, but by financial gain. Someone who needs to pay their own mortgage may not think twice about having their boss brand them to make some extra cash. The company should have some responsibility when permanently marking their corporate drones. What if the company fires a tattooed employee? Will they pay for removal as they did for the tattoo?  In cases like this one, the discussion shouldn't really be about "loyalty" but ethics.

Oh, and the CEO does not have a company tattoo himself.
May201303
09:17 AM
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I just secured my next tattoo appointment with Daniel DiMattia, of Calypso Tattoo when he comes into New York for the NYC Tattoo Convention, May 17-19, so I'm excited, especially considering that I only get tattooed once a year now. But it's interesting to watch how my body suit is slowly coming together, piece by piece. Last May, he tattooed my ribs -- which wasn't fun -- but this time it should be easier with small calf work. I'll be posting photos in two weeks of my new work when it's done.

Dan is booked out for the time, but consider taking a trip to Liege, Belgium, the home of Calypso Tattoo. Dan will also be working the London Tattoo Convention in September.  Oh, and we'll be there too!
May201302
09:12 AM

Alex Grey tattoo by James Kern.jpgAlex Grey tattoo by James Kern 2.jpgThere are many fine artists who have influenced tattoo art, whether it be the subject matter of their paintings or the techniques they use translated on skin or their philosophy of creation. Alex Grey has inspired tattooists in all of these ways. In turn, Alex has embraced the tattoo community and worked with tattooists like James Kern, whose work is shown above, as well as Guy Aitchison and Michele Wortman, among many others. More recently, these artists created the Visionary Tattoo Workshop and Live Painting. The hope is to see more of those events take place, and in a space that is a work of art in itself.

The vision of that space for Alex and Allyson Grey is Entheon.

In NY's Hudson Valley is the Grey's Chapel of Sacred Mirrors or CoSM, a center for visionary arts and culture. What they'd like to do is evolve CoSM into "a building that is a sculpture" where people can "take a journey through art."  In order to do that, they are seeking help via Kickstarter -- and there are tons of great perks. How the Greys envision Entheon is best described in the video below, and you can find images of the plan for the space on their Kickstarter page. Also on that page is a video from Alex's TEDx talk, "How Art Evolves Consciousness," which I highly recommend checking.

Considering Alex's impact on the tattoo community, it would be wonderful to see artists give back (especially if they tattoo his images) and support this project.   

May201301
08:37 AM
sean herman-monazappa.jpgSean Herman's Mona Lisa/Frank Zappa tattoo above.

ed perdomo tattoo.jpgEd Perdomo tattoo above.

Throughout the day, I'll be posting on the Needles & Sins Pinterest Tattoo Board images of some of my favorite cartoon and comical tattoos, beautifully executed by tattooing's top artists from around the world.

The idea behind it is that funny tattoos don't need to be funny looking. They don't need to be a Patrick Swayze as a Chippendale centaur tattoo. Cute tattoos need not be a catastrophe.

I was asked to pull some of top picks for humor tattoos by Oxygen media, the folks behind Best Ink, the tattoo competition show judged by Joe Capobianco, Hannah Aitchison and Sabina Kelly, and hosted by Pete Wentz. Turns out that they have a sense of humor and liked out Best Ink Drinking Game. And as I wrote in my post on the show, perhaps it's time to help offer a better representation of tattooing by reaching the massive audience these shows possess. That's what I'll be doing today on Pinterest.

So, tonight's episode, which airs at 10PM EST, looks at tattoos that convey a sense of humor. The artists are asked to draw caricatures of each other (some are really good!) in their Flash challenge. You can get a preview here.  For the tattoo challenge, they have to create positive and fun tattoos based on the hardships faced by the clients. I know. Drama. I'm not a fan of hearing about someone's drug addiction before they get tattooed, but that's television.

I got a sneak peak at the episode and I have to say that some of the tattoos created in that five hour period are really strong. And some are a mess.

The tattoos I'm posting today, like those here, are what fun tattoos should look like.

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Tattoo by Genko.
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