Results tagged “Jun Cha”
Some of the most beautiful tattoos have been created honoring the art and symbolism of El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead -- Mexico's greatest celebration of life that honors the deceased. The Day of the Dead commemoration begins today through the weekend -- All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in the Catholic faith -- and so it follows that religious iconography is ever-present. However, its roots can be traced to rituals practiced in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, particularly through the presence of skulls and skeletons. It's this imagery, along with other elements of Latino culture, that have draw so many to translate these themes artistically in skin.
A big misconception is that the Dead of the Dead is a party, like Halloween, particularly as there are often parades and customs in celebration. Yet, the holiday is also quite solemn as families build altars to reflect on those who passed, offering gifts of sugar skulls to the dead and living, and visiting grave sights.
I was really fascinated to learn more about the Day of the Dead as I worked with Edgar Hoil on his books Latino Tattoo Art Collection and Day of the Dead Tattoo Artwork Collection: Skulls, Catrinas and Culture of the Dead, writing their introductions. As I noted in the latter book, what's particularly engaging is how the calaveras, literally, "skulls," are artfully manifested in various forms among the artwork. Many are familiar with the calaveras de azucar, the "sugar skulls," which are the edible offerings placed on altars, intended to bring forth life's sweetness to friends and relatives who have passed on.
"La Calavera Catrina," which originated in the works of Jose Guadalupe Posada, is another Day of the Dead icon. The Catrina is a wealthy woman in haughty dress depicted as a skeleton to denote that everyone, even the rich, face death. Satirical images of Catrina often demonstrate how the artists view death as something to be laughed at and not feared.
And of course, one of the most popular motifs that gets translated into tattoos are beautiful women with skeletal features transposed over their faces, bringing to mind the joy and suffering of love.
I've chosen a just a few tattoos to present here in honor of this day.
Tattoo above by Adriaan Machete.
Tattoo above by Eva Schatz.
Tattoo above by Jun Cha.
We've been seeing a lot of "pop-up" tattoo studios from renowned artists around the world, in which art spaces are constructed to present the tattooers' work, often before the eyes of the art and design community. Almost like a guest spot, but with a spotlight.
LA-based tattooist Jun Cha recently worked a 14-day pop-up tattoo studio in Paris, and filmmaker Santiago Arbelaez captured that trip. That footage is beautifully put together in the video below. The video shows Jun working on a sleeve (shown above in the first image) that best demonstrates his style, which melds black & grey fine line with classical and Renaissance art. Jun talks about his influences in the video, and he also offers some background about how he came to tattooing at the young age of 16 and progressed from there into a sought-after tattooist. There are also wonderful Paris street and museum scenes as well. A great 4-minute break to add some beauty to your day.
Check more of Jun's work online:
Athletes bodies are generally not known for great works of art, despite the money available to them. One tattooist explained to me that he felt the reason why the tattoos of celebrities were so bad was because they are used to getting what they want, when they want it. And if you have someone who lacks impulse control and foresight, well, that can be a recipe for a tattoo disaster.
So, when I come across a story about a sports star who really put thought and research behind his tattoo, it stood out.
The Los Angeles Dodgers slugger Matt Kemp was in the news last month for his chest piece honoring his grandparents (his grandfather had passed away just a month before he was tattooed). The work was done by black & grey rising star, Jun Cha, who works out of a private studio in LA.
A couple of days ago, a behind-the-scenes video look of the tattoo, and Kemp talking about his thoughts on getting this tribute, was posted on Jun's site (and embedded below). In it, you'll also see Jun's process in creating the work and his interesting stylization of the portrait. Worth a look.
In honor of Black History Month (sadly, the shortest month of the year), we're featuring this backpiece of Huey P. Newton, founder of the Afro-American Association and co-founder the Black Panther Party, tattooed on hip hop artist Freddie Gibbs by LA's Jun Cha. Jun says of the work:
It's a reflection of youth and independent thought. It's a symbol for the freedom of ideas and expression. The Panthers were a group that thought for themselves. It goes hand-in-hand with the young hustlers' generation today. Most art culture--whether it's hip-hop, art and design, or tattooing--has had its struggle to be accepted into the larger context of society. And this tattoo is the liberation of that.A great video by Clement & Co. documenting the work is shown below. In it, Freddie discusses why he chose to honor the activist with this tattoo. It's a welcome change from recent stories of rappers with ice cream cone facial ink and Facebook tributes.
For more on Jun Cha's work, particularly black & grey, see his online portfolio and follow him on Twitter. For more on Freddie Gibbs, check his last album, Str8 Killa, on iTunes.
Hope my fellow Americans had a wonderful Memorial Day weekend. Mine was memorable as it involved my dad and a freak landscaping accident -- one almost as bad as The Lawnmower Man 2: Beyond Cyberspace. But my father's feet have all their toes once again, and I can get back to what really matters in life ...
... Jermain Dupri's latest tattoo. The rapper/producer just got this twist on the "Holy Mother" black and grey portrait tattoo (shown above) by Jun Cha. And who plays the blessed virgin? Well, naturally, Janet. Miss Jackson if ya
I know. I'm bloggin while bitchy. Please forgive. Reading too many of these you-kids-get-off-my-lawn anti-ink rants.
But thankfully, a thoughtful article emerged from the mass of eewww-the-Denver-Nuggets-have-too-many-tattoos stories. Check Benjamin Hochman's piece for the AP on the Birdman's tattooist, John Slaughter of Denver's Tribe Tattoo. Slaughter offers this quote on the team's tattoos, among other
"Tattoos, for thousands of years, have been associated with tribes of people. And throughout the NBA, we are the most-tattooed team. It says that they're pretty self-expressive. It's almost like every single tattoo is a stage or a level in life that you've accomplished or gotten through-and where you're headed next."
In more from the grumpy old man front, Jonathan Zimmerman of the NY Daily News whines about his daughter wanting to get a tattoo; yet, even though he finds them "revolting," he can't come up with a good reason not to get one. In the end, the best advice for revolt
You don't need Barbie to tell you tattoos are mainstream. The freakin NY Times bleeds out a monthly tattoo story on a scheduled cycle. This week it reviews "Skin & Bones: Tattoos in the Life of the American Sailor" -- check our April post on it -- and offers some interesting info behind the exhibit, like this:
"In the late 18th century, the show points out, tattoos would have served as a way of identifying bodies in cases of drowning; they were marks of association and identity that could not be eradicated by pirates, shipwrecks or enemy capture. [...] Each had a 'Sailor Protection Certificate' that was carried as a form of identification that detailed the tattoos on its bearer's body; these descriptions often remain the sole remnants of individuality in these once-anonymous figures."
The Times also posts a slide show of some of the exhibits including this archival photo from 1899 of a sailor getting tattooed aboard the U.S.S. Olympia.
To reclaim tattoo cool, we thankfully have German thrash metal veterans. Blabbermouth says that Drummer Jurgen "Ventor" Reil of Kreator has opened a tattoo shop in Essen, Germany called Carnap Ink Corporation, and true to their roots, they're doing tattoos you would find on metal heads in the early eighties. Take that as you wish.
The always cool Mark Mahoney of Shamrock Social Club is featured in a sweet and extensive profile in Lowrider Arte. What does he think about the Tattoo Barbie effect?
"There are two things that blow my mind: the fact that you can now remove them or that people can use cream to make the tattoo process painless. I remember how it used to be a scary thing to get a tattoo and how it hurt and that it couldn't be removed, but now you can avoid all that and some of that punch is watered down a bit since you have a way out. In a way that makes me sad, however I do realize that it's good for the business in the long run. I guess I just kind of miss the old days when you had to be an outlaw, or you had to be a real brave soul to get a tattoo."
Bringing it full circle, Mahoney's also tattooed Jermain Dupri, but not with any biblical nip slips.
Quick and Dirty Link Time: