Results tagged “Black Tattoo Art”
Mandalas, Yantras, the interlocking swastikas of the Sayagata--they are some of the most referenced imagery found in dotwork tattooing. And the prevalence of their use and influence on so many tattooists worldwide can be traced to one man: Xed LeHead.
These artists, from the 90s Dunstable generation to today's Instagram #sacredgeometrytattoo stars, reverently refer to Xed as "The Dotfather," for the 3-needle dot configurations tattooed in richly textured patterns across massive swaths of skin. From the age of 13, Xed was handpoking friends, ten years before he chose to pursue tattooing around 1990. And from those very first tattoos, dots always dominated.
You'll be finding The Dotfather banner (above) popping up on social media feeds, in honor of all Xed's artistic contributions to tattooing, and the lives he has changed with his work. However, these tributes stem from very difficult circumstances and the desire to support a beloved friend, mentor, and inspirational figure in tattooing.
Recently, Xed suffered a severe medical condition, leaving him unable to use his arms and legs and forcing him to retire from tattooing. Xed faces a long road of rehabilitation and the need for specialist medical equipment and services that exceed both Xed and the UK's National Health Service budgets. To support Xed and give back all he has given to our community, a trust fund has been set up, spearheaded by tattooers Goldilox and Delphine Noiztoy, that will go directly to these medical costs.
** To be a part of this support, please donate to the Official Xed Le Head fund page. You can learn more about the fundraising efforts, share your Xed stories, and find out about his care on the Xed Le Head Facebook fundraising page. **
Also check @Xedleheadlove on Instagram and share the love with these hashtags #xedleheadlove #xedlehead #themaster.
There are additional individual fundraisers planned: There will be an exhibition of Xed's work at the Norwich Tattoo Convention August 15-16th, and for the first time his prints will be for sale. FK Irons is auctioning off three dedicated Xed tattoo machines, and there are many more auctions of artists work planned.
I'll be setting up an auction for the original Black Tattoo Art, the cover of which is graced by Xed's work and has pages of his tattoos inside as does Black Tattoo Art II). More on that to come.
While there are have been a number of fundraisers for tattooers' medical expenses, this one is different for me. Not only does compassion move me to help someone who is forced to stop making a living and doing what he loves, I think it is also time to reciprocate Xed's gifts of an expanded tattoo vocabulary and spiritual approach to the art. And for anyone who has ever banked on the Master Pattern and his other designs, it seems to me like a debt owed (although, he probably would not approve of me saying so).
Xed is also known for his generosity of spirit, dedication to his clients, and passion for tattoos. In my last interview with him, he said some beautiful things, a part of which I want to share with you:
[T]he days in the studio, the time spent devoted to another human, not sexual and with or without payment being of no consequence, but for the betterment of them, for improving their journey through life, knowing and believing fully that what I attempt to do with them, for them, is to rewire their Planet Freakout Playsuit a little, to improve their vibration rate and deepen their connection with their selves.There is also the want to get into their heads, to know them, to watch their growth, to get involved with really complex pieces that take at least forever to complete, often much longer.
Xed rose up through the famed Into You Tattoo, the London studio of his mentor Alex Binnie, and then created his own space in North London, Divine Canvas, the premier studio for blackwork.
You can find more of Xed's work on the Divine Canvas site and his personal site - which has a great interview section.
I also recommend you watching this Youtube video, in which he talks about his most renowned work on Lucky Diamond Rich, Guinness World Records Most Tattooed Man.
Once inspired, please go to Official Xed Le Head fund page and be a part of supporting a tattoo icon.
Update: Black Tattoo Art Volume I is now sold out but the Black Tattoo Art II and Color Tattoo Art are still available (for now).
"Black Friday" is a term that represents gross commerce in the name of holiday cheer, so I figured I'd take over that name and add a bit of beauty by making it Black TATTOO Friday, and offer the few remaining author copies of some of my books at a significantly reduced rate. The books on sale are:Tattoo above by Vincent Hocquet (Black Tattoo Art I).
* Black Tattoo Art Volume 2 (my latest baby) on sale for $120 + shipping, and
* Color Tattoo Art (my new school/cartoon/comics monster) on sale for $99 + shipping.
Buy them online here.
Along with the books, I'll throw in Needlesandsins.com stickers and condoms for free! And a love note!
The book sale kicks off our holiday guide, so we'll be featuring lots of other products to knock off your shopping list without ever having to enter a Walmart.
Here are some sample pics from the books below. See more pics on Flickr: Black Tattoo Art I, Black Tattoo Art II, and Color Tattoo Art.
Tattoo above by Leon Lam (Black Tattoo Art II)
Tattoo above by Genko (Color Tattoo Art).
As my next volume of Black Tattoo Art is in its final stages, set to launch later this Spring, I wanted to offer you a preview of some of the work that will be featured. And considering it's the birthday of my tattoo artist today -- Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo in Belgium -- I figured I'd post one of his more recent works that will be in the book: this adorable dotwork Matryoshka dolls (or Russian nesting dolls) tattoo . I love the background dot patterns with the henna-inspired line work as well.
Check more of Dan's work here. You can also read about my last couple of sessions with him as we continue my body suit here and here.
More previews to come!
Just a quickie post to let you know that we now have a Needles & Sins online store where those in the US can buy author copies of my books quick and easy and cheap(er).
While Black Tattoo Art is currently sold out, I do have available copies of Color Tattoo Art and Black & Grey Tattoo.
For those outside the US, hit me up at firstname.lastname@example.org for shipping rates.
I'm having a perfect Sunday with a few of my favorite things: brunch, Bloody Marys, and bluegrass. While no one is taking my food and drink from me, I will share the music.
I'm loving this song Femme Fatale by Birmingham's The Toy Hearts, released on their third album also titled Femme Fatale, which is a blend of bluegrass swing and "gypsy jazz." This gorgeous video for the song was shot at Dawnii Fantana's Painted Lady Tattoo Parlour in Birmingham. If you're not familiar with Dawnii's stellar tattoo work, check it here. The video features my friend Clare Goldilox, who does her hand-poked dotwork magic at Painted Lady, and at times, on the low in the seedy underbelly of society. [She'll deny the latter.]
Clare sent me the video because my Black Tattoo Art book makes a brief cameo (see below). I was stoked but even more so to find a new band to brighten my weekend.
PS: I'm thinking of making "Music Sunday" a regular or semi-regular feature, so if you have a particular song and video you want to share, especially with a tattoo theme, send me links to marisa at needlesandsins.com.
An exciting solo show of paintings inspired by tattoo art opens November 19th at the Gebert Gallery in Venice, California: The Human Canvas by Paul Ecke.
Paul contacted me after finding my Black Tattoo Art book last year and being inspired by work he saw in it. I helped put him in contact with a number of the tattoo artists in the book like Yann Black, Rory Keating and Roni Zulu among others, which led to the beautiful collaborations that comprise The Human Canvas series. In this video interview below, Paul and Zulu discuss "how both artist's passions cross over into each other's mediums."
For more on the paintings, Virginia Repasky of Art Management says:
In "The Human Canvas," artist, Paul Ecke explores the reality that each of us is tattooed, some on the outside but all on the inside, where we all hide our burdens and pleasures in a very secret way. This suite is a continuation of the artist's earlier work "Men Behind Gates." "Men Behind Gates" represented a return to his classical figurative training and became an awakening of man's emotional struggles--struggles imposed by society as well as self. Like "Men Behind Gates," this is a raw and an emotionally driven series that is both bold and honest in content. Yet "The Human Canvas" forgoes the implementation of the painted gate and instead propels the viewer to a more provocative and passionate exploration through the form of the tattoo.
The Human Canvas will be on view at the Gebert Gallery until December 15th.
Brian and I were supposed to be back in Brooklyn today, blogging our hearts away after a refreshing sojourn to San Juan, but because of the beautiful NY weather, our flight has been cancelled and we're "stuck" in Puerto Rico. Oh no!
While I was taking an internet break (I had to get back online to stop the nervous twitching), the powers that be at BoingBoing reviewed my book Black Tattoo Art. Xeni gave it a gracious review and I'm thankful. She asked that I send her more "techy" photos from the book, and I sent her many from the Art Brut chapter, which she loved.
The commenters were less generous than Xeni, however, (except the one person who actually owns the book) and offered insight like "I do believe tattoo overdose is this decade's mullet" or comments (a lot of them) on whether a butt tattoo was of Starsky and Hutch.
Rather than play with the trolls there, I'll simply answer 'em here before I go back to the pool:
* The book is covers everything from traditional tribal (e.g., Maori and Filipino tattooing) to Zuluetta's Neo-Tribal to Dotwork as well as the "techy" tattoos of Art Brut. You can see more photos here.
* I am not independently wealthy nor a construction worker. I am a lawyer who has worked on Wall Street and international firms in Europe. I just didn't go to work in a bikini.
* Every page has the artist credit so you know right away who did the tattoo. Their contact info is in the back of the book.
* You CAN get a tattoo simply because you think it's cool.
* As for the Starsky & Hutch(??) butt tattoo, well, I'll let you have some fun with that in our own comments section.
Ok, off to bathe in SPF50. Hasta La Vista!
Let's just all assume that Marisa's new Black Tattoo Art book is already on everybody's list -- and it should be, since it's the kind of book that I imagine will be one of those much sought after publications fifty years from now. Anyway, history is important, books are good, here's three you can still get and should be reading or purchasing immediately. We'll go reverse chronologically.
Underway is the Only Way
This is the one that prompted me to make this little list, and while you can still snag a copy on Book Mistress, it's not currently in print. So go get a copy now and read the rest of this later. A joint effort between Grime and Horitaka, Underway is all interviews with current tattooers, both old vets and younger guys, and they run the gamut: Jack Rudy, Marcus Pacheco, Filip Leu, Corey Miller and a Chris O'Donnell/Mike Rubendall conversation where beer is spilled at least four times. It's a really fantastic look at how a lot of tattooers came up, but what's even better is that the conversations are long; which means they get in to some great topics, instead of just bitching about TV shows. There's also Guy Aitchison, Aaron Cain, Troy Denning...
New York City Tattoo
I got this book a few years ago and it's always a fun one to come back to. Sam O'Reilly got the ball rolling in Chinatown in 1875 and New York City Tattoo picks up with tattooers like Brooklyn Blackie, Huck Spaulding and the Moskowitz brothers. It's all oral interviews and full of stories about grungy, closet-sized spaces and serious bare-knuckle brawls before the ban in 1964. This was real deal tattooing and if it doesn't make you respect the trade and its rough-and-tumble western roots, then I'm sending a certain fiery redhead your way that I'm sure can sort you out. There's also some amazing old photos and some great old flash.
Tattoo: Secrets of a Strange Art
Originally published by Simon and Schuster in 1933, Dover re-printed Albert Parry's work in 2006. Pretty sure someone mentioned this on N+S, or maybe it was the old Needled, but it's definitely worth a look -- they've got Charlie Wagner in here! It gives you the 1930s perspective, which can be pretty hilarious but also surprisingly similar to the current state of affairs here in 2009. Take, for example, tattooers throwing a fit when they started making ladies pajamas with tattoo designs on them. Parry does a good job of talking to folks and trying to get to the bottom of why so many different types of people seem to love tattoos: ladies, kids, criminals, hookers, circus folks. Also has some photos and flash designs, but they aren't the focus.
Now, there are a few books I failed to mention. Here's another quick list of books we've covered on here (in varying depth) that you should also check out, and, of course, the Shige book has already become one of those much sought after publications...so we assume it's assumed. But:
* The Art of Shige
* Tattoo Machines: Tall Tales, True Stories & My Life in Ink
* John Reardon's The Complete Idiot's Guide to Getting a Tattoo
* The Blue Tattoo: The Life of Olivia Oatman
* Tattoo in Japan
Also, Lal Hardy's Mammoth Book of Tattoos is worth a look, too, for some great current work and Vintage Tattoos is fun for some classic designs. Ok, so this was what, three lists? Two and a half? Feel free to add!
Photo of Rory Keating Tattoo on Lady Miss Nataka in Black Tattoo Art
It's been a month since I blogged about my Black Tattoo Art book, so I figured I could get away with a quick, shameless update.
Now, if you order the book from LastGasp.com, and put in the promo code "Needles" at checkout online, then you get free shipping -- and considering the book weighs about nine pounds, that's a big savings.
In the 536-page hardcover, you find 35 of the very best blackwork artists paying homage to the ancient roots of tattooing in their contemporary interpretations. No other publication has curated the work of so many esteemed international tattooists working in black ink and gathered them into one MASSIVE comprehensive volume. Check sample pages on Flickr.
A full page review of the book is in this month's Total Tattoo magazine and it got 5 out of 5 stars, saying "If we had a six star rating, Black Tattoo Art would certainly merit it." Woohoo!
As Marisa and I attempt to caffeinate ourselves into recovery from last night's
Big thanks to everyone in attendance for such an amazing evening - especially those of you who bought a copy of Black Tattoo Art. Seriously. We love your money.
(Photo courtesy of drivenbyboredom.com - duh)
Marisa's Black Tattoo Art book release and subsequent party tonight at Tattoo Culture might be dominating the headlines around these here parts, but for those of us tattoo junkies with monstrous 4x12 Marshalls on the brain, there is another event worth noting...
Sure, I could talk about the Amazin Autumn line-up of NYC shows: Clutch, Jesus Lizard, Mastodon with Dethklok, Baroness, et cetera. But none of these events offer free tater tots.
Righty roo, Rorge. Free fucking tater tots, all night long at Trash Bar. Open bar from 8-9pm with paid admission ($7) and the mighty - albeit petulant and nerdy - Dogs of Winter taking the stage at 10pm.
Click here for the Facebook invite.
I'm sure you'll soon get queasy reading incessant posts on my Black Tattoo Art so here's some virtual Pepto for ya ...
A FREE copy that you can win via the fab CoolHunting.com.
That's $159 saved in your wallet. Buy something nice. A kicky hat perhaps.
To enter to win, go to the bottom of this page, click on Contact and select "Black Tattoo Art Book Giveaway" from the drop-down menu. Tell them your favorite tattoo artist and they'll pick at random from entries received before 11:59 pm EST on 11 September 2009.
I'm so happy to be doing this give-away with the Cool Hunting crew -- the very best curators of high design -- because it brings me back to the roots of my tattoo blogging. Our joint blog venture Needled.com began in 2005. [About a year later, we sold it to Rivr Media. It ceased publication in February this year.]
My first, humbling moment clicking "post" for Needled was in their home, watching Josh hunched on his knees getting his back tattooed as he typed away on his Mac. It was a sight (and a great view!).
And so I always have felt part of the Cool Hunting family, at least their lowbrow little sister.
Also online today is a post on Black Tattoo Art featured in Piel Magazine, the virtual bod mod magazine published in Argentina by tattooed goddess La Negra. Le Negra has stunning tattoos by fellow Argentinian artist, Nazareno Tubaro, whose work is shown above and featured in the book. See more from his portfolio here.
Book, book, book, blah blah blah. Alright, let me get working on the tattoo news review to cleanse your palate from all my shameless book promo.
Black is beautiful, my friends.
In fact, I've taken the statement to heart (and skin) with enough black ink in my dermis to fill the Library of Congress. And with this passion for blackwork tattoos, I began collecting images and some stories of the world's best tattoo artists only working in black ink with the help of my primary tattooist, former hubby, and friend, Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo, renowned himself for this style. The result ...
Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal.
The book will be released this Thursday, September 10 and yes, there will be some partying. Join me on Thursday at Tattoo Culture from 7 to 10:30pm for drinks, food, and an awesome playlist of tunes by the fabulous Ron Worthy.
Keep in mind that the book -- published by fine art and erotic publishers Edition Reuss -- is a 536-page, thread-bound hardcover with silver embossing that weighs over six pounds. A friend suggested that it will also nicely double as a home defense device. Or free weight.
Evan's sleeves by David Sena of North Star Tattoo
For more info on the book, I did write a fancy press release with big words. What I didn't mention in the release is the year-long process of seeking out pictures and stories of the top blackwork artists. Many of whom shun online communication and enjoy long stretches of time without any worldly contact so to rejuvenate and become inspired for the masterful tattoos featured. But try to explain large size 300 DPI format to 'em ... I joke. Kinda.
Seriously, it was a great honor to curate the very first English language book EVER dedicated to blackwork tattooing in its many forms. It was inspired by Ed Hardy's TattooTime premier issue entitled New Tribalism. In it, the legendary Cliff Raven said one of my favorite quotes:
"The perfect tattoo -- the one I believe we are all struggling toward -- is the one that turned the jackass into the zebra."Raven, one of the pioneers of the fine art tattoo movement, wrote that after 20 years of tattooing, he found "decorative art" was the tattoo style that best fit the human canvas. He explained that creating two-dimensional elaborations on a three-dimensional object is akin to "pin striping an auto as opposed to copying Frazetta paintings onto the sides of vans." It was a bold statement, but one perfectly suited to the tattoo movement it trumpeted.
He called this style "Pre-Technological Tattooing." Hardy called it "New Tribalism." Most have used the term "Neo-tribal" to define the tattooing of Leo Zulueta, one of the first contemporary tattooists to fully dedicate his body of work to interpreting the arts of indigenous cultures (also featured in Black Tattoo Art).
More recently, many tattooists have been defining their portfolios as "Blackwork," taking their tribal interpretations even farther but still adhering to the decorative arts tenets. Indeed, there is a rainbow of terms to describe this monochromatic art form.
Work by Vincent Hocquet of Beautiful Freak Tattoo
For this book, we kept it simple with the title "Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal" to encompass the various designs and aesthetics that have sprung from the Neo-Tribal movement; a movement which took root in the late sixties, flourished in the eighties and nineties, and pollenized the beautiful offshoots of today.
The title is deceptively simple, however, because what really is "modern black" tattoo art?
It's not a book on traditional tribal tattooing. There is a chapter that looks at a few artists today reviving their ancestral tattoo arts, but this is a very small part of this monster volume.
It is a book that looks at how today's tattooists have taken the tenets of tribal arts -- the soulfulness and harmony with the body -- and applied it in contemporary, imaginative ways.
To see sample pages of their work in the book, check the Black Tattoo Art Flickr set.