Results tagged “Edgar Hoill”

08:08 AM
tattoo-masters-2.jpgTattoo-Master-Flash-Sailor_Jerry.jpgSailor Jerry flash above.

Tattoo-Master-FlashHoriyoshi III.jpgHoriyoshi III flash above.

Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins
Bert Grimm
Horiyoshi III
Don Ed Hardy
The Leu Family
Leo Zulueta ...

The names of these iconic tattoo artists can be found on tattoo shop walls across the globe, signed on sheets of their artwork, inspiring generations of tattooers. Ready to be copied onto skin or viewed solely as a piece of art itself, tattoo flash of great artists has furthered the evolution of tattooing as an art form and as a business. While custom tattooing garners the most attention these days for unique one-off works, flash offers collectors an opportunity to get a tattoo designed by someone they may not have an opportunity to meet, while providing tattooers a pre-made design to faithfully reproduce or use as a jumping off point for their own work.    

Large libraries can be filled with all the books of flash that have been published; however, a collection comprised of the noted artists above and other world-class tattooers has not existed until the recent release of the gorgeous volumes TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - PART 1 and TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - Part 2.

Curated by Edgar Hoill and Matthias Reuss, these large-scale panorama books contain 168 pages of historic flash and also new works created specifically for this project by 78 tattoo artists. Printed on extra thick high quality paper, bound with a durable metal spiral, the sheets lay flat for easy flipping, and also easier removal should you wish to cut out and frame the art.

The books offer a broad spectrum of artistic styles, including lettering, realism, ancient marks and mandalas, woodblock prints, abstract graphic designs, Japanese and Chinese mythology, Neotribal, Nordic, black & grey Chicano tattoo motifs and much more. Not all pages are stylized with individual tattoo designs on one sheet; some sheets are drawn or painted as one complete work of art.  

TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - PART I includes works by Horiyoshi III, Don Ed Hardy, Gau Bin, Jondix, Tim Hendricks, Brian Everett, Genko, Alex Horikitsune Reinke, Zele, Doug Hardy, Elle Festin, Tomasi Sulu'ape, Sanya Youalli, Yushi Takei, Enrique Castillo and many more. Also in this volume are flash from Ed Hardy's personal archive, including sheets by Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, Owen Jensen, Joe Lieber, and Bert Grimm.

TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - Part 2 includes works by the Leu family, Leo Zulueta, Luke Atkinson, Colin Dale, Indio Reyes, Jess Yen, Naoki, Goethe Silva, Krazy K, Olivier Julliand, Kurt Wiscombe, Chris Ayala, Andy Shou, Jean-Luc Navette, Brent McCown, Dimitri Hk, and Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura, among other greats. This volume also contains archival sheets from the Polish Tattoo Museum collection, including flash from Sailor Jerry, Ray Emms, Milton Zeis, Ted Hamilton and Leonard St. Clair.

Beyond the artwork, what makes this an important collection are the contributions by Dr. Matt Lodder, who provides a introduction on the history of flash, dating back to the birth of the Western professional tattoo industry in the late 19th century. Matt cites early examples of designs on paper specifically intended to be traced and transferred onto the skin as tattoos, including the famous C.H. Fellowes sketchbook, dating from around 1898.

There are countless gems of historic information, including a discussion on the term "flash" itself:

The very term 'flash' seems to have been appropriated from carnivals and sideshows, where a 'well-flashed' concession was particularly eye catching, bright and appealing, able to beckon and intrigue customers from across a thronging midway, though the term also has deep connotations as an adjective in English slang of slightly dangerous, swaggering ostentation, often used to refer to thieves and prostitutes in the early part of the 19th century and then to young sporting men - the kind of boisterous, raffish cads who would have been turning over tables in polite drinking circles.
It is through flash, as Matt notes, that much of the history of the first century and half of modern Western tattooing is traced because, well, tattoos die with their owners. [Ok, not always.]

Matt also interviews Don Ed Hardy for the first volume, discussing the flash sheets he created as a child, and also how his 1995 book "Flash from the Past," with its historic collection, drove contemporary rediscovery of flash history and celebrations of artists such as Sailor Jerry.

In the second volume, Matt interviews Filip Leu about the roots of artistic practice in his famed tattoo family, and his thoughts on flash. In this Q&A, Filip explains that flash is any design you can tattoo -- "from the traditional pork chop sheet to the full Japanese bodysuit, passing by Tahiti black work and East LA lettering." He adds that, to him, "flash represents the artist who made it." Following this is another great read, Matt's interview with Piotr Wojciechowski of the Polish Tattoo Museum. This text provides some wonderful context and background to the works displayed in the book.

You can purchase them online at the Edition Reuss site and on Amazon Part 1 and Part 2. They'll be timeless additions to your tattoo book collection.

Filip Leu flash above.
07:05 AM
jack rudy.jpg
Photo of Jack Rudy above by Edgar Hoill.

Some interesting tattoo headlines over the past week, including international convention coverage, a tattoo idol interview, and a talk about the "tramp stamp." Here we go:

Starting off, in another great tattooer profile, the OC Weekly interviews Jack Rudy, legendary black & grey artist. In it, Jack offers some history on fine line tattooing, muses on his own start in tattooing, ponders Instagram trolls, and bemoans the popularity of tattoos in his own special way:

Tattoos weren't ever supposed to be this popular. I remember Don Ed Hardy used to say that he wanted tattoos to be more acceptable and respectable. At the time, it was a great idea, but looking back, I'd tell him to just let the sleeping dog lie," Rudy says. "When something becomes too popular, it loses its coolness. It's a good thing tattoos hurt, because otherwise, every pussy in the world would have one."
Read more of the Q&A here.

In Greece, the 9th Annual Athens Tattoo Convention took place this weekend, hosting over 230 artists worldwide, and garnered some international media attention in the process, including The Baltimore Sun and a more extensive slideshow on Citizenside. I've been following the show on Instagram to check some amazing tattoos created at the show, including this one below by Roza of Sake Tattoo Crew, which won "Best of Show Big."

GWTW tattoo.pngThe Liverpool Tattoo Convention also received media attention, including this article with slideshow.

Taking on the whole "tramp stamp" label, Chiara Gabriel talks about feminism, tattoos, and derogatory terms assigned to popular placement on women. While the title is unfortunate, "Don't Call it a Tramp Stamp: How the Patriarchy Ruined My Tattoo," she makes some great points on that special kind of tattoo discrimination reserved just for us ladies. Here's a taste:

I was only able to enjoy my LBT [lower back tattoo] for a few years before it became a complete and total joke. "Tattoo on the lower back?" asks Vince Vaughn's character in 2005's Wedding Crashers. "Might as well be a bullseye." Branded a whore. Must want sex. There's no equivalent phrase for men, no flip expression for the thing Nick Lachey has encircling his bicep even though it's equally emblematic of the early 2000s. It's so hard to come up with a name for bad man tattoos because it's so hard to demean men sexually and boy, do they get upset when you call them date rapists. Herpes early warning signal? Creep signature? American slang has failed me.
Recently, the tramp stamp has been joined by the skank flank, a term for a tattoo on the side of a women's ribcage--a similarly strategic choice of placement, with a similarly insulting name. If you are a woman, and you want to control who can see your tattoo, that still rankles people. If it's visible, you'll be judged, but if you're careful about keeping it from being too prominent, you'll be judged too. I haven't yet heard of a term for tattoos on women's stomachs, or thighs, but I'm sure that as a society we'll find clever rhyming slurs for those spots, too.
She's right. I've jokingly used these terms myself, but in light of the continual use of these type of terms, I realized that it's just not that funny. Glad to see these issue discussed in wider forums, and coming up on social newsfeeds.

Feel free to share your thoughts on this and other news items in our Facebook Group Page or Tweet at me.

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.

Beyonce Tattoo.jpg
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.
05:40 PM
Latino Art.jpg

An inspiring collection of 250 illustrations created by 90 tattooists fill the 300-page hardcover Latino Art Collection: Tattoo-Inspired Chicano, Maya, Aztec and Mexican Styles, another tattoo tome published by Edition Reuss and authored by Edgar Hoill, aka OSOK. [Edgar & I co-authored Black & Grey Tattoo last year.]

The renowned artists, from LA to Mexico City to Hong Kong, include Jack Rudy, Chuey Quintanar, Carlos Torres, Nikko Hurtado, Pint, Indio & Melissa Reyes, Boog Brown, Wa-Wang, Tim Hendricks, Antonio Mejia, Goethe, Luke Wessman, Dr. Lakra, Yushi Takei, Pedro Alvarez (who did the cover art), and so many more.

You can purchase the book for $160 + shipping here.

I was honored to write the introduction and the pages noting the various symbolism in the works. For an overview of the book, an excerpt from that introduction is reprinted below:

carlos torres painting.jpg Painting by Carlos Torres.

Latino art is as vast and diverse as the cultures it represents. There are, however, popular themes, aesthetics and symbolism that make it an identifiable artistic genre--one that is vibrant and exciting, and reaching far beyond just the Latino community. Latino artists celebrate their cultural identity in contemporary culture as well as their ancient Prehispanic roots. Catholicism's religious iconography dominates so much of this art, whether it be on canvas, walls, cars or the human body. Personal struggles and the hardships of street life are laid bare; it is, for many, a cathartic expression of loss and redemption. And, of course, reverence for beauty and sexuality is omnipresent. This book is a collection of paintings, drawings, and tattoo flash that represents the soulfulness of this genre. Its goal is to present the many incarnations of Latino, Chicano, and Mexican art and to inspire countless other works.

Most of the artists featured are tattooists, and it's particularly interesting to see how their tattoo styles translate in their fine art. For example, black & grey tattoo motifs--from manifestations of Mi Vida Loca to sexy cholas--are prevalent and even composed in similar shadows and tones as works displayed on skin. There are also interesting cultural fusions where traditional Americana technique, with its thick black outlines and bold colors, is used to convey traditional Mexican and Chicano imagery like sugar skulls and Aztec gods.
boog art.jpgIllustration by Boog Brown.

In addition to the book, also check Egar's OSOK online store for his prints and apparel.
04:05 PM
laura by edgar hoill.jpg
This Saturday, February 5th, Lowrider Arte editor and photographer Edgar Hoill will be showing his notorious street portraits and celebrating the launch of his new clothing line One Shot One Kill [OSOK] at the Smoking Mirrors Gallery in Pomona, California. And of course there will be a car show as expected of a member of the Lowrider family.

I introduced myself to Edgar two years ago at the London Tattoo Convention after seeing his series of work that focused on tattoo culture, including the photo above of Parisian tattooist Laura Satana and LA's black & grey prodigy Jesus "Chuey" Quintanar (shown below with two clients). After a couple of tequilas, we decided to collaborate on a book project, but unlike many alcohol-fueled plans, this one actually came to fruition. A year later, the Black & Grey Tattoo box set was born. [Edgar is selling his signed copies of Black & Grey Tattoo as well as prints at the event.]

See more of Edgar's photography here and visit the OSOK clothing store online here.

Smoking Mirrors Gallery
565 W. 2nd St. #5
Pomona, CA 91766
Opening from 6-11PM

chuey quintanar tattoo.jpgI still have a limited number of my own author copies of Black & Grey Tattoo for $350. Email me at marisa [at] for more details.
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