Results tagged “Tattoo Age”

Feb201403
08:06 AM
Thom Devita.jpgYesterday, the NY Times published a feature on legendary tattooer and fine artist Thom deVita entitled "For Restless Pioneer of Modern Tattoo Art, a Life Beyond Ink."  As the title reflects, the focus is on how the 81-year-old deVita continues to make art -- from rubbings and stencils on wooden crates, cutting boards, old ledgers...

Chris Grosso described deVita's work as a "compulsion."  Grosso is the producer of Vice's Tattoo Age, the wonderfully produced documentary series profiling artists in a way that honors the craft. One such profile was a five-part series on deVita (the first of which is embedded below). Here are our posts on all episodes: Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, and Part 5.

Thom deVita began tattooing on NYC's Lower East Side in 1961, over 50 years ago, just as the city instituted its ban on the art form - a ban that was lifted in 1997. His approach to tattooing, even back then, was as a fine artist. The NY Times explains:

"He is one of the founders of modern tattooing," said Mr. Grosso, who befriended Mr. DeVita two years ago while filming a documentary about him. "It's not what you see on reality television, but something that only he and seven other people in the 1960s started, from purely a love for the art form. He wasn't from a sailor or biker background, where tattooing comes with the territory. They appreciated the great Japanese masters, the people from Samoa. Thom was at the forefront of that."
[...]
His own entree into the art world was improvised, when a potential girlfriend asked him what he did. "I had to be something, so I told her I was an artist," he said. "So I became an artist. I had to show her I was an artist, so I started doing some artwork."

Read more here

As the article further notes, Grosso has set up a website to sell deVita's work. The work has a certain power to it, as if each piece carries with it decades of tattoo tradition. Grosso brings the proceeds from the sales to Newburgh in Upstate NY, where deVita has lived since leaving NYC in the nineties.

At a time where the media focuses its lens on Justin Bieber's tattoos and the countless reality shows, it's heartening to see an artist, who has given so much to tattooing, get the recognition he deserves.



Dec201221
04:12 PM


The final installment of Vice's "Tattoo Age" series focusing on Thom deVita has been launched (and it's quite a viewing, clocking in at over 24 minutes).  Watch the installment above and don't forget to check out the entire series on the Vice website.

In conjunction with the end of this wonderful, five-part film, Kings Ave Tattoo and Vice will be hosting an art show/sale on January 11-13th.

(Via the @kingsavetattoo Instagram account):

Thom's one of a kind creative rubbings from tattoo stencils, art boxes, signed books, and more will be available for purchase.  The legendary artist himself will also be present to talk about his art and Scott Harrison will be tattooing deVita inspired tattoos Saturday and Sunday [...] Chris O'Donnell, Timothy Hoyer and [Mike] Rubendall himself will be present and working in the city alongside the everyday crew.

Kings Ave Tattoo is located at 188 Bowery at the corner of Spring St. (on the second floor) in NYC. We'll see you there!
Dec201213
07:40 PM


More Thom deVita goodness from Vice's Tattoo Age series.

In the fourth installment of this five-part feature, Thom talks about living and working in NYC's Lower East Side, with its grit, guns and junkies, before the luxury hotels and couture boutiques of today. An added bonus is artist and documentarian Clayton Patterson offering some history of the tattoo and art scene of LES, including stories and photos of Mike Mallone and Kate Hellenbrand's time with Thom, which changed their lives. Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash and other tattoo legends also share some of their own personal stories about Thom's innovation and influence.

For me, the highlight is right at the beginning:  Thom removing his shirt to show his Huck Spaulding dragon backpiece done in the sixties, a massive work tattooed at a time when people just didn't get big work. And you know, it still looks fantastic -- true to the adage, "Bold will hold."

Check all the Thom deVita episodes:
Part 1
Part 2
Part 3
Dec201206
12:37 PM


You know who likes John Coltrane? People who don't like jazz.

While I disagree with that statement 100%, I'm still loving the Vice Tattoo Age series on (the steadfastly opinionated) Thom deVita.  Check out part 3 above or click here to view it on YouTube.
Nov201229
08:50 AM


Vice.com dropped Part 2 of their Tattoo Age feature on Thom deVita, continuing to honor a man who gave so much to tattooing for so long. 

It starts off heavy, focusing on Thom's tremors in his hands from Parkinson's disease, but as he speaks about the seriousness of aging, he laughs and continues to make art in the process. That humor is ever-present throughout the video, particularly in his interactions with Nick Bubash, his longtime friend, whom he taught to tattoo in the 70s, and they still create together today.  Artists of the new generation of tattooists pay reverence to Thom in the video as well, and it's an important reminder that we need to keep this respect for the craft and its history, and take care of our own.

If you haven't seen Part 1, check it here.
Nov201226
08:11 AM


The much anticipated first installment of the five-part Tattoo Age episode featuring Thom DeVita is now online -- and it is a history lesson that you should not miss. Here's more from Vice on the segment:

Even though Thom has been tattooing and creating art for almost 50 years, there isn't much information out there about him. He started tattooing in New York City's Lower East Side in the mid 60s--when tattooing was illegal in the city--and quickly began to forge his own style.

Thom drew from a wide variety of infliuences for his tattoos, everything from Pueblo Indian designs to Lord and Taylor shopping bags. He also formed relationships with other American tattooers who were revolutionizing tattooing by bringing in influences that went far beyond the usual array of images found in most American tattoo parlors at the time.

We interviewed Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash, Clayton Patterson, Scott Harrison, Angelo Scotto, John Wyatt, Robert Ryan, and Bubba Reeves to help tell Thom's incredible story.
Part 2 drops this Wednesday. Will link as well when it's up.
Nov201208
09:48 PM
lal hardy tattoo.jpg
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.


Nov201201
01:33 PM


Breaking from their usual (but excellent) short-form, Vice's "Tattoo Age" series will be doing a five-part series on Thom deVita, who began tattooing during the "illegal era" of NYC ink in the 1960s.

The series of "inter-visits" (Thom doesn't do "interviews") debuts on November 21st on the Tattoo Age website.
Oct201225
08:23 AM


The final episode of Mutsuo's Tattoo Age 3-part feature is now online, and it's a fascinating -- and very personal -- look into the Osaka-based artist. He takes us on a tour of local temples and shares his feelings on spirituality, happiness, and family -- and we are introduced to his loved ones in the video as well.

Another interesting aspect is the issue of prejudice against the tattooed, which still lingers today in Japanese society (and many other cultures), as evidenced by prohibitions on showing tattoos in some bathhouses and beaches, among other public spaces. The legalities of the art are muddied as well.

Once again, it's a must-see production.

Check Part 1 and Part 2 as well.
Oct201217
07:40 PM


I've been looking forward to Wednesdays for each new episode of Vice's Tattoo Age video series. With all the reality TV shows, I consider it a tattoo cleanse. The episode that dropped today is Part 2 of the three-part feature on Mutsuo of Three Tides Tattoo.

You gotta see it, but I'll tell you my personal highlights. First, what Tattoo Age has been doing is showing not just telling you about the artists featured, through their personal interactions and filming how they usually live day-to-day. It opens with a sweet interaction between Mutsuo and a woman who works at a noodle shop he's eating at. It's very telling about the artists' personality. Of course, you do have his friends (and colleagues) like Masa, who owns the shop, and Chris Garver, who does regular guest spots, talking highly about Mustuo. And revealing stories of drunken nights. It's all fun. But there's also a lesson about how one becomes a renowned tattooist. In Mutsuo's case, it's not just about dedication but the education he received from those talented artists around him like Horitomo, and guests from around the world including Garver, Chris Trevino, Adrian Lee, and Grime. It explains why his portfolio is so incredibly diverse.

Mutsuo joined Three Tides in 1999. There's an interesting discussion about the evolution of the shop itself, which Garver says will go down in history as one of those "legendary shops." He further explains how Three Tides was the first "Western-style shop" in Osaka, with the goal of becoming like the best shops in America.

Perhaps, the greatest highlight for me was seeing footage of the 1999 Tokyo convention. Damn, everyone looked so young! The convention is discussed as a turning point of tattoo culture in Japan when the art became open to different artistic styles.

Like the other episodes. It's a must see.

If you missed Part 1, check it here.
Oct201210
08:29 PM

Today, Part 1 of the Tattoo Age feature on Mutsuo of Three Tides Tattoo was released on Vice.com, and as anticipated from the trailer we posted last week, it provides viewers with a very real portrayal of one of Osaka's finest tattooers, artistically and on a personal level.

It opens with a great quote from Chris Garver (which was also in the trailer), about Mutsuo receiving a "90s style tattoo education" -- that is, taking every request that walked in the door and learning the skills to master the different tattoo styles requested by clients. The fact that he was mentored by all the shop's artists and guest artists played a big role in developing these skills as well. As Garver says, "He's a maverick." The footage is also a great peak into the daily life at Three Tides Tattoo.

To see more of Mutsuo's work, also check his Facebook page and Tumblr.
Oct201204
09:55 AM
Mutsuo tattoo.jpgmutsuo 3.jpgmutsuo tattoo 2.jpgThe second season of Vice's Tattoo Age video series began with the fabulous 3-part profile on Valerie Vargas of Frith Street Tattoo in London. Now, it takes us to Osaka, Japan for a peak into the life of Mutsuo of the Three Tides Tattoo. Part 1 of Mutsuo's profile drops October 10th, but the trailer below promises that it will be another great watch.

What's particularly interesting about Mutsuo, as discussed in the trailer, is that he's skilled in a variety of genres -- black & grey, old school, new school, traditional Japanese... Chris Garver remarks that his tattoo dexterity is rooted in the "90's style tattoo education" in which Mutsuo learned from all the artists, including guest tattooers, at the
renowned Three Tides Tattoo studio. Vice notes that he "went from being one of the shop's first customers, to the shop's first apprentice, to the most senior artist there." Looking forward to learning more about this progression.

While we wait for Part 1 next Wednesday, we can check Mutsuo's tattoo work on the Three Tides site, his Facebook page and Tumblr.

Sep201219
01:59 PM
valerie_vargas_tattoo.jpgOnline today is Part 2 of the fabulous Tattoo Age video series featuring Valerie Vargas of Frith Street Tattoo.  In this episode, a great deal of the footage discusses the studio itself and its owner, Dante DiMassa. Dante talks about encouraging the young artists who work there, including Valerie whose own "pretty lady head" style developed at Frith.

Valerie became known for her particular twist on Traditional and Neotraditional work
early on in her career. You'll see, when she goes through her portfolio on camera, that her earlier book isn't filled with a lot of the other genres. This focus has allowed her to hone her style and further her reputation. Currently, she has about a three-month waiting list. As in all the Tattoo Age episodes, there are lots of photos of art, the shop, and those personal shots that tell a lot of the tattooist.

As mentioned in our post on Part 1 on Valerie, she'll also be working 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.

For more Tattoo Age goodness, check the bonus short film Vice posted over the weekend.
 
Sep201212
12:15 PM
rock of ages tattoo.jpg
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.


Sep201205
11:23 AM


Vice TV's fantastic video series, "Tattoo Age," is coming back for a second season with promises of more kickass artist profiles. The line-up includes the legendary Thom Devita, Japan's Mutsuo of Three Tides Tattoo, and London's Valerie Vargas, the first woman tattooist profiled on the series.

The first episode goes online next week. Here's more info from Vice:

First up, on September 12, we have Valerie Vargas, who lives and works in London and is widely know for doing the most beautiful "lady head" tattoos around. Then on October 10 we have Mutsuo, a tattooer from Osaka, Japan, who learned from the great American artists who traveled to the shop where he worked in the early 00s. Mutsuo is known for his ability to flawlessly tattoo in just about any style. The season finale, on November 10, will feature Thom deVita, who started tattooing in New York City in the 60s, when tattooing was illegal in all five boroughs. Thom synthesized his environment into his tattoos and created quite possibly the most unique style of all time.

We'll be posting the videos as they go live so you don't miss an episode.
Nov201123
12:48 PM

The folks at Vice TV are offering one last piece of Tattoo Age goodness with this bonus video from their Freddy Corbin profile. [See Part I, Part II, and Part III.]

In this wonderful footage, you'll find Freddy's return to Varanasi, India in January 2010 where he tattooed local people there for free in a small temple on the Ganges River. He explains that he returned for "good juju" with the birth of his son. I particularly love the photos of smiling faces from those who received one of the seven religious symbols Freddy drew up. While the whole video is touching, the story of Freddy tattooing a deaf boy who couldn't speak is especially moving. Once again, I highly recommend it.

Another treat from Vice is their Dan Santoro print giveaway, which we posted last week, asking y'all to comment on the Needles & Sins Syndicate FB page or by Tweeting at us to win. Randomized.com picked four winners, and a screen cap of that pick can be found on Facebook.

I'm really hoping the series gets picked up for a second season. I'll be following @Tattoo_Age on Twitter for updates.
Nov201116
09:12 PM


As all good things must come to an end, Vice TV's Tattoo Age has posted its final video of its stellar series, which offers a truly real look into the lives of renowned tattooists. And as we expected, Part 3 of the Freddy Corbin profile keeps to its high standards.

This raw and intimate episode begins with personal footage of a 24-yr-old Freddy jumping out of an airplane with friends, who happen to be tattoo greats themselves:  Eddy Deutsche, Guy Aitchison and Igor Mortis. The video then jumps to Freddy today reminiscing on those early years in his career. When he's telling stories about working at Ed Hardy's Realistic Tattoo then Tattoo City, there's wonderful film from that time (in the early to mid 90s) woven through the narrative. He reveals that the pressure of performing at these exceptional studios was a factor in his "shit storm" of drug use. The accessibility of drugs when he lived in the Red Light District of Amsterdam didn't help either. Being "strung out," he was fired from Tattoo City and rumors swirled through the tattoo community as to Freddy's future.

But he did get his life together, crediting his close friend Vinny and his wife Lisa. Indeed, his family life is a big part of his profile and there's gorgeous film of them playing with their son Sonny. His spiritual side is also a large focus of the latter half of the video, and again, there are some fascinating images accompanying his travel tales,
from his trips to India to Burning Man.

Moving from the dark to light in his personal journey, this feature on Freddy Corbin is inspiring and the perfect way to bring the series to a close.

***
To celebrate the success of Tattoo Age,
we're giving away this Dan Santoro print. Just leave a comment on this post in the Needles & Sins Syndicate FB page or Tweet us and we'll chose the winner next Wednesday via Randomized.com. Good Luck!

Nov201109
11:37 AM


While we've learned a great deal about the stellar artists featured in the Vice TV series Tattoo Age, the latest video, Part 2 of the Freddy Corbin profile, goes even further and offers a modern tattoo history lesson as Freddy muses on his start in tattooing over 27 years ago and the greats who have guided him.

Weaving old photos and archival video from Michael O. Stearns' tattoo documentaries from the 90s, the episode charts Freedy's life from his first tattoo at Lyle Tuttle's old San Francisco studio (which he paid for with a $75 tax return), to how he got Erno Szabady to give him his first shot, to that fateful call at 9am when Ed Hardy asked him to come work at his Realistic Tattoo studio. Along the way, Freddy tells stories about how he learned history from Sunny Tufts, how Henry Goldfield was a great mentor artistically and technically, and how he was inspired working alongside Dan Higgs and Greg Kulz.

Once again, another must see.

If you missed Part 1, you can find it here. See Freddy's work on TempleTattoo.com.

***
Tattoo Age has a contest where you can win this Dan Santoro print. Details on Twitter.
Nov201102
02:41 PM


With today being the celebration of the Day of the Dead (Dia de Los Muertos), it seems fitting that the artist who popularized its Sugar Skull tradition in tattoo art is now featured in the Vice TV series Tattoo Age.

Here's Part 1 of the Freddy Corbin profile.

Owner of Temple Tattoo and Tattoo 13, both in Oakland, CA, Freddy earned his reputation for more than just religious iconography, but he does discuss his passion for it (particularly black & gray Chicano style) in this video, which charts his career from rising star in the late eighties to a veteran revered by new generations of tattooers as well as his contemporaries.

Freddy is also known as a "fuckin cool dude," and there's plenty of footage of fellow tattooers like Tim Hendricks and Jason Mcaffee attesting to it. But you can easily gleen that from the interviews with Freddy alone. See for yourself on Vice TV or YouTube.
Oct201126
06:34 PM


In the last of their "Tattoo Age" series, Vice TV profiles the legendary Freddy Corbin.

Tattooing since 1987, Freddy is particularly renowned for his black & gray work. Over the years, he honed his craft working alongside artists like Ed Hardy, Eddie Deusthe, Dan Higgs, Hanky Panky and Filip Leu. In 1998, he opened Temple Tattoo (and later Tattoo13) in Oakland, where you can find him today. Vice TV delves into the artist's career as well as his personal trials and triumphs. Their release best describes this teaser: 

In the series trailer, Freddy takes us to an impromptu Chinese-style tea ceremony to meet one of his spiritual friends, and sets the tone for the rest of his series - filled with anecdotes of religious experiences and musings about getting clean after years of drug use.
I'm particularly looking forward to this 3-part feature, which begins next Wednesday. We'll be sure to post each episode.
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Craig Dershowitz
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