Guest Blog: Mondial du Tatouage 2016 - Paris Tattoo Convention
Amy Mymouse tattooing at the Mondial du Tatouage in Paris.
Borneo Head Hunters booth.
Greg Orie tattoo collectors.
My social media feeds were buzzing all weekend with photos and updates from the Mondial du Tatouage, which attracted tattoo artists and fans across the globe to the Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris. Our friend Serinde attended the convention and is graciously sharing her photos and experience in this guest blog. See more of Serinde's photos on the N+S Flickr Paris Tattoo set.
BY SERINDE of SERINDE CORSETS:
I'm here again to bring you a few pics and impressions from the Mondial du Tatouage. Organised by Tin-Tin, the event is, once again, HUGE. Over 350 international artists and over 32,000 estimated visitors, and countless disposable gloves, needles, ink bottles... This year, I decided to visit the convention on a Sunday, naively thinking that it would not be too crowded. I was wrong. When I arrived just when it opened, there was a huge waiting line, even for those who had pre-purchased their tickets. One of the biggest events that drew people to the convention on Sunday was the Best Back/Overall competition. But there are many reasons why so many waited to be a part of it. This Paris show is special in its own way. The rock-n-roll, yet relaxed atmosphere. The prestigious artists selected to work the show (with many artists around the world wanting to be a part of it). And maybe some secret ingredient.
Walking around on this third and last day of the convention was quite interesting, as I could see artists working on large pieces that were being done over the three days of the convention; however, there were also many artists doing smaller designs and flash. Although most of appointments were quickly booked right at the beginning of the day (and of course, pre-booked before the show), I saw some visitors looking for available artists for a quick tattoo "walk-up" and likely very appreciative of being able to grab a spot. Bottom line: If you wanted to get tattooed at the show, you had to bring your ass over there early! A quick note on the organization itself: the venue has been arranged slightly differently this year, which made is easier to walk around, especially at the mezzanine level (I don't think the bridges were here last year and it was an improvement). Food trucks and tables to eat outside were also a great idea. So things keep improving each year, making it better and better. It's also interesting to note that there were some more visibly tattooed people in attendance - those with face, neck and hand tattoos. Not many necessarily, but enough to make it noticeable. I watched one man with the side of his head tattooed get ready to be tattooed on the other side. It's likely we'll see more heavily tattooed collectors at future Paris shows.
Now, on to the contest: Best Back/overall. The jury was comprised of the same esteemed artists as last year -- Bill Salmon, Luke Atkinson, Filip Leu - with the addition of American tattoo pioneer Kari Barba. Impressive! There were 27 contestants with backpieces or full body suits, with a majority being Japanese-inspired tattooing. A great aspect of the contest was that Tin-Tin was on stage commenting on each tattoo's style and influences; for example, he explained how a Japanese tattoo is composed overall and commented on the distinctions between Japanese and Chinese style tattooing. It was like a live masterclass on the tattoo aesthetics! Seriously fascinating. [Shown above] The artist Horihui took over the contests, with another 1st prize. [I visited his booth earlier, and he had already won two awards since Friday, not to mention those he won last year.] Ching received 2nd place, and Guy le Tattooer 3rd place. The contests were a definitely a highlight but there was plenty to do and see, which naturally caught to attention of TONS of press. Coverage of the convention could be found on many mainstream TV channels, and many magazines & newspapers are talking about it. For good reason.