Last week, Global News Canada reported that "tattoo concerns" were abound in Edmonton among those who got some incredibly bad tattoos after participating in one tattooist's quest to break a world record for most tattoos within 24 hours. I know what you're thinking: How can one possibly get a bad tattoo for $20 in the back of a bar & grill along with 818 people? Mysteries of the world are often unfathomable, my friends.
It all went down last July when young tattooer Diankh Lopez broke (or claimed to have broken) the previous Guinness World Records mark of 801 tattoos within 24-hours set by Hollis Cantrell of Arizona in 2008. Dianke, who had only been tattooing for four years, marked 818 people with either paw prints or an infinity symbol. And she did it for charity, damn it! All the proceeds ($4,795) allegedly went to the Edmonton Humane Society.
You'll often find charities tied into these world record attempts. Artists trying to balance their need for some sort of fame, but saying it's a selfless act to help the puppies or the children. There are, in fact, many great tattoo fundraisers for charity, and most of them are not bound to scar as many people as possible within a short period of time.
Of course, these world records wouldn't take place if there weren't the willing bodies. Many of those bodies in the Global News video said they participated to help the puppies, but I'm guessing the cheap tattoo ticket price was also a factor. And considering the "you get what you pay for" maxim, you'd think that they wouldn't be so shocked and appalled that their infinity symbol looks like, well, that I did it.
There should be no surprise at all, in fact, because Diankh made participants signed a waiver that specifically stated that the tattoos would be "rushed" and she could not vouch for quality. She did, however, promise free touch-ups. And when people went to get those free touch-ups, she "disappeared."
Diankh resurfaced when Global News caught up to her. Evidently, fellow Edmonton tattooers weren't happy with her stunt and refused to hire her or let her work at their shops. Now people just have to wait until she can find a place to work.
It's a sad lesson for a young tattooer, but we should all take heed not to support these world record rip-offs.
Anderson Cooper rivals our snobbery regarding "bad tattoos." And he's not completely off base. If only tattoo machines came with built-in spellcheck.
This edition of tattoo news review breaks the headlines down into The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly. Let's start off with the latter:
The most popular story emailed by many of you is one of those that makes us feel just a bit better about ourselves as we point and laugh at others. Behold:
The only thing worse than a misspelled bad tattoo is losing a bet and having Nickelback frontman Chad Kroeger tattooed on your ass. See the butt-baring video of that here. [Click here for more Nickelback luv.]
Another lost bet: Stephen Baldwin thinking his Miley Cyrus tattoo will get him on Hannah Montana show. [Will refrain from snark on his loss in the Baldwin gene pool.]
Brilliant offense -- or offence -- with another "Sir, your tattoos are terrible" post on b-ball players' bad tattoos. See last week's ire. I'm becoming addicted to this series. Here's a taste:
Then there are the worst musician tattoos.
[Look, I'm really a people person. A lover of humanity. I only link the cattiness, not meow it myself. Mostly.]
A while back I posted about the arrest of a dirtbag who gave his 7-year-old son a gang tattoo. Now he's facing even tougher punishment for the crime: possible life in prison.
A 28-year-old man was arrested for tattooing brass knuckles on his 16-year-old girlfriend. [Yes, 16.] Even worse, the guy would stand outside a local high school and offer to tattoo kids for $40 AND reuse the needles on them. Lock. Him. Up.
A Boston child goes to get a temp tattoo from a vending machine and instead gets a hateful political message. Will this scar her against body art for life?
Those wishing to leave gang life -- and their tattoos -- can get free laser removal by Las Vegas doctor, Dr. Julio Garcia. There are similar offers around the country like Dr. Dave's Fresh Start program.
Chris Zedano's Staple Street photo series is a must-see and includes our own Sean Risley (shown right, cropped) as well as other tattooed and beautiful freak portraits.
This Charlie Brown tattoo is no blockhead.
More cool geek tattoos at the Science Tattoo Emporium.
Amy Winehouse is sobering up and covering her "Blake" tattoo, once a moving tribute to her junkie ex.
[Sorry, Green One. I had to.]
And in a category all by itself ... Lady Gaga tribute tattoos.
In our rare point-n-laugh program, let us heed the profound advice of Viral Video Film School on choosing a tattoo and then showing it the Internet via YouTube (where the above video is found here). It's a gloriously curated video tribute to bad tattoos.
To cleanse your palate, head to Hyperspace Studios' YouTube Channel "Tattoo Television." There you'll find videos such as Guy Aitchison & Markus Lenhard's two-part tattoo collaboration or fine art focused films like the HyperCoSMic Painting Jam with Alex & Allyson Grey.
[The above video via ModBlog.]
It's that time of year, my friends. A time when the tacky take over, when once demure women play dress up in slutty outfits of our fave fairy tales, and grown men think it's ok to wear a penis hat on their heads. Yes, Halloween costume planning is upon us.
And along with 2009's top trends like the Octomom or racy Devil Grrl get-up for your 8-year-old, this year's top costumes are all about ... us.
While I should be thankful that I don't need to fork over a fifty for dirty cop duds, there's something that really scares me about Halloween ensembles like these:
* The Tattoo Freak -- for your kid too!
* Miami Ink Hell Raiser & Low Rider horrors
* The Tattoo Biker
* Creepy Tattoo Man mask
* Prison Play Tattoo Convict
* And Lydia the Tattooed Lady (right)
[Inspired by Brian Grosz's Marx remake?]
* Hell, you can even dress your doggie up.
But I figured out what's really bugging me here, and it's not that companies are making a buck mocking our art. What it comes down to is this: the tattoos in these costumes suck.
Now, I'm all for stickin some faux tattoo sleeves on my unadorned sis to freak out my father, but they gotta have decent designs.
Here are alternatives if you decide to go as me for Halloween:
* Hire a tattooist or art school student to marker up non-permanent body art.
* Rock some henna paste (the reddish brown not toxic black).
* Slap on Temptu Pro tattoo transfers.
* Or custom make your own temps.
And don't forget to complete the costume with a loud maniacal laugh & nerd banter.
I got a double dose of news for ya, from post-mortem tattoos to literary ink to celebs tattooing, so no foreplay today, let's get to it...
First, my fave headline: "Man freed thanks to penis lizard tattoo." Ok, maybe a little foreplay. [Thanks, Scott!]
The biggest news item was Chris Brown putting down his fists and picking up a tattoo machine. The singer was at East Side Ink last week, home to tattooer of his ex Rihanna, Bang Bang -- a man who consensually makes her bleed. After getting a forearm tattoo earlier in the week, Brown returned to East Side to put his own tattoo (see above) on Bang Bang.
You may remember that we blogged about Bang Bang getting in trouble for letting Rihanna tattoo him and others in the shop last month as only licensed artists can tattoo in New York, but I guess the press and subsequent biz from the celeb tattoos will pay for the fines he may face. Problem is that someone, Bang Bang or East Side's owner, could also lose their license as well. Worth it?
While the Chris Brown story made me roll my eyes a bit, this story of a post-mortem tattoo brought tears to them:
Patrick Conley, a 29-year-old husband and father who was dying of leukemia had one last wish: to get a tattoo. Upon his death, he reiterated this wish to his hospice nurse. He had the design all ready to go. But never made it. The nurse wanted to see his final desire fulfilled so she told another hospice nurse, the mother of tattoo artist Matt Sawdon. Sawdon, of Sunken Ship Tattoo in Everett, WA, agreed to do his first post-mortem tattoo after Conley's family agreed. The article details what Sawdon experienced in doing this tattoo, but it was the final part of the article below that broke my heart:
In the tumult of Conley's last few hours, his wife found one last gift.
I needed a laugh after that story, and this one did the trick: 22 Fan Tattoos of Comedians, including Bill Cosby as a puddin pop.
More tattoo tributes...
An embroidery design tattooed to look like grandma's needle work.
And another? Did this Italian actress really get a Berlusconi tattoo?
If your own tributes on skin are of the bookish kind, hit up LA Times bloggers who are seeking literary tattoos for a book project.
It's not the first to honor text tattoos. Ina Saltz put together a great collection in her 2006 book Body Type: Intimate Message Etched in Flesh but this new project goes beyond funky fonts to all skin lit from "a line from an e.e. cummings poem (above), an image from a picture book or maybe even a drawing of an author we love." Read more here to contribute to the project.
Cool article in SF Gate on how tattoos are replicated on wax statues of celebs at Madame Tussauds. Here's how they do it: "...If a celebrity has a tattoo, it will be photographed and duplicated -- or the appropriate body part will be sent to the tattoo artist so it can be done by the original."
For more cool stories, it's quick and dirty link time:
Abstract Tattoo by Amanda Wachob of DareDevil Tattoo.
I got some private messages last week admitting a forbidden love for the truly WTF tattoo galleries linked to in the news review, so before I get to the real newsworthy items, I'll satisfy more guilty pleasures with this first one:
It's a fun photo essay that includes Joe Letz's flying penis tattoo on his leg, the Hawaiian shark teeth on Brent Hind's face, and Jeffree Star's JonBenet Ramsey & Sharon Tate portraits.
To cleanse that frightening bunch outta ya mind, check out the exciting tattoo artistry of Amanda Wachob of DareDevil Tattoo, who experiments with abstract forms and conceptual design but can also do a solid, clean traditional tattoo. I met Amanda at our launch party Friday and she told me about an abstract tattoo project she's working on -- also mentioned on DevilCity Press -- where 8-10 people will be chosen to get a large tattoo, free. More details on that coming up later this week.
Amanda's conceptual art got me thinking of the lines and dots found on the oldest recorded tattooed person: Otzi the Iceman; however, a recent news item discusses how his tattoos have proved to be medicinal, not aesthetic. The article explains:
"There are groups of one, two, three, four and seven tattoo lines parallel to the longitudinal axis of the body, and so they're parallel to Chinese acupuncture meridians." The cross-shaped tattoo on his knee, and another one on his left ankle, also lay over Chinese acupuncture "trigger points," the researchers believe. Strengthening their argument is the fact that the soot-made markings are located on parts of the iceman's body not typical for tattoo displays, diminishing the notion that they served a more ornamental, aesthetic function.See a video on how the first tattoos were created.
Despite the millennia of tattoo history, many still think it's an unsavory fad. Here's yet another weekly news item on tattoo discrimination -- this time, an Ohio town does not think tattoos are a "fit."
But this prejudice is not so surprising after also reading weekly stories of idiots who use the art as a gimmick like this guy who got a tattoo to win a PalmPre phone. Of course, with the cost of the tattoo (and subsequent lasering I'm sure), he coulda just bought the PalmPre and been spared our mockery. Mock, mock, mock.
Some may also mock this dude above who proposed marriage -- permanently -- but today I'm feelin the love and just grateful that Caroline said "Yes." Now, let's hope the marriage lasts.
Cleveland.com has a new feature called Tat Chat where they "celebrate body art" and "find folks with interesting tattoos and the often even more interesting stories behind them."
My favorite blog find this past week, however, was Coolhunting.com post on Carlos Alvarez Montero, and his photographs of the counterculure in NYC and Mexico City -- particularly the heavily tattooed.
Quick & Dirty Link time...
The Michael Jackson tribute tattoos dominated the headlines while Rihanna created some buzz of her own by tattooing three people at East Side Ink in Manhattan, home to her favorite artist Bang Bang. Tattooists at the shop got Ri's signature umbrella with the letter 'R' underneath it. But the biggest treat was for the paparazzi: see more photos on INFDaily.
Alas, the sweet press for the studio has backfired because now the NYPD and the NYC Health Department are looking into Rihanna tattooing without a license -- a misdemeanor offense that could mean fines and loss of license for East Side's owner. It's not confirmed, however, whether the city has opened an investigation into the unlicensed tattooing.
In more illegal ink news, this dude was jailed for tattooing minors but it should've been for his "online tattooing school." Note to self: ask my next tattooist to see license and diploma from Bob's Tattoo School.
The problem with unlicensed tattooing is the risk of severe infection, never mind shitty umbrella art.
Perfect example: this tattoo gone wrong law suit [via NSFW Modblog] where three friends walked into a Morgan Hill, California shop and walked out with massive staph infections. One posted this puss-filled tattoo (below) on HelpMeSue.com, also noting they researched the studio and found it was not yet licensed by the health department. It would have been better, of course, if such research was done prior to dirty tattooing. The image is a reminder to do our homework on the artist and shop opening our skin.
Infection may be common at unlicensed shops but I wouldn't go as far as ex-MTV veejay Jancee Dunn's fear of "rampant hepatitis" -- the argument she gave her over-60 mom who decided to get tattooed. But the super cool mom ignored such drama and gave the best reason for wanting a tattoo -- simply because she liked it:
"I've passed midlife. Your generation thinks every action has to be fueled by some major psychological motive. You know what? I just want some art on my body. And I like ravens."They went to Shotsie's Tattoo in Wayne, NJ, a long time tattoo staple in NJ (fully licensed of course), and the Ink Shrink worked a raven on her wrist, which she loved. The rockin grandma's next plan is to head to Burning Man, and while her daughter remains horrified, I'm inspired. Jancee's book Why Is My Mother Getting a Tattoo?: And Other Questions I Wish I Never Had to Ask is now out.
Ok, now to cleanse that icky tattoo image from ya head, behold the Beckhams:
I just licked my screen. Their Armani ad is hot. Less so, The Beckhams: 10 years of tattoos, Tom Cruise and malnutrition.
Further celeb hotness, Mena Suvari shows off her '13' tattoo.
But I gotta ask, What would prompt someone to get a Lady Gaga tattoo?
In more important news ...
Quebec Superior Court judge has ruled that a dress code for day care workers forcing employees to cover-up tattoos was in violation of their rights.Supported by the daycare worker union in Quebec, Nadine Bélisle can now show off the snake tattoo on her shoulder blade. The union president said "We agree that if a tattoo is sexist, racist or violent it should be camouflaged. But I don't see how children are going to be traumatized by a flower on someone's ankle." The lawyer for the daycare argued the board put the general ban in place so they did not have to make the decision of what tattoos are deemed suitable. The judge didn't dig that argument and found that the ban "rests on prejudices." The Globe and Mail further quotes the Judge Jean Bouchard:
Another reason to love Canada:
Eric has been getting tattooed for over 20 years but saved room on his upper arm to mark the birth of his beautiful daughter Hayden (both shown right). And as Hayden was born on a full moon, he added one behind her name and above it a rose with a pink diamond in it. Ok everyone, time for a group "aaawww."
Another note to self: add Eric to our growing N+S "objectified tattooed men."
Not to be objectified: This dude with the Stooges backpiece and facial ink!
Perhaps he'll be inducted into Australia MSN's world's worst tattoos hall of shame. A group rivalled by those featured in this blog: Most unfortunate tattoos for a mugshot.