Results tagged “Marisa Kakoulas”
My portrait above painted by Shawn Barber.
Painting above by David Allen.
At a time when media is hyper-focused on tattooists on TV or those with a billion Instagram followers, it was refreshing to find a piece focused on the fine art of tattoo artists: "9 Tattoo Artists Who Have Also Made a Career as Painters."
While it doesn't go too deep, the list features artists particularly renowned for their paintings: David Allen, Tim Lehi, Mike Davis, Carlos Torres, Adrian Dominic, and Shawn Barber, who honored me by painting my portrait (shown above). I also learned of the work of SupaKitch, and Vancouver-based artists Nomi Chi and Alison Woodward.
Of course, today, there are countless tattoo artists showing in galleries around the world, and this list could reach 900 rather than 9; however, noticeably absent were Paul Booth, Filip, & Titine Leu, who co-founded the Art Fusion Experiment in 2000 to encourage tattooers to create fine art spontaneously and collaboratively.
Nevertheless, the article is worth a look and more posts like this should be encouraged. It certainly beats those "Top Ten Infinity Symbol Tattoos" lists.
Painting above by Nomi Chi.
UPDATED POST: Limited author copies are still available. You can order via Paypal here or contact me at email@example.com. Get a sneak peak inside the book here.
We live in a time when images of tattoos are in a constant stream online. Your eyes may light up at the artistry, as you scroll through your Instagram and Facebook feeds, click "Like," maybe even "Share" ... and then on to the next one. For me, when I want to really find inspiration, to spend time with a work of art, I want a book in my hands. That's why I continue to give birth to these monster tomes that are great big love letters to various genres of tattoos -- books that are meticulously crafted and published by Edition Reuss.
Black Tattoo Art II: Modern Expressions of the Tribal is my latest book; it's the second volume to my very first baby.
At the time, when we published the first volume in 2009, I had no idea that we would have such an incredible response. I just thought that there wasn't really any comprehensive books on works created only with black ink, such as neotribal, ornamental and abstract work, and so Edition Reuss and I made one. What came out of it was a community. Artists and collectors from the book contacted each other, shared ideas, and had a few drinks. It was the greatest gift I ever received from a project. So when asked if I'd do a second volume, I said, "Hell yeah!"
Within this hardcover are 448-pages containing over 600 images, in addition to text, featuring the works of over 75 artists from around the globe. That texture of the paper, the weight of it in your hands, the details that can be enjoyed from such a large format book ... it adds to the experience of marveling at fine tattoo art.
Here's more info on Black Tattoo Art II: Modern Expressions of the Tribal:
Black Tattoo Art II: Modern Expressions of the Tribal, the second incarnation of what has been deemed the "Bible of Blackwork Tattoos," continues the first volume's photographic journey across the globe, showcasing the absolute best of tattoos that capture the magic of the ancient art form in exciting contemporary interpretations on the body. Within the 448-pages of this massive tattoo tome, readers will explore particular movements in tattoo art that, much like most indigenous tattooing, are more decorative and less literal; elaborate patterns predominate; harmony and flow with the body is paramount; and the color palette is primarily black--hence, the name Black Tattoo Art. This second volume follows the direction of the first, but takes it even farther.
The most important addition to Black Tattoo Art II is the greater roster of international artists: 75 top tattooists from Saint Petersburg to Sao Paolo, Austin to Aotearoa, Barcelona to Brooklyn and beyond. They share their creativity, innovation, and spirit in presenting images of their tattoo and fine art work for this book. There are also more hand poked and tapped tattoos represented, and an entirely new chapter has been added celebrating Nordic and Celtic-inspired art. Along with the "Celtic/Nordic" works are those that fall under the chapters of "Dotwork," "Ornamental/Neotribal," "Abstract/Art Brut," and "Traditional Revival." Together, these works convey the endless possibilities of art that can be created with needles and black ink--although readers will find a splash of color in many of the tattoos on these pages.
The "Ornamental/Neotribal" chapter encompasses works that enhance the body through motifs that fit so organically with the collectors, they appear as if they were born with the art on their bodies. Within the "Neotribal" genre, patterns from various cultures are melded and often infused with a modern, even punk rock, aesthetic. In this volume, with the addition of the more expansive "Ornamental" label, the chapter also includes art featuring geometric elements, some representational forms, and big, bold swaths of black ink.
The "Dotwork" chapter displays excellence in tattooing that utilizes the stippling technique in a painstaking process, creating sophisticated works out of small points to huge effect. From Sacred Geometry and Eastern Iconography to pop culture portraiture and folk art imagery, the tattoos presented in this chapter depict a large range of subject matter created from a small mode of articulation: dots.
The new "Celtic/Nordic" chapter will inspire readers, not just with its stunning ancient designs, but also through the fantastic stories of the myths and lore behind much of the imagery, as conveyed by tattooist Colin Dale, who wrote the chapter's introduction and assembled the finest practitioners of Celtic and Nordic tattooing today for Black Tattoo Art II.
A newer tattoo movement that has defied easy classification is exhibited in the pages of the "Abstract/Art Brut" chapter. "Art Brut," or "raw art," evokes the intensity, feverishness, and freedom of creation when not bound by strict artistic formulas and conventions. This section has been further opened to include "Abstract" tattoos that possess the same flow and feeling but stylized in different ways.
The "Traditional Revival" section of this book is just a glimpse into the work of those carrying on the techniques, ceremony, and spirit of ancestral tattoo practices. While the focus of this book may be the "modern expressions of the tribal," respect must be paid to the origins from which these works flowered. In this chapter, readers will find Iban hand-tapped works of Borneo, Mentawai tattooing of Indonesia, Ta Moko of the Maori, Tatau of Samoa, magic-infused Thai tattoos, and Kalinga tattoo practices being revived in the Philippines.
One of the greatest successes of the first volume of Black Tattoo Art was that it helped forge bonds among artists and collectors who find particular allure in blackwork tattooing. The goal of Black Tattoo Art II is to expand this community and further inspire those seeking to carry forth the beautiful and powerful traditions of the art form.
Tattoo credits from top to bottom: Cover tattoo by Tomas Tomas; Leon Lam; Roxx 2 Spirit; Thomas Hooper; Celtic/Nordic chapter by Colin Dale; Buena Vista Tattoo Club; Filipino tattoo revival by Elle Festin/ Mark of the Four Waves (Photos by Joe Ash).
Tonight, from 6 to about 7:30PM, I'll be speaking on a panel entitled "Tattoos: Fleshing out Copyright Law" at NY Law School along with tattooist Michelle Myles and attorney Michael Kahn (who represented Victor Whitmill, the artist who inked Mike Tyson's facial tattoo and sued Warner Bros. for copyright infringement.)
We'll be having fun discussing the intellectual property issues as they apply or may apply to tattooing, and I'm sure creating some controversy over who owns your tattoos.
For a glimpse into our talk, check my previous posts on tattoo copyright. I'll also be doing a follow up on any new issues we discuss that haven't been brought up here.
The panel is open to the public, so feel free to come by and share your thoughts.
On October 1st, one of my latest book projects will hit the shelves of major bookstores: "Tattoo World," published by Abrams Books, is a 384-page hardcover featuring 1,000 tattoo images from 125 stellar artists -- artists I stalked for over a year in order to have them be a part of a book designed to show a mass audience the possibilities of tattoo art. As always, I'm utterly grateful for their participation.
The text is by Michael Kaplan, a well respected journalist who has written for the New York Times, Wired and Details. Michael interviewed the artists for profiles that accompany the collages of their work. The cover art is created by Chris Conn Askew, which was then laser cut for 3-D effect.
It was an interesting experience working with a large US publisher, representing the interests of our tattoo community in a project designed for a mainstream audience. [A big difference from my monster books for Edition Reuss, which are specifically geared towards serious collectors and artists.] I am excited that the average person can walk into a chain like Barnes & Noble, pick up "Tattoo World" and find out about Horiyoshi III, Filip Leu, Paul Booth, Guy Aitchison and others who have had a profound impact on the art. The book isn't limited to the "big names," however, and highlights the work of some emerging artists pushing tattoo in new directions. Of course, we couldn't include every brilliant artist (and not everyone agreed when asked). I do believe the work shown will inspire people to do more research and learn about the many tattoo masters across the globe.
As with any book release of mine, there's a party. Once again, we're joining forces with our dear friends at Tattoo Culture--who are celebrating their six year anniversary--for a joint bash in their Brooklyn studio.
Mark your calendars: Friday, October 7th, from 7-10PM. Click here for address & map. More on Facebook.
The book is available on Amazon.com for pre-sale. For anyone interested in a signed copy, perhaps with a love note, I have only 15 books available to Needles & Sins friends for $35. First come, first serve. If you're interested, hit me up at marisa at needlesandsins.com.
Hope to see y'all on Oct. 7th!
Tattoos in layout above by Shige, Yellow Blaze Tattoo.
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.Tattoo by Genko
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.
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.
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.
Fine art by Gunnar
big ass book
Color Tattoo Art
Today, I'm in the NY Post because
Aside from the repeated use of the word "tats" (you know that triggers my gag reflex), the article does a good job (for The Post) of getting across the message that women make up a large part of the heavily tattooed, and no, we're not all celebs and strippers.
Ethan Morgan of East Side Ink, who has been tattooing for two decades, said in the article that half of his clients are us gals, adding "They [women] are getting large tattoos, and they're really picky about their work. It's cool."
And it is cool, despite the negative press from the ill-famed Michelle McGee, whom I wrote about last week; indeed, it's because of McGee that this type of discourse about the tattoo community is in the papers at all. This negative gives voice to the positive; at least it gave me a chance to do my usual tattoos-as-a-fine art shtick to an audience beyond you pretty people.
Just walking through the door of my local
Alas, not everyone gets it. If you read the comments to the article, you'll see these quotes:
"Who wants to marry that? Or have that be the mother of your children. The tattooed trash look is for a 1 night stand or at best she will date her look heroin dealer/junkie."
Ok, that last one was funny.
The irony is the most tasteless comments come from anonymous trolls who call us "trashy." Close-minded comments following these tattoo articles are too common, and in response, I often give the old tattoo cliche:
The difference between tattooed people and non-tattooed people is tattooed people don't care if you have tattoos or not.
I encourage you to offer your own thoughts in the article forum. I know it'll be done in the same vein as you live your life: artfully.
I was going to entitle this "Me in Oil" but that would make me a tease on the RSS feed. With the naked bod and come-hither stare, I already look like a Suicide Girl den mother, but the beauty of portraiture is that the painter transforms the tattooed lady from minx to muse. I'll take it.
Juango Martinez Canovas of Spain is the artist behind my portrait, who has placed me in the beautiful company of tattooist Jo Harrison and painter Titine Leu. Also check his Memento Mori series, which showed at the Laboratorio d Arte Joven this past summer.
Beyond canvas, Juango has been creating art on skin for over 12 years. He's currently working at Other Side Tattoo in Murcia, Spain.
Photo of Rory Keating Tattoo on Lady Miss Nataka in Black Tattoo Art
It's been a month since I blogged about my Black Tattoo Art book, so I figured I could get away with a quick, shameless update.
Now, if you order the book from LastGasp.com, and put in the promo code "Needles" at checkout online, then you get free shipping -- and considering the book weighs about nine pounds, that's a big savings.
In the 536-page hardcover, you find 35 of the very best blackwork artists paying homage to the ancient roots of tattooing in their contemporary interpretations. No other publication has curated the work of so many esteemed international tattooists working in black ink and gathered them into one MASSIVE comprehensive volume. Check sample pages on Flickr.
A full page review of the book is in this month's Total Tattoo magazine and it got 5 out of 5 stars, saying "If we had a six star rating, Black Tattoo Art would certainly merit it." Woohoo!
Black is beautiful, my friends.
In fact, I've taken the statement to heart (and skin) with enough black ink in my dermis to fill the Library of Congress. And with this passion for blackwork tattoos, I began collecting images and some stories of the world's best tattoo artists only working in black ink with the help of my primary tattooist, former hubby, and friend, Daniel DiMattia of Calypso Tattoo, renowned himself for this style. The result ...
Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal.
The book will be released this Thursday, September 10 and yes, there will be some partying. Join me on Thursday at Tattoo Culture from 7 to 10:30pm for drinks, food, and an awesome playlist of tunes by the fabulous Ron Worthy.
Keep in mind that the book -- published by fine art and erotic publishers Edition Reuss -- is a 536-page, thread-bound hardcover with silver embossing that weighs over six pounds. A friend suggested that it will also nicely double as a home defense device. Or free weight.
Evan's sleeves by David Sena of North Star Tattoo
For more info on the book, I did write a fancy press release with big words. What I didn't mention in the release is the year-long process of seeking out pictures and stories of the top blackwork artists. Many of whom shun online communication and enjoy long stretches of time without any worldly contact so to rejuvenate and become inspired for the masterful tattoos featured. But try to explain large size 300 DPI format to 'em ... I joke. Kinda.
Seriously, it was a great honor to curate the very first English language book EVER dedicated to blackwork tattooing in its many forms. It was inspired by Ed Hardy's TattooTime premier issue entitled New Tribalism. In it, the legendary Cliff Raven said one of my favorite quotes:
"The perfect tattoo -- the one I believe we are all struggling toward -- is the one that turned the jackass into the zebra."Raven, one of the pioneers of the fine art tattoo movement, wrote that after 20 years of tattooing, he found "decorative art" was the tattoo style that best fit the human canvas. He explained that creating two-dimensional elaborations on a three-dimensional object is akin to "pin striping an auto as opposed to copying Frazetta paintings onto the sides of vans." It was a bold statement, but one perfectly suited to the tattoo movement it trumpeted.
He called this style "Pre-Technological Tattooing." Hardy called it "New Tribalism." Most have used the term "Neo-tribal" to define the tattooing of Leo Zulueta, one of the first contemporary tattooists to fully dedicate his body of work to interpreting the arts of indigenous cultures (also featured in Black Tattoo Art).
More recently, many tattooists have been defining their portfolios as "Blackwork," taking their tribal interpretations even farther but still adhering to the decorative arts tenets. Indeed, there is a rainbow of terms to describe this monochromatic art form.
Work by Vincent Hocquet of Beautiful Freak Tattoo
For this book, we kept it simple with the title "Black Tattoo Art: Modern Expressions of the Tribal" to encompass the various designs and aesthetics that have sprung from the Neo-Tribal movement; a movement which took root in the late sixties, flourished in the eighties and nineties, and pollenized the beautiful offshoots of today.
The title is deceptively simple, however, because what really is "modern black" tattoo art?
It's not a book on traditional tribal tattooing. There is a chapter that looks at a few artists today reviving their ancestral tattoo arts, but this is a very small part of this monster volume.
It is a book that looks at how today's tattooists have taken the tenets of tribal arts -- the soulfulness and harmony with the body -- and applied it in contemporary, imaginative ways.
To see sample pages of their work in the book, check the Black Tattoo Art Flickr set.
If I could have shot more footage, I would have - but I was living within a personal combination of medical triage, the Tet Offensive, Nuclear Holocaust and metaphysically being mistaken (once again) for Chris Daughtry.
But for those of you who were unable to attend, either due to geography, gravity or genetic obligation, I offer this little sampling of the Needles and Sins launch party, featuring the outstanding photography of Sean Toussaint...
I just checked my Facebook friends list and I have 660 of the most fabulous people sharing the love.
Brian mocks me because I obviously have never met all. I'll usually confirm a friend unless they rep in a hateful way or know my father. I also just find it tremendously helpful to this blog because I get ideas or find tattoo events through the news feeds.
And now I'm just six people away from my 666th FB friend!
Soooo, I decided to reward that ominous beastie with my usual prize: crap from my parents' attic.
Befriend me here.
And while you're at it, join the Needles + Sins Syndicate for party and event updates as well as a forum to voice your thoughts on how to make the site better.
I kiss you!