Jason's skull tattoo by Megan Jean Morris.
Backpiece by Gerhard Wiesbeck.
Work in progress by Matt Ellis.
I think I just about recovered from this past weekend's 18th Annual NYC Tattoo Convention. With friends descending on my hometown to work or just enjoy the show, it was another great party -- with some new twists.
While I'm still mourning the demolition of the Roseland Ballroom (the show's former home), the convention's new sleeker spot at the Metropolitan Pavilion offered greater space on the ground floor for more artists and vendors, as well as a second floor for bands and burlesque.
Organizers Bonge & Butch set up the book signing table for me and author/historian/tattooer Michael McCabe in a prime location, right in front of the main floor stage, perfect for surveying the action. People watching is what makes this convention, and the crowd was as diverse of NYC itself: the 5 foot tall Dominatrix-in-training wearing head-to-toe latex; the Rockabilly couple pushing their mini-Greaser in a stroller; the tattoo reality TV reality star (and reality star hopefuls); the cool grandma; the guy straight from the set of Mad Max wearing his pet lizard; the preppy crew who missed their ride to The Hamptons ... and the tattooed lawyer shilling books and scaring people with her maniacal laugh.
Oh, and all the photographers -- professional and otherwise -- trying to find that perfect shot to encapsulate the event. As I am unable to take any successful picture, I just threw my iPhone camera lens around and took these pics here. You can find more of my pics on Instagram and in this Flickr Album.
PIX11 also did a TV piece on the show.
It was wonderful to see legends like Jack Rudy, Paul Booth and Bill & Junii Salmon continuing to inspire generations of tattooers. I also had the opportunity to flip through portfolios of artists I hadn't known before but became an instant fan upon seeing their work.
The sideshow acts drew crowds. In addition to sword swallowing, phone book shredding, and razor blade eating, performer Adam Realman also squirted whiskey -- through his nose -- down the gullets of convention goers who stood by the stage with their mouths open. Granted, drinks at the bar weren't cheap, but I this was not a suitable alternative. Nevertheless, if was fun to watch.
What I thought was particularly interesting was Sacred Tattoo's booth area where a doctor demonstrated corneal tattooing to repair cosmetic eye damage. There was also a laser removal section to help lighten up old regrets and make tattoo coverups easier.
And, of course, I spent a lot of money shopping at the vendor booths, which included everything from brass knuckles rosary necklaces to Japanese sex figurines.
Most important, I got to hug a lot of y'all in person. Till the next show!
Adam Realman offering some Coney Island sideshow fun.
Bill & Junii Salmon's buzzing booth.
Me selling my books & being ridiculous.
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.
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.
Freshly inked head tattoo by Tim Kern.
This weekend, I received a succession of excellent text messages: they began with a video of an Argentinian tattooer dancing in his underwear...followed by photos of that same tattooer creating a dotwork masterpiece on another talented artist and friend. These are the very reasons smart phones were created.
Nazareno Tubaro of Buenos Aires, in his signature stippling style, adorned the face of his Brazilian blackwork brethren, Garcia Leonam. The tattoos meld with existing work on the top of Garcia's head, then flow in beautiful symmetry down along his face and scalp. You can get a glimpse of the painstaking technique of building a bold composition out of small dots by this close-up below (before Naza tattooed the second line along the ear).
Naza and Garcia created a short video from their session, which you can find on Naza's Instagram. You can find Garcia on Instagram as well. You won't, however, find the half-naked dancing video online. Not yet.
This exception work by Sailor Bit of Ethno Tattoo in Lausanne, Switzerland has been making the rounds but in case you didn't see it, I present it to you without further comment.