Results tagged “Tim Kern”

Oct201417
03:22 PM
deresolution tattoo.jpg
I was just trolling Tim Kern's Instagram and found this fabulous "de-resolution" tattoo that he did at the King of Tattoo Convention in Tokyo last weekend, and I had to share.

Find more on Tim via Tribulation Tattoo.
Sep201415
02:32 PM
total tattoo issue.jpg

In the latest edition of the UK's Total Tattoo Magazine -- its 10-year anniversary issue -- you'll find what the magazine graciously calls my "words of wisdom," although a truer description would be, "Here's a page of Marisa blathering on about something she doesn't like." 

For this column, editor James Sandercock asked me to write further on the Daily Mail's crush on me, as I noted in my World's Worst Tattoo Reporting post. In that post, I talked about "The Fail" using my photo in a ridiculous article about how "middle class" people have tattoos. But it wasn't the first time a pic of me was featured. In my piece for Total Tattoo, I talk about how the tabloid has banked off my bod before.

Here's a taste:

If Andy Warhol was correct that everyone will be world-famous for 15 minutes, then I'm pretty pissed off that The Daily Mail is eating up all my allotted time. Over the past year, the tabloid has featured a picture of me in all my heavily tattooed glory, not just once, but twice-and both times they were not kind. I could liken the The Fail to a jilted ex-boyfriend, obsessed and angry that I've dared to do anything to my appearance without permission. But it's really more insidious. What the tabloid does (and they are not alone) is lure people in with tattoo images--many of which are used without permission--then slap a catchy headline over some cheap and easy content, all the while, having McDonald's ads flash in the background. Breaking it down: my bod is being used to sell burgers. Not the acclaim I was hoping for.

The first time I became a Daily Mail darling (to my knowledge) was in September 2013, in which a photo of one of my tattoos was posted under the blaring headline "World's Worst Head Tattoos." "World's Worst" anything is common "clickbait," designed to drag us in, make us angry with asinine writing, and provoke us to comment on the article, defending something that is personal and important to us. It brings more clicks, more time on the site, and more interactivity. Editors and advertisers just love how much we hate it.

This tattoo of mine that has The Daily Mail readers clutching their collective pearls in horror is indeed on the back of my head; however, it's deserving of praise rather than any pejorative. As the kids say, my head tattoo is "pretty fucking rad." Sometime around 2005, I wanted a fun, illustrative, semi-secret tattoo that was quite different from the blackwork ornamental bodysuit that I've been working on. So, I made an appointment with renowned tattooer Tim Kern, who is pretty fucking rad himself, and we came up with the idea to do a devilish looking little girl with red pigtails popping out of the back of my skull with a chain in her hand; essentially, a portrait of my childhood with added weaponry. I had taken some time off from the law firm I was working for at that time, so it was a perfect moment to shave off some ginger curls and get a badass tattoo that would eventually be covered when my hair grew out and I had to be proper lawyer again.

I was so happy with my new tattoo that I posted it to my photo album on Flickr.com (this was pre-Instagram days). I wanted to share the artwork. I did not want it used by others for their ridiculous "listicles," which lure people with short attention spans and a propensity to make comments that they would never dare to say to someone's face.[...]

It's also important to note here that Flickr has a better photo-sharing policy that other sites like Facebook, Twitter/Twitpic and Instagram. When you upload an image to Flickr, the default setting is "All rights reserved," putting others on notice that you're holding on to the rights granted to you in copyright law and not giving them up for sites like Break.com to use. Flickr's policy specifies that they may use, distribute, display, reproduce, modify, and adapt your content on the Yahoo! Services but "solely for the purpose for which such content was submitted or made available." For Facebook and Instagram, when you post your photos and videos, you are granting these sites "a non-exclusive, fully paid and royalty-free, transferable, sub-licensable, worldwide license..." That means that they can use your content and offer it to others without your approval, and even make some money off of it without anything paid to you.

Read the full article in the 10th Anniversary issue of Total Tattoo, which can be purchased at booksellers throughout the UK, US, and around the world. You can also download the digital version.

There are also great reads in the issue, such as the artist interviews with legend Horiyoshi III as well as Marco Galdo and Max Pniewski.  And giveaways, including my Black & Grey Tattoo box set!!  Grab the mag for more info.

marisa head tattoo480.jpgFreshly inked head tattoo by Tim Kern.

Feb201424
04:39 PM
Tim Kern tattoo coverup.jpg
Cover-up tattooed by Tim Kern at the Evergreen Tattoo Invitational.

This morning, my tattoo news alert was blowing up with mainstream media coverage of tattoo events across the US. This past weekend, three major conventions took place:  the Evergreen Tattoo Invitational in Springfield, Oregon; the Motor City Tattoo Expo in Detroit, Michigan; and the West Texas Tattoo Convention in San Angelo, Texas.

The Evergreen Tattoo Invitational received a lot of local press coverage, particularly for a first convention, which was organized by Joshua Carlton and Riley Smith. The more extensive coverage came from The Register-Guard, which posted this video (below), as well as some photos from the convention floor.  You can also find a slideshow from Evergreen at Komonews.com.

randy engelhard tattoo.jpgTattoo above by Randy Engelhard, winner at the Motor City Tattoo Expo.

The Motor City Tattoo Expo celebrated its 19th year as Michigan's most popular convention. The Detroit News covered the event, as did MLive, which also has a sizable slideshow of images from the show. As with other convention coverage, there was an emphasis on the tattoo TV reality stars in attendance.

For the West Texas Tattoo Convention, K-San news offered this video, featuring a quickie interview with Oliver Peck.

***
I'll be covering my hometown NYC Tattoo Convention, March 7-9



May201322
07:24 AM
black and grey virgin mary.jpgPhoto by Edgar Hoil. Tattoo by Josh Lin.

Despite being covered in ornamental blackwork tattoos, I love all genres of the art, which is why it has been fun exploring them all in my books when I can't have them all on my bod.

One of the volumes from the Black & Grey Tattoo box set, focused on photo realism in tattooing, and on its pages were lush renderings of images, from pop culture portraits to wild animals to family tributes, and much more. There are so many ways to explore photorealism in tattooing, which makes it an exciting art form.

And when something is exciting, well, it usually ends up on TV.

The folks at Oxygen's tattoo competition show, Best Ink, have asked me to do a post on photorealism in light of tonight's episode, which pits the tattoo artist contestants against each other as they vie to create the best realistic drawings, and tattoos on clients who expect an artistic miracle in five hours.  You can catch a preview of the episode here.

insect tattoo by tim kern.jpg Insect tattoo by Tim Kern, Tribulation Tattoo.  

Realistic tattooing has not merely developed in in the past decade--it has mutated, leaping far beyond normal progression in its artistry and execution. There has been explosion of photographic representations tattooed with great precision and depth. It has invigorated the tattoo community with the possibilities of mastering a difficult art on a difficult canvas.

Both new and experienced artists face a number of challenges in realistic tattooing; the most obvious one is making it look real--capturing the look, and even the soul, of the subject. Many portrait tattoos, for example, commemorate the loves of the wearer: family, pets, cars and even fictional characters. The personal significance prescribed to these tattoos adds to the great responsibility of the artist.  Another challenge concerns the longevity of the tattoo. A skilled tattooist may choose not to render certain details in the tattoo exactly as they appear in the photo because, as skin ages, lines blur and ink fades, which could leave a portrait of Marilyn Monroe looking more like Marilyn Manson. Realism specialists also find ways to create a harmony with the body so that the tattoos don't look "slapped on" but appear organic to the wearer. It's particularly difficult to have this balance and stay true to the image but stellar artists find the right mix.

Beyonce Tattoo.jpg
Beyonce portrait tattoo on Karolina by Andre Tenorio.

Keeping all this in mind, it will be interesting to see if the contestants on Best Ink do justice to the genre and come up with work that demonstrates the true artistry and exciting possibilities of photorealistic tattooing. The show airs at 10 PM EST ... and yes, we'll be drinking.
Mar201321
09:43 PM
tim kern jeff soto tattoo.jpg
Tim Kern kitty tattoo.jpg
Today is the birthday of my dear friend Tim Kern of Tribulation Tattoo (check their fancy new site).  Many know Tim for his "creepy cute" creations, but really, Tim is one of the most versatile artists I know, creating exceptional works in vastly different genres.
He is also an incredible painter. He is wicked in karaoke. And his wife is super hot.

I could go on, but I'll let his bio speak further:

Tim Kern is a rotten carny bastard. A seventh-generation twin, he was born in a state of Misery... Half-cooked and with a lazy eye. Over the years, he has developed a passion for human oddities, prestidigitation, and serial killers. Tim has been a tattoo artist since 1995, and works at Tribulation Tattoo in NYC. If seen, do not approach, and shoot on sight.
I'll also add to that a little known fact:  Tim tattooed my most secret tattoo--a signature caricature piece on the back of my head, as shown disembodied below. [Photo by Til Krautkramer.] I have deleted numerous head tattoo puns here as a birthday gift.

Check more of Tim's work on Facebook and Instagram. There's also his free portfolio iPhone app powered by BodyMod.org.

His work will get in your head. [Yup, I said it.]

tim kern head tattoo.jpg
Oct201231
12:11 PM
ns_booga.jpegHurricane Sandy made a mess of the transit system here in NYC and reports are informing me that New Jersey has actually cancelled Halloween (can they do that?!).  Fortunately, Marisa and I already managed to get in our Hallows Eve festivities last weekend with a rousing evening of karaoke with tattooist Tim Kern (who was dressed as a very convincing Gene Simmons) and Friends.  In honor of our "Tank Girl and Booga" couples-costume (and the fact that I'm a Hewlett & Martin junkie), I wanted to post these two great Tank Girl tattoos.

tankgirl_tattoo.jpeg[Tank Girl tattoo by Bryan Hall of Cherry Hill Tattoo in Naples, FL]

tankgirl_joe.jpeg[Tank Girl tattoo by Joe Capobianco of Hope Gallery in New Haven, CT]

Happy Halloween, everyone!
Apr201216
10:44 AM
tim kern tattoo on craig.jpgStarting off your week with this personal essay from our Craig Dershowitz on scoring a tattoo appointment with a booked artist, and the disappointment of having to cancel.
...

My mom is sick. I am in a bitter court battle. My new apartment requires two months security plus first month rent. They say that when someone gives multiple excuses, they are probably all lies. Believe me, I wouldn't believe this if I wasn't living through it. It is not believable. I cope with tattoos, through tattoos. Tattoos are cathartic and liberating. They remind me that I have control and power over myself, regardless of how many things are conspiring against me. They bring physical pain that, when there is so much mental pain, is a welcome respite. You know when the pain of a tattoo will end and you know how it will end.

For the initiated, tattooing seems like a never-ending process. We are constantly picking our next piece, considering our next artist and, usually, in the midst of a large project. But, there is a finite amount of skin and as each session closes, so too, eventually, does the body. It was my goal to have my body complete by the end of 2012. Tim Kern is in the middle of my back piece (above). Claire Reid is in the middle of my thigh (below right), and I had an appointment with Yoni Zilber for portions of my chest. 

claire reed The Magician Tattoo.jpgAnd, I had to cancel them all. Not only was it personally upsetting, it was professionally problematic. I know these guys. Their schedules are beyond packed. I wonder how many seconds it took for any of them to fill my spot with someone off of a waiting list. Getting another appointment can be difficult. Getting a reputation for being a flake is worse. Getting them to believe an excuse or three that you yourself wouldn't believe is the worst.

In a small shop in the Village, a tattoo artist told me that he wished he could get work from Yoni and asked if I could get him an appointment. Tim is enigmatic and booked--constantly. Claire travels the world and is only in the States about once a year. All three are legends in the community. All three are incredibly talented. All three have spots on my body reserved for them that, until complete, feel even more empty and naked than if they had nothing on them at all.

I was whining to Marisa about this situation and she told me what a controversial problem it is. Some artists are so booked and full of willing subjects to take any open spot so it's not that big an issue. Others take great offense as if it was a personal slight. The reasons, true reasons, for cancelling are equally across the board. Whether it is financial constraints, laziness, forgetfulness or some serious, life-altering change, the reasons for cancelling an appointment range from meaningful and necessary to insulting and rude.

How each artist copes is probably based on their own personality mixed the experiences they have had in the past both with that particular collector and with random others. I am lucky to consider Yoni a friend and know him to be a genuine, caring and family-oriented man. When I told him about my mother, he knew I was telling the truth and had immediate concern. He returned the money I had Pay-pal'd him and gave good wishes. Tim said not to worry and was extraordinarily flexible and kind. Claire was still in Australia but promised to ask the earth for healing. If you know Claire, you know this is completely in line with her beliefs and personality.

Their generosity was, mostly, their general nature. But, it was also coupled with what they know about me. I had never blown off an appointment with them before. I had sat through long sessions and I have recommended them and promoted them as much as possible. Each one deserves it too. Such a familiarity between artist and subject is, however, not the norm. And, in the interest of preserving an important relationship, there are standards everyone should abide. I am going to get deep now!

For Collectors:
  • Don't cancel. Yeah, that sounds definitive. And, it is. Don't cancel. And, I am not even talking about for the sake of the artist but for your own. You made a commitment, you chose something important to you. Do it. Anything else is a weak-willed cop-out. Of course, nothing is without exception and, for the proper reasons, you can make exception but you should consider an appointment as something that should only be missed if the reason to miss it is absolutely urgent and important.
For Artists:
  • Don't mind cancellations. Yes, it is your time and your money and your livelihood. But, you customer is also putting their time, money, livelihood (potentially) and body (definitely) on the line. Shit happens. Respect that.
That was brilliant, was it not? So many questions could be answered if we just returned to a state of chilling the heck out. There are down payments for a reason -- it addresses this problem. Anything else is a bunch of personal, petty, childishness on both sides of the gun. Our culture deals with enough harassment and misinformation as it is. Stay honest and respectful and we are all good.

Feb201214
12:12 PM
yann black heart tattoo.jpg
Tattoo by Yann Black, Montreal.


Tim Kern Heart Tattoo.jpgTattoo by Tim Kern, NYC.


Wiesbeck heart tattoo.jpgTattoo by Gerd Wiesbeck, Landshut, Germany


Orrin Hurley heart.jpgTattoo by Orrin Hurley, NYC.


noon heart tattoo.jpgTattoo by Noon, France & On the Road.
Oct201025
12:33 PM
photo by edgar hoill.jpg
I want to thank all the very beautiful people who came out Saturday night to party with us at Tattoo Culture for the NYC release of Black & Grey Tattoo: From Street Art to Fine Art, my latest tome co-authored with the excellent Edgar Hoill, who also shot many of the images in the book including the one above.

Alas, we were so busy drinking, eating, and dancing Saturday, that we didn't take many party pix. [If you took some, send 'em my way please.] Here are a couple below and more to be found on our Black & Grey book Flickr set.

UPDATE: the fabulous Jeff Rojas took some wonderful photos from the party and posted them in a Flickr set here.

** I still have a few author copies left at a reduced rate. Contact me at marisa @ needlesandsins dotcom for details. **

More on the book here.

 black & grey party.jpg
All these people rock.

tim kern salute.jpgI don't think I have one photo with Tim Kern that doesn't have us throwing up devil horns. Photo courtesy of the beautiful Hang Tran--soon to be Mrs. Kern (not pictured here).

And speaking of Tim Kern, I'll leave you with one of his many works highlighted in the book.

Tim Kern Tattoo.jpg
Jun201016
02:55 PM
zombie tim kern.jpgIn working on my upcoming Black & Grey Tattoo book, I came across rockin realism in the form of tattoo artist portraits, including Paul Booth, Bob Tyrrell, Jack Rudy, Tim Kern (above), and other greats. And so I had to learn more about the man who pays tribute to these artists with his own skin. Here's the story of Broken from the UK:   

Please tell me about your tattoos and who did them.

I have some horror-inspired tattoos from different artists in the 80s/early 90s. But, about 10 years ago, thanks to the internet and increased number of tattoo magazines, my passion for tattoos was re-awakened. Paul Booth and Bob Tyrrell were top of the list, although I never thought for one moment I would ever be tattooed by them. Then in 2005, London started with a new tattoo convention and the following year, I decided to take a chance and email Bob Tyrrell. I knew I wanted a portrait tattoo and horror movie stars were the obvious choice for me, but having seen so many, I wanted something more unique. Then it hit me. Tattoo artists! These guys were creating masterpieces and yet tattooing was still seen as something only criminals, bikers and the lower end of society would get.

paul booth tattoo.jpgSo, as Paul Booth was top of my list, I asked Bob to do a portrait of him [shown right]. Ten minutes later, I got a reply and it was all set for the London Convention. It was also very important to me to have Bob tattoo the Paul Booth portrait because they are close friends. With all my portrait tattoos, I have the same philosophy. I think that a close bond with the subject they are tattooing makes for a more personal and unique tattoo. [Also at that convention I met Tim Kern and got a severed wrist tattoo.]

The following month I had decided on getting a tattoo sleeve of tattoo artist portraits. I met Bob in New York and he was more than happy with the artists I had in mind. So, over the next few years, I got portraits of Filip Leu, Jack Rudy and Robert Hernandez, from Bob. Before the Hernandez portrait, I needed to find a suitable artist to tattoo a portrait of Bob. The obvious choice was Robert Hernandez. He was very happy to do it and he ended up doing it at the London Convention 2008, with Bob watching.

Very interesting experience.
He told me he was honored to be part of my project. The following year at the convention, Bob tattooed the portrait of Robert on, with Robert watching. Again, it was a surreal experience, but that made it even more special.

[In between the portraits, another artist who I was desperate to get a tattoo from, was Milosch. His black and grey is amongst the best in the world. In 2008, I planned to set up an appointment with him in the Czech Republic. After emailing him, he told me was doing a convention in the UK and a guest spot at a studio beforehand. When I found out the studio was 20 minutes from my house, I knew it was fate. He created an amazing demon on my calf and we have become good friends.]
 

ben moss zombie.jpgTim Kern and Benjamin Moss [shown left] were next on my list, but I felt that these artists would be better suited to doing a self portrait. I had already met them both and they are extremely friendly and gracious people. When I asked them, they were more than happy to do it. I wanted them to do a more horror inspired portrait and they both came up with something amazing.


What has been the reaction by the tattooists to your requests?


When I asked Bob Tyrrell to do the Paul Booth portrait, he told me that he would get Paul to pose for the photo reference. I've met Paul a couple of times since and he is genuinely honored by it. In fact, all the portraits I've had done, have been specifically photographed for each one. I haven't met Jack Rudy yet, but Filip thought his was really cool when I showed him and all the others say it's an honor to be a part of it too.


Why tributes to tattooists?

I chose tattooists because, since getting back into tattoos about 10 years ago (after 10 years when I didn't get anything), I realized just how far tattooers had come as artists. Nowadays, so many tattooers also work in fine art. People like Paul Booth, Robert Hernandez, Jeff Gogue and Carlos Torres etc...could easily have a career as fine artists. Yet, many people still don't see tattooing as an art. So this is just my small way of showing my appreciation for such an under appreciated art form.


Your portraits are largely in black & grey--what do you love about this style?
 
Black and grey, to me, is a timeless medium. Just like b&g photographs, they have an aura about them that just says class. I also think there is more focus on the subject with b&g. With color, there is the option of moving with each color. Black and grey needs more self awareness.


See more of Broken's tattooist portraits here.
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EDITOR IN CHIEF:
Marisa Kakoulas
CONTRIBUTORS:
Miguel Collins
Craig Dershowitz
Brian Grosz
Sean Risley
Patrick Sullivan
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