Results tagged “Los Angeles”

Jan201428
07:48 AM
Janm.jpgjapanese tattoo 1.jpgTattoos on the Instagram square: the woman is tattooed by Horikiku, and the man by Yebis. In the full portrait, tattoos are by Shige, Yellowblaze. All photos by Kip Fulbeck.   

"Perseverance - The Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World" is a photographic exhibition by Kip Fulbeck, which explores the artistry and master craftsmanship of traditional Japanese tattooing. The exhibit, curated by Takahiro Kitamura, will showcase works of over 30 of the world's leading contemporary tattoo artists. It will be on view from March 8 to September 14, 2014 at the Japanese American National Museum (JANM) in Los Angeles, and will include a number of special events.  

I asked Takahiro (Taki) about his experience curating "Perseverance" and his goals for the show. Here's what he said:

This is my first time curating an exhibit at a national museum, and with all the talented artists around, the selection of artists was very difficult. I had decided that I wanted to focus more on younger artists, even some that people may not be as familiar with, in order to show what the current generation is doing and how Japanese tattooing has both evolved and stayed the same. I am excited to show such a variety of regional styles from Yokohama to Tokyo to Osaka (of course!) to LA! There are magical things happening in the world of tattoo and I hope to exhibit some of the best modern Japanese tattoo work. Thankfully, Kip Fulbeck, the exhibition designer, has had amazing ideas on presentation - what would an art exhibit be without great presentation?

We have also put a lot of energy into insuring that people who are interested can learn something about Japanese tattooing, especially in the catalog (200 pages, full color) we have put together for the show. The show covers a lot of ground and involves a lot of people. I was honored that graffiti legend Chaz Bojorquez wrote out the "Perseverance" lettering and will also speak at the opening. It is also amazing to have a talk and personal historical account from Japanese tattoo legend Junii Salmon. I am also very proud to present Chris "Horishiki" Brand's 108 Heroes of Los Angeles, a modern take on the warriors of the Suikoden. And we have a great "kite" project, but I want to wait and let people see that for themselves!

I want people who have not been exposed to Japanese tattoos to be see the sublime artistry involved in contemporary Japanese tattooing. Following the visual impact, I hope people can see that the Japanese tattoo is far more than an art form, but a cultural vehicle...one that represents the folklore, history and culture of Japan. We are most proud of the photographs (some of which are life size!) and hope people can appreciate and understand the time and dedication on the part of the tattoo artists and their clients.
Read more on the museum's exhibit page and on the Perseverance Facebook page.

Japanese tattoo 2.jpgTattoo above by Horitomo.
Jun201303
10:43 PM
black and grey chest.jpg
Despite being the go-to source for celebrity tattoos, Mister Cartoon has remained true to his LA street roots, tattooing his signature black & grey style in the heart of Downtown's Skid Row -- at his aptly named Skid Row Tattoo studio -- as well as creating murals, apparel and merchandise, among countless projects, which you can read about on his site and blog.

In today's New York Post, Cartoon was featured, but not about tattooing Beyonce or Kobe, but about his favoitre hangouts in LA, in a street-styled travel piece, which is a good read. Here's a bit from it:

First stop is a spray-painted mural (246 S. Garey St., between Second and Third streets). It's Mister Cartoon's enormous, glorious tribute to Los Angeles, centerpieced by the Dodgers' logo and nodding to Day of the Dead, LA's famed freeways, Cartoon's iconic angry-clown graphics and, of course, a couple of sexy, scantily clad girls. "This is about me going out there and showing what I can do with spray paint while the sun beats down," Cartoon says of the project that took him two weeks to complete and was totally freestyled. "This was about graffiti and crushing and letting people know that I still have it."
[..]
On "date night," when Mister Cartoon wants to get busy with Mrs. Cartoon, he often opts to kick it at the Standard, Downtown LA (550 Flower St., 213-892-8080, standardhotels.com). "People who work there have sleeves of tattoos," marvels Cartoon. "Go to the Four Seasons and they're completely stiffed out. My wife and I like to meet at the rooftop bar here and pretend that we don't know each other. Maybe we sit in one of the cool, little pods together. Then if I play my cards right . . ." His voice trails off, but his smile tells all.
Read more of Cartoon's LA picks here.

And if you want to learn more of about the artist himself, check this video (below) where Cartoon talks about his start in tattooing, his low rider obsession and staying true to his crew.

Apr201309
08:58 AM
jondix art.jpgjondix art3.jpgIn Los Angeles this Saturday at the Against the Stream Buddhist Meditation Society, the first print installation by Raking Light Projects will take place featuring the work of tattooer, musician and visual artist Jondix of Barcelona, Spain.

I've been a long-time fan of Jondix's work -- a remarkable portfolio of intricate dotwork & blackwork, an example of which I've shown below.  In his tattoos, you'll find his own interpretation of Eastern iconography and patterns -- and his spiritual and mystical influences are ever present in this exhibit as well.

Entitled Aeons Tulpa, this print and sculpture installation is inspired by Jondix's extensive travels and is described as "a metaphysical exploration of the artist's interior world." Here's more from Raking Light Projects:  

The installation configuration, influenced by cosmology, represents Jondix's metaphysical being. Nine prints are arranged in rows and columns of three to create the shape of a square, with the tenth print displayed off to the side. Central to the installation is the idea of energy and connection, where each of the ten laser-etched prints are not only physically connected by string but also spiritually connected to the artist. The iconography is a confluence of motifs with Jondix's signature mystical imagery and Eastern-influenced patterning. His visual lexicon borrows from Eastern philosophies and incorporates auspicious symbols, deities and ritualistic objects combined with allusions to personal fantasy and science fiction.
Jondix offers his own thoughts on his process for the show:

When you go into deep meditation, Vipassana or transcendental, you enter all the hidden parts of your mind. . . your body secretes endogenously produced drugs and you can have visions. When I was creating this series, I put myself in that position--trying to create something that will come to my mind in the future--and serendipitously I found my favorite place.
Aeons Tulpa will be on view at the Against the Stream gallery for a year. Saturday's opening will take place from 7pm-10pm.

For more on Raking Light Projects, and their art prints created by renowned tattooists, check our post on them here.

Jondix tattoo.jpg
Feb201322
11:01 AM
mattkemp_papa_juncha51.jpg
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.

Sep201228
11:17 AM
sanchez-no-pain-no-gain.jpgNo Pain, No Gain (Portrait of the artist Jeffrey Lutz), Sergio Sanchez, oil on linen, 2011.

For my West Coast homies, this Saturday, September 29 from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m is the public opening reception of L.A. Skin & Ink at the The Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles. The show "explores the unique role of Los Angeles in the Tattoo Renaissance over the last 60 years. The exhibition will move through the transformation of tattooing from its traditional base of military and outlaw cultures into an art form of great distinction and adoption into contemporary culture."

It's a serious show displaying the work and artifacts of tattoo legends who have passed as well as today's art stars, including Bert Grimm, Bob Shaw, Don Ed Hardy, Cliff Raven, Jill Jordan, Leo Zulueta, Jack Rudy, Charlie Cartwright, Estevan Oriol, Mr. Cartoon, Edgar Hoill, Lucky Bastard, Zulu, Carlos Torres, Sergio Sanchez, Shawn Barber, Camila Rocha, Sean Cheetham, and more.

L.A. Skin & Ink runs from September 30, 2012 to January 6, 2013, and during this time there will be talks and special programs associated with the exhibit, including Zulu Lounge Night on November 10th. Check CAFAM's Facebook page for more info.   

For tomorrow's opening party, anyone who shows their tattoo at the admission desk gets in for free. The museum is also free on the first Wednesday of every month. Otherwise, it's regularly $7 for adults; $5 for students, seniors, and veterans; and free for CAFAM members. It's hours are Tuesday - Friday, 11am - 5pm; Saturday/Sunday, 12pm - 6 pm; and closed Mondays.

The Craft and Folk Art Museum is located at 5814 Wilshire Blvd., Los Angeles, CA 90036. You can't miss it with the new window display created for the show by Norm Will Rise.

LA Skin and Ink.jpg
Dec201114
06:45 PM
DRAKE TATTOO VICE.jpg
"You get the tattoo you deserve."

It's a belief held by many, and hell, I've said it from time to time. In tattooer interviews, you'll often find discussions on what tattoos the artists won't do. For example, in my Q&A with Jack Rudy for Inked mag, he said:

I try to stay away from racist stuff, religious blasphemous stuff, and really negative things that I think could come back and bite that person in the ass real hard. I'd rather not be a part of that even if they insist on having it. There are people that'll do anything on ya--you can always find people that will just do whatever the customer may want--but those are a few things that I really try to avoid.
Then there are others who say that if the client is going to go elsewhere, it's best that they do it themselves and get it right. With regard to racist tattoos, some artists just don't want to spend any time with a bigot in their chair, while others will do the tattoo so society knows just who they are dealing with. And of course there are people who will do anything for cash.

Tons of ethical dilemmas arise re: putting on a tattoo that a client may likely regret. The latest tattoo that has caught the most buzz is the "DRAKE" lettering across a young woman's forehead. It's been posted on tons of blogs, in a point & laugh kind of way, but we're digging this Vice article, which interviews the man who did the infamous facial work. The tattooist, Kevin Campbell, of Will Rise studio in LA describes the experience and responds to those who say he should have never done it. Here's a bit of that interview:

Do you feel sort of bad about it after the fact?
My whole deal with people wanting completely outrageous and potentially life-ruining tattoos is this: I'll ask them three times if they really think it's a good idea, I tell them what the potential consequences of getting a tattoo on their face might be, and after that, the bad decision is on them. I believe that people get the tattoos that they deserve. The shop where I worked prior to Will Rise was in the center of the Harbor City Crip neighborhood, so I'm not really a stranger to tattooing gang shit on faces, which is what I originally thought that this was. I guess I feel bad that this dumbass got the name of the softest motherfucker in hip-hop tattooed on her forehead. But what makes that any less valid of a tattoo to her? I lost a little sleep over it that first night, wondering if I wanted to be known as the asshole who tattooed "DRAKE" on some crackhead's forehead.
[...]
I could have turned her away, and I'm already getting a ton of flack from other tattooers for this, but the way I see it, if she's got her little heart set on getting her forehead tattooed then she'll just keep on trying until somebody finally goes through with it. I think that getting a color portrait of the Joker from Batman is a dumb idea, but who the fuck am I to judge? If some cat from MS 13 comes in and wants me to "blast" that shit on his chin or forehead or whatever, who am I to judge the validity of them getting what they get and where they get it? If I tattoo a huge "BK" on a Crip or tattoo "DRAKE" on some R&B-crazed girl's face, what's the difference? Who am I to say which one is wrong and which is right?

Read more here.

While I disagree with Campbell, I was understanding his arguments to a certain degree. ... That is, until the very final line of the interview:  "She was on a pretty good one when she came in, but I think by the time I finished she was coming down, because her attitude changed pretty drastically once the tattoo was finished."

So, in essence, the problem here is actually tattooing someone who is high and unable to make clear decisions. And in these cases, the client does not get the tattoo he or she deserves.

What do you think? Comment on this post in our Facebook Group.

UPDATE:  Kevin Campbell says that his reply to Vice was misinterpreted, and the woman was in fact sober. I posted his response in the group forum linking this post.
May201120
04:54 PM

Last Friday, Oliver Peck held his annual and infamous Friday the 13th marathon tattoo special at his Elm Street Tattoo studio and The Dallas Morning News was there to cover it [video above]. It's an interesting look at the melee with classic quotes from Peck, including talk of the myth and lore behind "13" tattoos and why he's been doing this marathon for years:  "I just love gimmicks. I love partying. I love tattooing, and I just put it all together. [Sailor Jerry Rum helped with the partying.]

Peck was also in the news for his recent opening of True Tattoo studio in LA (which he purchased in January). Gossip blogs particularly loved his shit talking against ex-wife Kat Von D, saying that his studio will "make real tattoos" as opposed to Kat's "gimmicky tourist tattoos" close by.

I thought he just loved gimmicks.
Feb201111
05:10 PM
FreddieGibbs_Juncha.jpg

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.
Nov201002
08:40 PM
robert atkinson.jpg
The latest issue of Inked magazine is out, and for the "Icon" feature this month, I had a blast interviewing LA native Robert Atkinson, who is widely respected for his Japanese-inspired as well as black & gray body suits. In the Q&A, Robert talks about how he went from tattooing tribal arm bands to crafting his signature large-scale work. He also muses on custom cars, the state of the industry and how to make tattoos hurt less.

You can pick up a copy at major newsstands or download the digital version here.

It's the making tattoos hurt less part that really had me thinking about what it means to "earn" your tattoos. Here's a taste of our talk where Robert discusses using numbing creams and sprays on certain clients:

Your clients seem to trust you with a lot of their skin. You've done a lot of huge backpieces.

I've done about 35-40 backpieces in the past 8 years. Large-scale tattoo work is a luxury for sure. Any time you see someone with large work you know they paid for it. It's like wearing a Rolex or driving a nice car. It's luxury lifestyle shit, but it's not something you can just go buy. You have to deal with a motherfucker like me, show up for your appointments, pay a bunch of money and get it done.

And it hurts.

It hurts more ways than one -- it's painful and it's expensive.

There are a number of tattoo artists these days offering numbing creams and sprays that make the tattoo process hurt less. Do you offer it to your clients?

I keep a thing of spray for a few guys -- not for someone who's going to sit for two hours -- but for someone who will come in from out of town and wants to sit there and get four to five hours done. It makes it easier on him and easier for me. If people come in after wrapping themselves in Emla cream [to numb the area], I'm cool with it, but I'm not gonna say, "I have a have this cream and for $50 bucks extra I'll numb you up." I used it myself for the last sitting I had with Filip [Leu] and it fucking helped man.

Don't you think you lose some badass cred by taking away some of the hurt?

At the end of the day, no one is giving out trophies for being tough. In the beginning I was like, "Oh no, fuck that shit." Then, at one point, I lined 18 backs in one year and all these guys were going to a spa to get numbed up before coming in would lay as stiff as a board and get four hours out of that shit. So I started to think it wasn't so bad because they weren't moving around, or pissing and moaning that they need to get up every ten minutes. It's just another tool for big work, especially if you're looking at a 20-plus hour ordeal.

Robert also shared his thoughts on how he's seen the industry evolve and where he thinks it's going. We talked about the progression of his own work and what he does for fun when not tattooing. But it's that pain part of the our conversation I've been fixating on as I'm staring a five to six hour rib session next week. In light of the news that no one will be handing me a badass trophy when I'm done, I may so opt for the Vasocaine.

For an appointment with Robert, hit him up through his site.

robert atkinson tattoos.jpg
Sep201021
05:10 PM


Last year, we wrote about the release of the Ed Hardy: Tattoo the World documentary, which looks at one of tattoo's most influential artists before the association with trucker hats, energy drinks and bowling alleys(!).

Director Emiko Omori takes a look at the artist, not the brand. [Omori is also co-director of the 2003 documentary Skin Stories on Polynesian tattooing.] The film chronicles Hardy's life since childhood, where as early as 10 years old, he began to "tattoo" his friends with eyeliner and colored pencils.

You can see a number of great clips from film online here in addition to the one above.

If you're in Los Angeles tonight, you can check it on the big screen at UCLA's Hammer Museum at 7pm. Tickets are available at the Billy Wilder Theater Box Office one hour prior to start time.
1
connect with us
advertisement
archives
advertisement






EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Marisa Kakoulas
CONTRIBUTORS:
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
© 2009-2013 NEEDLES AND SINS. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.
Needles and Sins powered by Moveable Type.

Site designed and programmed by Striplab.

NS logo designed by Viktor Koen.