Results tagged “Luke Wessman”

Mar201426
09:42 AM


Featuring some of black & grey's finest, "Tattoo Stories" is a video series by Estevan Oriol and Mister Cartoon, with the goal of exploring the work, and personal lives, of esteemed tattooers from an insider's perspective -- and not just the usual "How long have you been tattooing?" Q & As.

The videos, which average around 6-7 minutes, take you into the studios of legends such a Jack Rudy and Rick Walter's, who offer tattoo history as well as philosophy lessons. There are also interviews with some of the most exceptional tattooers today, including Shawn Barber, Chuey Quintanar, Carlos Torres, Luke Wessman, Franco Vescovi, and many others.   

The series launched last summer, and when I first checked their SanctionedTV YouTube page at that time, I thought it was largely focused on their "LA Woman" series. As we stay away from the "tattoo model" thing, I didn't share it.  And so it was a happy surprise to go back and see that so much important tattoo footage, and not just T&A, had been amassed and offered in an engaging way.

Oh, and there's also this really moving Snoop Dog (yes, Snoop Dog) vid.
Oct201222
08:06 AM
luke wessman tattoo.jpg
Luke Wessman Tattoo on "Amer the Gamer" at Lucky's SD

Last week, Complex magazine posted an extensive interview with Luke Wessman, an artist known to reality TV fans for his appearances on Miami Ink & NY Ink, but for true tattoo fans, he's regarded a strong artist with a distinctive artistic flavor. In the interview, Luke discusses the development of his style, his experience with reality TV, tattooing rappers, and more. And naturally, there are photos from his portfolio.

That portfolio has been called "traditional gangster" style. Here's how Luke describes it in the interview: "It's the merge between growing up around street and neighborhood tattooing like Olde English and block letters and then you go and learn to tattoo at this traditional shop. My influences come from both and I guess that would be the mix of traditional gangster tattooing."

Luke Wessman tattoo2.jpg Coming from an old school tattoo education, but thrust in the middle of the tattoo tsunami of popularity that comes from being on TV (even if on the sidelines), Luke has an interesting perspective on the direction the industry is taking. Here's a bit on that from the interview:

[I]n regards to something I heard in your Self Made documentary. Someone mentioned the divide between older tattoo artists and what's trendy now, like more graphic designers becoming tattoo artists, etc. What are your thoughts on that?

It's an interesting thing. There's the main old guys, that learn how to tattoo, learn how to use the machines and they learn how to apply tattoos--the purest form of tattooing. Now there's more and more of an art influence where you're artistically skilled and you're joining that with the tattoo form. Now artists are becoming tattooers and the emphasis is bigger on art than the tattoo skill. In between that, there's this loss of the boundaries of what you can do as a tattooer and what you should do.

These artists are coming from a pure art perspective without learning a lot of the boundaries of old tattooing. You have these people doing these fancy designs because they come from a painting background without a tattoo background so this mix in the middle are all these young kids who aren't really learning from old guys or time-tested methods. There's reasons why certain things are done because there are limitations. There are no limitations to these kids because they're used to doing design and painting and graphic design. They're stretching the boundaries at first but not really knowing the consequences later on.

Read more on Complex.

Check out Luke's work on his site and on Facebook. And you can also learn more about the artist through his 2010 "Self Made" video (below).
 
Nov201117
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.
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