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I know. I know. You're upset.
The magic and mystery that tattooing once held has faded into the ether leaving us with, well, Dave Navarro. The heavily tattooed, perfectly manscaped rocker with the smokey eyeshadow is now the arbiter of body art, holding the fate of ten tattooists in his hand as he decides who will be ... "INK MASTER." [!!!]
If only someone who really feels the tattoo passion could command such fate, someone like Kimberly Caldwell ... wait who? Oh, she was the seventh place finalist on the second season of American Idol, who is hosting Oxygen's own tattoo competition, "Best Ink." But we'll get to that.
"Ink Master" is Spike TV's version of Project Runway produced by Original Media, the ones you have to thank for Miami, LA & NY Ink as well as The Rachel Zoe Project and BBQ Pitmasters. Like these shows, "tension and stakes are high" as tattooists battle it out for $100,000 and a feature in Inked Magazine. Here's more from their PR peeps:
"Ink Master" contestants will compete in various tattoo challenges that not only test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo on command. Challenges focus on different tattooing techniques, such as shading, line and proportion, and styles including photorealism, Tribal, American traditional, and pin-up.Ok, that doesn't sound too bad. Essentially, it's a Hollywood version of the first and most wonderful tattoo competition series, "Tattoo Wars," which was never picked up because people with tattoos actually liked it.
In addition to Navarro, Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) make up the show panel with guest judges, like tattooers Scott Campbell and Jack Rudy, weighing in on certain episodes. Other guest judges are Inked creative director Todd Weinberger, "Auction Hunters" Ton Jones and NBA player Chris Andersen [because reality stars and basketball players are the taste makers in fine art tattooing.]
Considering the roster of artists competing, which include many well respected tattooers -- some who are friends of ours -- we have hopes for Ink Master, or at least we don't think we'll be getting as drunk as we do with our NY Ink Drinking Game.
That said, we'll just pretend this show trailer ever happened. And let's forget the tag line "You don't get to be a master without drawing some blood." Instead, click the videos with our girl, Lea Vendetta and Brooklyn's own Al Fliction. Here's the full artist list:
Ink Master premiers January 17th. We'll make a drinking game for this one just in case.
Oh, and yeah, that competition show for the Oxygen network. Well, it's pretty much the exact same thing -- ten artists compete for $100,000 and a spread in a magazine, but in addition to the American Idol non-winner, the awesome Joe Capobianco and Sabina Kelly hold court. Oxygen's PR machine is a bit behind on Spike's, but when [more] photos and videos are out, we'll be posting them, especially if they come with kicky taglines. Best Ink premiers January 30th.
UPDATE: Tattoo magazine has a cover feature on Best Ink. For more, check the Hope Gallery Blog.
UPDATE 2: Best Ink site has a few pics on their site with more content to come.