Results tagged “David Sena”

07:17 AM
Beverly Yuen Thompson.jpgPhoto of Beverly Yuen Thompson above.

Money, sex and more were part of the recent tattoo headlines ...

Starting with dollar signs, two articles focused on tattoo economics: the "The business of making tattoos go away" and "Tattoos: The ultimate art investment?" The tattoo removal story, which looks at Vamoose, a laser removal business in Chicago, is not really interesting in itself; what caught my attention was how one partner in Vamoose stated that he expected "a spike [in business] from a new Chicago Police Department rule forbidding officers to show tattoos while in uniform if the ban survives a court challenge." Tattoo bans can lead to bigger bucks it seems.

The art investment article is a better read. It leads off with the $55,000 body suit of our friend Jesus Ayala, whose stunning work by David Sena is really priceless. [You can see more of Jesus' tattoos in this pic with my sis and Andrew (also tattooed by David) at the NYC tattoo convention.]

Both articles cite some different numbers on what Americans allegedly spend on tattoos annually: the removal story cites an old Pew Research study putting that number at $1.65 billion, while the other article cites an IbisWorld study saying that, by 2020, revenue from the tattoo industry [as a whole -- not just what people spend] is expected to surpass a billion dollars. Both seem low to me. There are a lot of 55K bodysuits across America, not to mention the rise in rates with the rise of "celebrity tattoo artists." Looks like it's time for a new study.

On sex front ... "The Secret Lives Of Tattooed Women" looks at Beverly Yuen Thompson's new book, "Covered in Ink Tattoos, Women and the Politics of the Body." I'm looking forward to getting my hands on a copy; after having some great conversations with Beverly for the book about what heavily tattooed women experience -- positive & negative -- I'm sure it's a wonderful read. There's naturally discussion of how we're often viewed as sexually available and of "questionable character." Here's a taste from the article:

As recently as the 1950s, one artist, Samuel Steward, recalled enforcing a rule of spousal permission for women getting tattoos to avoid blowback from furious husbands; some women, such as the partners of bikers, were permitted to get tattoos... that branded them as "Property of" their men. During that time period, Thompson pointed out, "policies that required women to have parental or spousal permission for doing many things in their daily life were common." A tattooed woman might seem on the fringes of society, of questionable character, not appropriately deferential to a male authority. Even now, she said, this pressure continues informally: "Many tattoo artists report that after getting divorced, women come to tattoo studios in droves, and say things like, 'My husband would never let me get a tattoo. So now I can!'"

You can order the book online at NYU Press. Also check Beverly's documentary "Covered," which is available in its entirety on YouTube here.

Looking at a family of tattooed women in Bristol, check this sweet article, "Three generations of women got a tattoo after eldest of the trio declared "you only live once." [Thanks for the link, Paul!]

And beloved tattoo matriarch, Loretta Leu, talks about giving her first tattoo, which is a great read. Find more history on the iconic tattoo family here.

The tattoo news also included news on celebrity tattoo mistakes, and other ridiculousness but that doesn't leave much to think or talk about. Always feel free to share your thoughts on the headlines in our Facebook group or Tweet at me. [I also have this Instagram thing.]
03:02 PM
Sam Clark art.jpgArtwork above by Sam Clark.

tim kern art.jpg Artwork above by Tim Kern.

Erin Chance art.jpgArtwork above by Erin Chance.

I think this is the first post ever with a hashtag-like headline, but I had to highlight #3paintingsadayfor5days, which is fabulous tag to follow on Instagram, Facebook & Twitter for viewing fine art online, especially now that so many tattoo artists have jumped on it to share their work. In general, artists nominate each other to post, on their social media pages, three paintings a day for five days.

It's been great seeing my news feeds flood with art work from all mediums, like the fire drawings by David Sena below, or (two of) the digital paintings by Jason Butcher (also below). Often artists add some details about the works, like Tim Kern, who offers up beautiful sentiment about his inspiration, his wife Hang, for the works above.

I love this stuff!

jason butcher art.jpgArtwork above by Jason Butcher.

david Sena art.jpgFire drawings above by David Sena.
08:42 AM

David Sena fire art.jpg The exceptional tattooing of David Sena of SenaSpace in NYC has appeared on this blog before, most recently, with the photos below of his clients at the NYC Tattoo Convention. David's fine art work, however, demands more attention.

This Cool Hunting video does just that. In the footage, David demonstrates his work with fire, as he employs firecrackers and smoke bombs to burn paper, making art that is as powerful as the methods he uses to create it.  David discusses how experimentation in unique ways of mark making led this body of fine art work. I particularly enjoyed how he explained his love for the uncertainty and randomness of the process and making an uncontrollable substance like fire do what he wants to do.   

Tattooing since 1994, David has drawn parallels between his tattoo and fire art, stating that the two forms of creative expression have coexisted well because they both entail physical and ritualistic processes while transforming matter and people.

Check more of David's tattoos and artwork on his site as well as on Facebook and Instagram.

Cool Hunting Video: David Sena from Cool Hunting on Vimeo.

 David Sena tattoo clients.jpg
David Sena chest tattoo.jpg
David Sena's tattoo clients, above, including close-up.
02:21 PM
David Sena tattoo clients.jpg
David Sena chest tattoo.jpg
David Sena's tattoo clients, above, including close-up.

Rods Jimenez tattoo.jpgRods Jimenez tattoo above.

We had an amazing time celebrating the 17th Annual NYC Tattoo Convention, in its final days at Roseland Ballroom, this past weekend. In addition to the pics I post on Friday, I posted some more images from the weekend, which you can find on our Flickr set and Instagram. [Many thanks to Pamela Shaw for taking a number of photos with her fancy camera as opposed to my iPhone shots.]

In the news, the Village Voice covered the show, particularly those with facial tattoos, in an extensive slideshow.

Looking forward to the next incarnation of my home town's convention!

NYC Tattoo convention 2014.jpg
09:58 PM

Tattooist and fine-artist (or should I say "fire-artist"?) David Sena will be opening a new showing of his work tomorrow night in NYC. According to the press release:

Pyriscence is an exhibition featuring a selection of dynamic sculptures and large-scale drawings on paper by gallery founder, David Sena.


The exhibition is a series of silhouette self-portraits, each created through shadow projection, one of the many ways Sena attempts to avert authorship and to examine himself with the detachment of a scientist.

Pyriscence will be on display from February 6th to March 2nd at Senaspace - 229 Centre St - NY, NY - 10013

1533926_356384481170637_514080347_n.jpg[tattoo by David Sena]

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
09:20 PM
David Sena soccer tattoo.jpg
This is how you just do it ...

Futurist futbol/soccer tattoo by David Sena of Senapsace in NYC.  Check the continuation of the motion onto the sleeve, which is inspired by the Greek god Hermes, below. Love!
david sena black tattoo.jpg
11:01 AM
david sena tattoo2 .jpgdragon tattoo sena.jpgIn a city teeming with many of the world's stellar tattooists, David Sena has consistently stood out as one of NYC's finest for his exceptionally strong and vivid Japanese tattoos as well as bold and beautiful blackwork -- some of the best in the US.

I met David over a decade ago at a tattoo convention in New Jersey. Actually, I first met his client with a blackwork aquatic-themed bodysuit, whom I accosted to find out who did the work. He then took me to David, who seemed a bit confused by this short redhead spewing all kinds of questions at him in the usual hyper state I'm in when I excited by exceptional tattoos. Thankfully, I didn't scare him off and we became friends.

As his friend, I've gotten a front row seat to watch the transformation of his large-scale tattoo projects as well as his fire art; however, David describes his work best: 

My fine artwork is created with a technique of drawing by burning marks on paper with fireworks and other volatile materials. These techniques are rooted in one of humankind's earliest technologies: fire, and as such they speak to something elemental in the human condition. Inspired by cosmology and the interconnection between terrestrial and celestial fires, my drawings become a record of their creation, a map pointing to the reason for human existence, or rather the outer limits, the infinite, the space not yet grasped. These two means of creating - tattooing and burning-- have a unique synergy, as they both entail physical and ritualistic processes of mark-making while transforming matter/people.
David now has a new space to create his tattoos and fine art:  Senaspace in NYC's Little Italy. And he's inviting all of you to its grand opening on 12.12.12, from 6-10pm (afterparty to follow). At the opening, there will be an exhibition of his latest works and live fire drawing demo.

Senaspace Opening flyer.jpg
David says of the space:  "This gallery and tattoo studio is a reflection of my lifelong interest in diverse modes of artistic expression, and my conviction that art is not a luxury but a sublime human need. I hope this space speaks to you on an aesthetic, visceral, and personal level."

I've already visited the studio and it's a gorgeous space. He plans to regularly feature expositions, projects and guest spots by local and international artists in all mediums. So you'll be hearing more from David here.   

SENASPACE, 229 Centre St. NY NY 10013, 212-966-5151,

david sena fire art.jpgSkull david sena art.jpg
12:21 PM
david sena art.jpgThis Thursday, December 9th, is the opening of an exciting solo show of new fine art works by David Sena, NY tattooist and co-owner of North Star Tattoo. Entitled "Inevitable Futures," the exhibition highlights David's work with a medium just as challenging as needles on skin: fire on canvas. Read more about the show here.'s feature on David's fire drawings offers an inside look into his process with an extensive photo gallery, including the one below.

david sena fire art.jpg
Yashar Gallery
Opening reception from 6 to 9pm
Live music by Drumone, Lenny Posso.
276 Greenpoint Avenue, Building 8 ground floor, Brooklyn, NYC
After Party Sponsored by Ketel One Vodka to be followed by RSVP only to

"Inevitable Futures" will be on view by appointment December 10-29, 2010. To schedule an appointment or for more information please contact David Sena: or 1-917-445-4299.
12:08 PM
gene coffey art.jpg
This Friday, October 2nd from 7-10PM, join the Needles and Sins crew in Williamsburg, Brooklyn at Tattoo Culture's Fourth Anniversary Group Art Show opening.

On view, the fine art work of tattooists including the legendary Bugs, Dan Marshall, Liorcifer and Tim Kern, Dana Helmuth, David Sena, Emma Griffiths, Noon of France, and TC's resident artist Gene Coffey (whose oil painting is shown above), among other artists.

Many of you know most of our Needles and Sins events are held at Tattoo Culture because it's a large beautiful space close to subways and easy parking, but more important, it's an attitude free zone where people can enjoy the art work, chill, and party without pretension.

And yes, there will be free booze.

The show runs until November 13th. Hope to see y'all Friday.
12:29 PM
deadly sins backpiece.jpg
Last Thursday, at the release party for my Black Tattoo Art book, I did diva it up but I was also thrilled to share the spotlight with amazing photographers who contributed to the book. One photographer in attendance who wowed the crowd with his portraits of David Sena's tattoo clients is Damian Sandone.

Shooting tattoos is not an easy task, and for professional photographers, it involves coming to portraiture with a different approach than a usual sitting. Here's how Damian describes it:

"I love to use lighting as a means of dramatic affect especially when it comes to tattooed bodies. It's different from shooting a portrait; faces are beautiful and tell a lot about a person, but the story isn't deep. Their face can only show so much about themselves. Tattoos bring a whole other dimension to a person's individuality. That belief, or idea, or dream, whatever it may be, is what I like to bring to the surface with the proper lighting effect."

Damian is a third-generation photographer who creates works with such fluidity that, indeed,  each photograph tells a story. His digital works can be found in campaigns for Nautica, Kenneth Cole, Tommy Hilfiger, Scoop, and so many more.

Currently, he's working on a project for Postures for the Planet, a non-profit working to bring yoga education into schools, in which he is shooting a series of photographs using yoga instructors in NYC doing postures in and around the city.

Damian and I are planning an exhibition of his work at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn in the next couple of months. Check it.

Contact info for Damian:

Damian Sandone
347 W. 39th St.,  Studio 6
New York, NY 10018
12:26 PM
david sena tattoo.jpg
Today marks the one year anniversary of one of my favorite NYC tattoo studios, North Star Tattoo, home to artists Rodrigo Melo and David Sena (whose latest seven deadly sins tattoo is highlighted above).  Both Rodrigo and David swept the tops awards for Japanese and Black Work at the NYC Tattoo Convention and I expect no less this upcoming May as well.

Brian and I will be heading to their anniversary party tonight, which starts at 6pm, and David said that the invite is extended to all Needles and Sins readers. With Jose Cuervo and Ketel One vodka sponsoring the bash, it'll be a great time, and hopefully one I'll remember. Should have pix up on Flickr if we get ambitious.

North Star is located at 74 East 7th street in the East Village.
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