Results tagged “Jesse Smith”

02:13 PM
Tattoo above by Electric Linda.

turkerL.jpgTattoo by Christopher Allen.

I know many of y'all aren't big on this big fat American holiday for many political, social and even dysfunctional family reasons, but I just wanted to take this opportunity to give thanks to all of you who have been such a support and inspiration to keep sharing all the beautiful and just freakin cool things we love about tattoo.
I'm grateful.

Much love,

Vengeful-Vegan-(Large)2.jpgVengeful Vegan tattoo above by Jesse Smith.
09:10 AM
Tattoo by Gunnar.

With the Thanksgiving upon us, I found it fitting to search for tattoos that mark the holiday's icon:  the turkey. It wasn't easy picking images that would appeal to carnivores and vegetarians alike, but I think crazed butchers and vengeful vegan designs should do the trick.

While surrounded by controversy in the US, Thanksgiving to me is largely a reminder to indeed be thankful for all the good in my life. Anyway, according to the NY Times, gratitude will make us healthy. One thing I am truly grateful for is your support and general fabulousness. Thank you.

Vengeful-Vegan-(Large).jpg Tattoo by Jesse Smith.

turkey20tattoo.jpgTattoo by Joe Capobianco.

All three artists are featured in my Color Tattoo Art book, still available for purchase at the reduced rate.
01:11 PM
Jesse Smith tattoo chest piece.jpg
In the November issue (yes, November) issue of Skin & Ink magazine on newsstands now, you'll find my profile on Jesse Smith of Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, Virginia. I came to know Jesse's work upon seeing two of his clients at a convention sporting bold and colorful bodysuits, which seemed to illustrate stories that would be beloved by children but best appreciated by adults. Jesse shared his art and his own personal stories for the magazine. Here is an excerpt:

The characters that populate Jesse Smith's tattoo and fine art work are up to no good. Rabbits, squirrels, and mice may look cute but they play out evil plots in full-body tattooed color bombs reflecting the political and religious views of the wearer. The juxtaposition of heavy subject matter relayed in light and charming form has become a signature for Jesse that has attracted an international clientele since he began tattooing in 1999. Today, he welcomes these clients into Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, VA, which he opened May 6th of this year.

Jesse Smith Tattoo backpiece.jpg
When asked about the serious undertones in his art, Jesse offers this example of how one of his larger tattoo projects developed:

"One of the pieces that I feel really had a lot of political fuel behind it was the 'Oppression' piece. The client who owns this piece really had no idea as to what he wanted when we first sat down together. His main concern was to cover-up this rather large piece that ran across his shoulders. I asked what his political and religious views were and if he'd be interested in trying to illustrate something that revolved around those particular themes on his back. We soon came up with the concept of oppression. In this particular piece, the gorilla represents the government/corporations and their massive size. The gorilla is trying to give the squirrels--which in this piece represent the average person--a toxic acorn. The toxic acorn represents all the things that the government/corporations try to give us that aren't good for us (i.e. credit cards, high interest loans, etc.). The squirrels take the acorns, but rather then eating them, they turn them into acorn bombs and will eventually give the government/corporations a taste of their own medicine."
Jesse Smith Hand tattoo.jpg
Of course, not every tattoo Jesse creates bears enormous ideological weight. His portfolio is peppered with playful works that stand on their aesthetics alone, from pink bulldogs to a penis on a swing. But most are crafted in a distinct style that is very identifiably his own. It transcends the old "New School" label. Jesse has called it "Lo-Brid," and explains how he coined the term:

"When I first started tattooing, New School was the genre of tattooing that I looked up to and connected with the most. As I matured as an artist I noticed that the artists who were being grouped into that particular genre had surpassed what all that genre encompassed. I had discussed this thought with other artists and they all seemed to share the same opinion. So I started to brainstorm a bit and came up with the name Lo-Brid. I liked how it played off of the words hybrid and low brow and seemed to run parallel to their meanings. I, personally, consider the Lo-Brid style a movement of tattooing that has collected inspiration from graffiti, tattoo, comic book and lowbrow art.
Read more of the article in Skin & Ink.

Jesse is also one of the many wonderful artists featured in my last monster book Color Tattoo Art: Cartoon. Comics. Pin-Up. Manga. New School (along with Jason Stephan, also at Loose Screw). Reduced rate copies are still available for $150 plus shipping via my online store or by emailing marisa at

Jesse Smith penis tattoo.jpg
06:24 PM
Dragons mutated and infused with psychedelic colors in trippy tableaus. Preening pin-ups with the luscious, highly exaggerated proportions of adolescent fantasy. Creepy cute children inhabiting dark freakscapes. Political satire played out in anthropomorphic caricature. Kittens and rainbows.

They're all in Color Tattoo Art: Cartoon. Comics. Pin-Up. Manga. New School.

Yup, we've given birth to another monster in the series of large format, too-heavy-to-carry hardcovers for Edition Reuss Publishing. This time it's an ode to color bombs -- 496 pages filled with them. I'm honored to have worked with 42 exceptional artists from around the world (they are listed below), selecting 580 images of their stellar tattoo and fine art, as well as interviewing a number of them for thoughts on tattooing (and some personal gossip). It was a helluvalotta fun.

For a sneak peak into the book, check out the Color Tattoo Art Flickr set.
Genko_tattoo_LOW.jpgTattoo by Genko

Color Tattoo Art: Cartoon. Comics. Pin-Up. Manga. New School. It's a highly literal title to describe a book dedicated to graphic, animated tattoos as well as the paintings and drawings of tattooists. Were this book to be published in the 80s and early 90s, it may have simply been called New School -- a label often used to describe art that didn't fit into traditional tattoo categories like Americana, Tribal, & Japanese. But today, with styles blurring and evolving at a great pace, these highly saturated works are moving in different directions, defying easy classification with a catchy title. I briefly discuss this movement in my introduction and in the artist interviews, but we've largely let the work speak for itself on these full-color pages.

Joe_Capobianco_tattoo_low.jpg Tattoo by Joe Capobianco

In the book, you'll find the awesomeness of these international artists featured:

Joe Capobianco, Tony Ciavarro, Genko, Gunnar, Kristel Oreto, Jime Litwalk, Kowhey, Fred Laverne, Ed Perdomo, Jee, Joako, Eva Schatz, Ulrich Krammer, King Rat, Leo, Sean Herman, Bammer, Daveee, Woodpecker, Josh Woods, Steph D., Jason Stephan, Dimitri, Broda, Slawek, May,  Tiraf, Holly Azzara, Naoki, Fide, Electric Pick, Leah Moule, Jesse Smith, Morof, Kozuru, Ivana, Dave Fox, Gerrit Termaat, Peter Bobek, Scott Olive, Kosei, Olivier. [Olivier's work is featured on the cover.]


BOOK RELEASE PARTY: I hope you'll join us Saturday, June 25th, from 8-10PM at Sacred Gallery NYC in SoHo to celebrate the release of Color Tattoo Art. Copies of the book will be on sale for the discounted rate. [As well as discounted copies of Black & Grey Tattoo.] More info on the party to come.

Gunnar_art_low.jpg Fine art by Gunnar
04:27 PM
henry lewis.jpg
If there was a  "Henry Lewis is My Homeboy" tee, I'd drape it over my D's with pride. The SF tattooist and painter is featured in this month's Juxtapoz magazine and it's a must read. In fact, the whole issue is cover-to-cover good this month.

Henry tattoos at Grime's Skull & Sword in the Mission District, and paints in a wild studio space he shares with Shawn Barber, also profiled in last month's Back Talk section of the mag.

Juxtapoz online also features other tattoo goodness; check the following:

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