Results tagged “Stanley Moskowitz”
It seemed like all of Philadelphia was at the Sheraton City Center Hotel for the annual tattoo convention this past weekend. Driving over, we saw massive billboards on the highway as we entered the city as well as bus stop ads on numerous street corners; we even heard promos on repeat over the car radio. I turned to Brian and said, "That's the way to pack a show."
We didn't anticipate, however, just how packed it would be. Like most major shows, there was a line to get in but this seemed to bottleneck, leading some to elbow their way to the front of the line. Throngs of people pushed up the escalators to the reach two floors of booths where over 200 artists and vendors were waiting for them. And there was more pushing through the aisles to get to tattoo appointments or just watch others get work. There was plenty to watch. It seemed that most artists, at least Saturday, were candidates for carpal tunnel syndrome with their non-stop needling. Money was made.
Artists ranged from legends to a few newbies. You couldn't miss Philadelphia Eddie when you walked into the main tattoo room -- always with a sharp suit and sharper tongue. He was signing his book "Tattooing: The Life and Times of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie," which is filled with wild stories as expected. [You can buy it online here.] Next to him was another old school bad boy, Stan Moskowitz, who tattooed excited fans looking for a piece of history. Further down the aisle was Annette LaRue of Electric Ladyland Tattoo in New Orleans who promised me some good stories from her decades of tattooing for an upcoming interview. And there were countless others I had a blast hanging out with in scarce quiet moments.
Actually, "quiet" should never be used in the context of the Philly show. It was raucous, complete with hardcore from Murphy's Law and bikini bull-riding. A guy in a zombie Gumby costume paraded around taking pictures with aspiring "tattoo models." Plenty of preening throughout the hotel. Sailor Jerry Rum specials swilled in plastic cups. As is the case at most shows, booze is boss. But what you didn't see were biker fights of two years ago with a strict "No Colors" policy in effect. It's great when not all tattoo stereotypes are represented.
If any of this post sounds snotty, well, I quite literally caught a cold at the show and had to bail earlier than expected. But these dysfunctional family reunions make me happy nonetheless and it was worth the trip.
We only took a few photos of the show, posted here on Flickr, but Snakegirl Productions's Flickr pages have plenty of great shots. Some pics are also being posted on the convention's Facebook wall. If you have images of your own you'd like to share, hit us up.
UPDATE: See photos from the show on Driven By Boredom -- many not safe for work.
Finally recovering from the four-day debauchery that was the Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth in Las Vegas, which began last Thursday night and ended sometime around Monday morning. Like everything Vegas, it was glitzy, over the top, and a helluvalotta fun.
See my usual bad pics of the show here.
The minute I got to Vegas I saw an ad on top of a taxi cab for the convention. It was also heavily promoted in the media, with convention organizer (and tattoo mogul) Mario Barth hiring a PR firm to bring in a crowd. In the Mandalay Bay Hotel, which housed the show in one of its massive convention halls, there were people handing out wrist bands in the casino for reduced admission -- do well at roulette and treat yourself to a tattoo.
Despite the tireless promotion, however, a number of artists and vendors said that there were less people in attendance than last year. [This was my first time there.] But it all depended on who you asked. The experiences of those working the show widely varied. Some said they were completely booked. Others were trying to hustle for business. And then I spoke to a number of artists who were happy to do a few tattoos and mostly hang out and have fun, like a tattoo vacation with some extra dollars to pay for the trip.
Knuckle tattoos by the legendary Mark Mahoney
Vegas has it's velvet ropes and A-listers and this convention was no exception. As I mentioned last week, I was super-stoked to see legendary artists like Horitoshi, the Sulu'ape family, and Americana's bad boys Stanley Moskowitz and Crazy Philadelphia Eddie. [I bought Eddie's new book "Tattooing: The Life and Times of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie, My Vida Loca, Vol 1" and will review it here soon.] Portrait prodigies Mike De Masi, Mike Devries, Nikko Hurtado were in attendance, and I also got to meet some Greek homies doing a wild fusion of abstract art and realism from Sake Tattoo in Athens, Tattooligans in Thessaloniki, & Fabz Tattoo Gold Coast Tattooligans. Baba & BJ Betts schooled young artists on lettering while Jime Litwalk and Tony Ciavarro worked their New School. Black & Gray maestros Shamrock Social Club, Bob Tyrrell, Tony Olivas, Andy Engel, Robert Pho, (among many other greats) dominated the tattoo competitions.
The competitions were MC'd by the rock/TV/porn star Evan Seinfeld, who was his usual brand of delishiousness. I was also hoping to ogle the cast of Sons of Anarchy (the one reason I own a TV these days) but it seemed the only thing going on in their large booth was airbrushing the show's new logo onto tees and tank tops.
The only other "celebrity" I spotted was skater/Jackass Bam Margera at the after party, which took place Friday and Saturday at King Ink, Mario's tattoo studio-boutique-dance club complete with velvet rope and a line of tattooed Snookies waiting to get in. Oh, and there were TONS of cougars hitting on young punks with stretched earlobes and neck tattoos. I had one 50+ woman come up and ask me what was best way to take one of these guys home. [Answer: Jack Daniels. Lots of it.] As for me, I stayed sober just to take in the scene. It was surreal.
Back piece by Louie of Under the Gun Tattoo
Overall, it was a convention for the masses. Serious collectors were there but it was far from an insider art snob show or hippie gathering. The airbrush artists, faux-tattoo sleeves vendor, and even the psychic readings kept spectators on a blackjack break busy. There was no mystique but it was accessible to all. It was Vegas.
Biggest Tattoo Show on Earth
Mike De Masi
Shamrock Social Club
Sons of Anarchy
The March issue of Inked Mag is out now and, as Marisa has previously pointed out, along with featuring beautiful heavily tattooed women in lesser and lesser states of undress, there are occasionally some righteous articles written by some or one of these here contributors on N+S.
This month, I got to speak with living legend "Bowery" Stan Moskowitz. And while I was nervous that he'd somehow be able to reach through the phone to break my face and toss me down a flight of stairs, I managed to get through the interview in one piece.
Here's a little preview of why you didn't -- and don't -- fuck with Bowery Stan.
There are a lot of rough stories from [the Bowery] days.
...You didn't know who the hell was comin' through the doorway. One time this guy comes in and he punches me in the stomach. See, I have to remember that 'cause no one ever did that before. And he says to me, "You do a good job, kid," and here he punched me in the stomach, the fuck. I picked up a ball-peen hammer I had and I hit him right in the head with it. Right in the forehead! Holy shit, it starts to bleed like a bastard!
And then you tattooed him anyway.
Yeah, I tattooed him. Well, my father saw the guy bleeding and he was spurtin' blood everywhere. He had a hot towel he put on him and he put this here blood-stopper on, and finally it stopped. So then my old man sat him down and I tattooed him! He gave me a tip and said he was sorry. [Laughs.] You know, it's laughable. It wasn't laughable then. Jesus Christ, now that I think of it--it's a good thing I wasn't older.