Results tagged “London”
Another installment of the web series Ink Stories recently dropped, featuring Rodrigo Souto of Black Garden Tattoo in Central London. The Brazilian-born tattooist has made a name for himself for beautiful large-scale Japanese work. But what's particularly interesting in the documentary short is the footage of Rodrigo creating in another artistic medium, collage. I really enjoyed watching him assemble his works -- particularly against the backdrop of footage of how he builds a tattoo.
Watch the video here or below. And you can also check Rodrigo's work on Facebook and Tumblr.
While we're waiting for the premiere of Tattoo Age's highly anticipated Thom DeVita episode, check the wonderful Valerie Vargas Bonus Footage on VICE YouTube.
In this video, Valerie visits the legendary Lal Hardy, who has been tattooing since 1975, and is definitively one of the people who elevated tattooing in the UK in the 1980s. Lal is deserving of a 10-part episode because he's got stories ... lots of them. I've hung out with him until the morning hours laughing hysterically as he shared them like the perfect showman -- and as Lal says in the video, back in the day, old time tattooists had to be showmen because "you had to fight for your work, but wanted people to come for the experience as well."
Check the video and get a taste of what it was like tattooing in London's punk scene in the eighties and how Lal keeps his passion for tattooing decades later today.
Last week, we posted the trailer to the highly anticipated second season of Tattoo Age, Vice.com's video series profiling stellar tattooists around the globe.
The premier episode of season 2 is now online and features Valerie Vargas of Frith Street Tattoo in London. Valerie is renowned for doing "the prettiest lady heads in the world" -- strong pieces in which each tattooed lady has her own mood, expression and personality but are nevertheless distinct as a Valerie Vargas tattoo. In this episode, Valerie discusses how she came to tattooing and then Frith Street; how drawing with her mother as a child left a lasting impression; and how she and her boyfriend Stewart Robson are able to tattoo side-by-side at the studio without killing each other.
Tattoo Age keeps to the winning formulas of its first season: let the work speak for itself and reveal the artists the way they are in their daily lives without scripts or drama. Because the artists are so good at what they do and have their own interesting stories, there's no need to create them.
I'm looking forward to seeing the next two installments on Valerie. Vice rolls out a new episode every Wednesday.
As noted on her website, Valerie is not taking any new clients but if she has any cancellations, she lets her followers know on Twitter and then it's first come first serve for appointments. Valerie will be at the London Tattoo Convention, Sept. 28-30, and then in California at the 8th Annual Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts, Oct. 26-28.
While there have been some great (and not so great) videos on top tattooists, there aren't many on the experiences of apprentices. Filling this void is the first episode of Ink Stories, a documentary short by Lima Charlie on an artist learning the craft, his approach and also sacrifices for tattooing.
Ink Stories 1 features Daniel "Ronnie" Ronson of The Circle tattoo studio in London. In the film, Ronnie explains how he quit art school and took a series of odd jobs to pursue tattooing. He began by hanging around Jayne Doe Tattoo and sponging any info he could. In appreciation, he created a painting for the studio, which they posted online. Matth of The Circle saw it and soon offered to teach Ronnie. You can see from his portfolio that he's learning quickly. I also recommend checking out all the portfolios at The Circle, which range from traditional to modern abstract styles.
More Ink Stories videos to come.
London's Somerset House is exhibiting silk paintings and photographs of Japanese tattoo master Horiyoshi III in a special series entitled Kokoro: The Art of Horiyoshi III.The exhibit is open daily from 10am to 6pm until July 1st and admission is free.
The arts center describes the work:
Kokoro means 'heart' in Japanese; it is the 'feeling', the 'inner meaning' that underpins the Japanese approach not only to art, but to Japanese life as a whole. It is what makes Japan quintessentially Japanese. With this selection of paintings by Irezumi master Horiyoshi III, we hope to make you 'feel' Kokoro; leading you on a journey where the typical japanese nature and legends take life in silk paintings and photographs.
Those who can't swing a London trip can purchase the limited edition "Kokoro" book online from Kofee-Senju Publishers for 199 Euro plus shipping.
For more on Horiyoshi III's work, as well as some historical information on Japanese tattoo, check Don't Panic magazine's article "Horiyoshi III Inks Japan." In it, Kate Kelsall interviews Hiroyoshi's apprentice and assistant Alex Reinke, aka Horikitsune, of Holy FoxTattoos in Germany. Alex is renowned for his own masterful interpretation of Irezumi. He offers his thoughts on Japanese tattooing:
The mystery involved in a Japanese tattoo is beyond Western comprehension as all the designs have deep philosophical meaning. They are heavy with messages of great virtue and portraits of the human condition, so important to the Japanese - to wear a Horimono or Irezumi [that's a full body suit tattoo to you and I] shows character, personality and perseverance and the tattoo master is purveyor of all these things. [...] Basically everyone carries the same designs like koi (carp), dragons, heroes and tenyo (she-angels) but the tattoo artist adapts the story for each individual, changing clothes, expressions and shades to fit that person.Hit up Don't Panic for more discussion on the art.
A fierce artistic energy emanates from London's illustrious/infamous Into You Tattoo. Owner Alex Binnie opened Into You in 1993, and since that time, the studio has garnered worldwide praise for innovative tattoo work from all members of its tattoo family. While tattoos in a variety of genres are created, Into You has a particular reputation for blackwork, and one of the artists renowned in this style is Tomas Tomas.
When asked about his life in tattoo, Tomas says that the search for his very first was disappointing after visiting many studios and feeling uninspired by the work he saw. He explains that he had his own vision for tattooing and spent the past 18 years unearthing and sharpening the style he yearned for as a child.
After some years, thanks to the rare tattoo publications available at the time, he discovered the work of various artists at Into You and connected with it. He became an avid customer there, spending hundreds of hours getting tattooed entirely from head to toe by the several resident artists. So it was only natural he found his way on the other side of the needle in these walls.
At Into You, Tomas hit upon a version of tribal blackwork that he says is his "attempt to reveal a new tribal graphic vocabulary in tune with the technological world." While still committed to the ancestral essence of this type of tattooing, he looks toward the future in London. He explains:
Further exploration of this practice revealed that, often, tattoos in tribal societies were poetic visual representations of the environments and cultures in which people lived at the time. It was also a celebration of the mysteries of life. I then realized, rather unconsciously, these same desires and values still fuel many to get tattooed today worldwide.
Tomas further discusses his tattoo philosophy, references and new works on his blog. Check it for tattoo inspiration and a great read.
Atlanta's Corey Davis wears a lot of labels: tattoo artist, painter, designer, marketing maven, musician, and more recently, filmmaker.
The renaissance man has created a series called Corey Davis Was Here: Somewhere Over the Pond, which are intimate video vignettes that follow Corey and the City of Ink crew as they travel to Europe and experience its art and culture. Part 1 (video above) takes off with a sleep-deprived landing in London and then it's off to the tattoo convention at Tobacco Docks. Not every episode is tattoo-centric, however; rather, they are travelogues as seen through the lens of tattooists.
Check the rest of the episodes on Creative Control TV. I'm diggin the CC media platform that houses programs on everything from gospel, to skateboarding, to tattoo culture -- all with unique perspectives from storytellers who do in fact keep creative control over all content and production. For real.
For more on Corey, read his news page or follow his magazine Greedmont Park.
For more on City of Ink's Miya Bailey, read Miguel's interview with Miya from last summer where they discuss art, race, and putting vibrant color tattoos on black skin.
... Aaaaaand they're up.
Check Brian's photos from the London Tattoo Convention on Flickr.
Tattoo by Chad Koeplinger on Cian Wright of SwallowsnDaggers.net.
When do you people leave?
I was pulled aside and asked this, rather politely, by the night manager of the Ibis hotel where tattooists packed the bar and restaurant celebrating the end of a successful London Tattoo Convention. They'd all soon go back to their studios around the world, but as I looked at the mass of scary looking dudes beer swilling and back slapping, I knew that it wouldn't be soon enough for this frazzled hotel employee.
We weren't badly behaved. We were just intense. Three days in a place where thousands converged to feel and give pain, to preen and gawk--all surrounded by buzzing, blood and the blare of heavy metal--well, it demands a little steam letting.
The London convention is one of the world's largest. As I mentioned last week, over 20,000 people descended upon the historic Tobacco Dock in 2009; this year, however, it seemed a bit less although the organizers didn't give an official head count yet. Lines to get in still went down the block (and we won't even discuss the bathroom lines). But everywhere you looked, tattooists were working.
The artist roster was a Who's Who of Tattoo. Any type of tattoo could be had; the masters of all these styles were there and some even opted to take some appointments from the floor and not book up completely in advance. I wonder if those who managed to score time appreciated their luck.
Tim Hendricks tattoo on Sharon of Classic Ink & Mods.
The last tattoo show we attended was the Traditional Tattoo & Wolrd Culture Fest in Ireland, which felt like a mini-Woodstock. In sharp contrast, the London show was an amped Warped Tour: kilowatts of commotion, crowds to lose your friends in, packed pubs, freakshows and Fuel Girls. The energy was just bouncing off the vaulted brick halls.
Within this historic warehouse, artists worked in a maze of glass enclosures. It was like an art zoo, where tattooists were fed cash to perform artistic feats. This menagerie was easy to get lost in, but one you want to get lost in; where you could unintentionally find a tattooer whose work you've never known before that blows you away.
This year, however, I didn't have the luxury of getting lost and making these discoveries. I stayed in my own glass exhibition space with Edgar Hoill as we sold out our massive "Black & Grey Tattoo" box sets and displayed Edgar's photography on the gallery walls.
Also with us was Lars Krutak, our favorite tattoo anthropologist, whose latest book "Kalinga Tattoo" is a stunning--and also massive--hardcover featuring photos and stories of the ancient tattoo tribe in the Philippines. [More on that book coming up.]
Indio Reyes signing his artist pages in "Black & Grey Tattoo."
Because I spent most of my time shilling books, I didn't do my usual flitting about. Thankfully Brian did, taking plenty of photos and bringing back some good stories, which he'll post once he recovers from the hand-poked toe tattoo he got from Clare Goldilox.
[I also did a hand-poked tattoo, my first tattoo ever actually. And I did it on Clare's bum. It was not my finest moment. [Although she does have a fine bum.] When I'm feeling more shameless, I may just do a post on it. Or maybe not. Needless to say, I won't be tattooing ever again.]
In fact, lots of post-convention late night tattooing takes place, and sometimes it takes place after a bottle of Jack Daniels. You know the stories of people taking a sharpie marker to draw all over the guy who passes out at a party? Ok, now imagine that with a tattoo machine.
Those stories were traded during that final convention night revelry at the Ibis bar, but no machines were whipped out and skin scratched. We left with hugs and handshakes, and the hotel employees finally got their rest.
The London Tattoo Convention made the headlines again, although less so this year, but what's out there is pretty good. Here are a few of my faves:
For their In Pictures section, the BBC has a beautiful slideshow of the event including the photo above of Martin Poole, a tattooist in Cornwall who does hand tattooing. In fact, he has done most of his own facial work. I interviewed Martin and will try to have our talk up later this week.
Cheekier photos and captions can be found on Asylum UK's The London Tattoo Convention's Best & Weirdest gallery, which also has shots beyond tattooed butts like the one below.
And finally, this video by the Telegraph entitled "My dad's gonna kill me - getting your face tattooed" with some excellent footage and interviews on traditional tattooing among other scenes from the convention floor. Check it below.
My thoughts on the show are up soon as well as those from Brian, who took his own great shots.
Ink-n-Iron Fest photo by Nicole Reed
Tattoo events are taking place every thirty seconds throughout the summer, from New Jersey to Taiwan. Here's our pick list for the next few months to get you planning your own tattoo tour.
This weekend, June 11-13th, at the Ink-n-Iron show, custom cars, pin-up girls, Rockabilly bands, and top tattooists converge around and aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, CA. I've been following the road trips of artists and vendors on Twitter as they make their way over for the seventh year of this sleep-less event. Too much to do there: live shows, the International Pole Performer Showcase, the Pin-Up Pageant, Dr. Sketchy's Anti-Art School, hot rod and kustom car contests, and of course, you could get tattooed by these excellent artists. Check the photos from previous shows, like the one above, on this page.
I noticed a few of my faves weren't going to be at Ink-n-Iron this weekend but instead are working the Krakow Tattoo Fest in Poland--artists like Robert Hernandez, Victor Portugal, Zsolt Sarkozi and even Jeremiah Barba will be there (and not in his Long Beach homebase--I also think Slayer has something to do with this).
Next weekend, June 18-20, artists will also be divided among two popular shows, Northern Ink Xposure (NIX) in Toronto, Canada and the Evian Tattoo Show in France. The longstanding NIX show will host seminars, Art Fusion and a fine art gallery, among the mix of tattoo goodness. On Thursday before the convention kicks off, there will be a silent auction benefit for Skate4Cancer where tattoo artists donated custom painted skate decks for the charity.
I'm a little bummed that I won't be able to make it to the Evian Fest as it's the last show in this beautiful city. Gene Coffey of Tattoo Culture offered his thoughts on last year's show here (from friendly crowds to dapper mustaches.) He also took some photos, including this one below of a tattoo he did there. The client wanted Gene to tattoo the words "Bonjour Mademoiselle" but in the way he thought it would be spelled. Gene has never taken a French lesson. Obviously.
So, remember the Pint Size Paintings exhibit I've been talking about, which launched at Hell City Killumbus? Well, the show is coming to NYC's Sacred Gallery but for one night only, July 9th. Don't miss it!
Alas, I will miss it myself because Brian and I will be in County Cork, Ireland, July 10 & 11, for The Traditional Tattoo and World Culture Festival. I am so excited for this! It's going to be a small gathering, in Cobh, of artists and collectors who love traditional tattoo--not in the Americana sense, but the tribal. For me, it's really a family reunion with Colin Dale and Xed Le head, who were featured in my Black Tattoo Art book, and a chance to hang out once again with the audacious Pat Fish, Queen of Celt. If you're looking for a tattoo vacation in a sea-side town with a bunch of beautiful freaks, please join us.
July 30 through August 1st, Asbury Park, New Jersey will be home to the Visionary Tattoo Arts Festival. I usually don't list first conventions because most have a rough start but when I saw the artist roster, I had to include it. It's another beachfront party--albeit a bigger one--with live painting, music and sideshow performances. We'll be there handing out Needles and Sins swag so look down. I'm short.
That weekend is also the Taiwan Tattoo Convention. Paul Booth, Shige, and Jason Stewart will be the main attractions but the tattoo art that's coming out of Taiwan itself demands attention, like the work of Andy Shou shown below. For more info on the show, hit the Tattoos.com page.
August 6-8, over 300 tattooists will descend upon Doncaster, England for Skin Deep's Tattoo Jam, one of the biggest conventions in the UK. When I went to the Tattoo Jam in 2008 (held in Wales), I had such a blast and got a hand-poked Thai tattoo as well. [See the photos here.] The diversity of artistic styles is vast so there's something for everyone at this show.
Also, Tattoo Jam has teamed up with the best named tequila brand ever for the Hornitos Design Competition where you get a chance to design a limited-edition Hornitos bottle, and if you win, oh, prizes abound.
August 27-29 is Hell City Phoenix's "Let It Burn" fest. What more can I say? If it's as good as last month's Killumbus show, then it's worth braving Arizona, even if you look like "an illegal."
For some advance planning, here are our favorite shows in September and October:
And with that, I'll leave y'all to update your calendars.