Results tagged “shige”

Oct201311
04:32 PM
bactc.jpg

It's always a little weird when you get a phone call that asks, "Can you come by the shop so we can photograph your back? And... be sure to shave." (It's even weirder when you find yourself saying to your girlfriend, "No one is gonna see that part and it's gonna suck when it grows back - DON'T SHAVE ME THERE!")

But these are the sacrifices I will make for Horitaka - an amazing man, tattooist, publisher, event-organizer, and friend.

October 25-27th brings us the inimitable Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts at the SFO Hyatt Regency. This year, Horitaka is presenting a seminar from Shige and a talk and book signing from Ed Hardy in addition to a "who's who" litany of tattooists grinding away in their booths.

If you're anywhere near San Francisco, it would behoove you to be at this amazing show. Trust me.

Click here to get more info on hours and pricing.

Oct201301
07:13 AM
Tattoo by Gao Bin, Lion King.jpg
Tattoo above by Gao Bin of Lion King Tattoo in Taiwan.

On Friday, the first day of the London Tattoo Convention, before I even finished setting up my book stand, I accosted a friend, who is getting a Filip Leu backpiece, and demanded that he drop his pants (for a look at the tattoo, of course). He immediately obliged. Soon after, others joined in and on display were derrieres decorated by  Tin Tin & Xed Le Head. There are many reasons to attend tattoo conventions. Pants dropping is one.

What makes the London convention such a draw for the thousands -- who queued up in a line that snaked all around the Tobacco Dock -- was the roster of over 300 hundred artists, who represent the best in the world. Any type of tattoo art you can image was available. Hand tattooing occupied a central arena on the upper level, where artists like Pili Mo'o tapped traditional Samoan tatau, and tattoo viking Colin Dale of Denmark created Nordic inspired dotwork (among others). Colin even offered a few small Inuit stitch tattoos, which you can view here on his Facebook page.

Shige tattooing.jpgCrowds formed around the booths of reality TV stars like Ami James and Tatu Baby, leaving room for serious collectors to watch artists like Japan's Shige (shown above) create masterful works on those lucky enough to get an appointment.

Aside from watching long-renowned legends of tattooing, I particularly love discovering artists whose work I wasn't familiar with (it's hard to keep track of the incredible talent out there today). Two artists in particular who blew my mind were Pietro Sedda, with his trippy surrealism, and Lore Morato, who does incredibly soulful neotraditional, like the work below done at the convention.

Lore Morato tattoo.jpgThe main reason of all for my attendance at these shows is that I get to meet up with my beautiful freak friends from around the world and make new friends. I'm grateful to all of you who came to my booth and shared your stories (and took your clothes off for me). Despite being such a massive gathering, the London convention always feels like an intimate family reunion.

I brought my "Marisa Loves Me" temp tattoos, and throughout the weekend, I stamped all sorts of body parts with my tokens of affection. The greatest love, however, was shown when two wonderful friends and artists, Goldilox and Garcia Leonam, got the temps permanently tattooed on them after the convention by Lore Morato. And they were sober when they decided to do it! [See below.]

Marisa Loves Me.jpgIt was the perfect ending to a perfect weekend.

I posted a few of my usual bad phone camera pics on Flickr. You can also find some great images and mass media coverage of the London Tattoo Convention via the links below.

I'll soon be off to Belgium to get tattooed, but I do have posts lined up for y'all this week ... because I love you.
Jan201006
02:52 PM
Filip Leu tattoo.jpgFilip Leu sleeve on David Bragger

Every time a contest winner is chosen, I feel like I've won something: interesting stories, beautiful photos...That's the magic of our scientific method whereby I ask Brian to shout out a number and that numbered entry wins. And the winner of our Vintage Tattoo book contest is:

The impeccably tattooed David Bragger (pictured here).

When I contacted David about winning, I also asked him about his tattoos. Humbly, he answered that he has work from Filip Leu, Scott Harrison, & Shige. The Trifecta of Awesome!! He let me in on the stories behind the tattoos and some photos to share with y'all, but before we get to them, here's some info on the man behind the art. 

* City: Los Angeles, CA

* Work: Musician/Teacher of Old-Time Americana music on fiddle, banjo and mandolin

* Fun: Play fiddle in Los Angeles-based old-time hillbilly jugband Sausage Grinder. Our upcoming cd features artwork by Scott Harrison and guest vocals by Bad Religion's Greg Graffin [Listen to the music of the Sausage Grinder Band on MySpace and Facebook.]

* Ok, the big question: Tell me about your tattoos.

 "First tattoo is an Oni wrestling with a fiddle. I decided to get my first tattoo while traveling in Switzerland in the Summer of 2006. I heard there was a tattooer I should look up, a guy named Filip Leu. At the time I was totally ignorant. I called Filip and did a 9-hour session with him. It didn't take long to realize I was in the hands of genius. 'Twas an incredible experience [Sleeve shown above].

Then I started researching tattoos. Months later, I came across the fine art of Scott Harrison. I was blown away by the imagery: banjos, dogs, diapers, erotic misery, etc. It wasn't the usual derivative tattoo art. It was something very special. Then I saw his original tattoo designs and knew I needed to get hold of him. So, now I've visited Scott several times and have completed a sleeve with him chock full of original art with some Stoney St. Clair flash thrown in too. [Sleeve is shown below]

scott harrisison sleeve.jpg

One of my Tantric tattoo favorites is also from Scott. [See it here on Flicker]

I've also gone to Bill and Junii Salmon's Diamond Club where Shige tattooed his first Baku on my right leg and where Filip completed my right sleeve in March 2008. 

Also, Scott Harrison has designed the art for the inlays and neck carving on two custom banjos I own, in addition to painting the cover for an upcoming Sausage Grinder CD."

Wait! A tattooed Banjo?
 
"Yes. How many tattooers are doing banjo art? Talk about folk art and tattooing! [See photos of the tattooed banjos here, here, and here.]

The banjo makers are two of the best custom banjo makers alive: Jason Romero and Kevin Enoch. Romero cut and engraved mother of pearl inlay for the crowned skull banjo and Enoch did some wooden marquetry and neck carving for the devil banjo. He used different color woods. Very cool stuff ! I think they are the first tattooed banjos!"


And this, my friends, is why I like giving out free stuff. More contests to come. Oh, and feel free to keep answering the survey to help us make N+S they way you want it.

Jul200917
12:17 PM
shige tattoo.jpg
When I returned from Greece two weeks ago, I was greeted with a stunning coffee table book in the mail that instantly took me on another trip: SHIGE, the 328-page full color hardcover that is at once a personal journal and breathtaking exhibition of one of today's great Japanese tattoo artists.

Take a look at Shige's online portfolio and now imagine that properly showcased in 10x13" along with his stencils, paintings, photos from conventions and guest spots, and personal family photos.

Indeed, Shige's devotion to his wife and partner Chisato and baby girl Ayaka, is not only ever present in the book but in person at tattoo events; it's important to note because it offers a glimpse into the man behind the art -- art so masterful, it can be intimidating. But his warm smile and watching him play with Ayaka, whom I've watched go from stroller to toddling around conventions, puts clients at ease, allowing them to enjoy the full tattoo experience.

Beyond his character, Shige is known for a particular style of Japanese tattooing that pays homage to traditional artistic elements of Horimono but not a strict interpretation, bringing to his work many other influences.

In his foreword to the book, Master Horiyoshi III best describes Shige's work:

"Around 1994 Shige's work clearly shows that he was strongly influenced by Filip Leu of Switzerland. However, he read art books and studied about aesthetics from various art worlds. As a result, nowadays, Shige has created his own original world that merges elements of Japanese tradition and Western art elements. His tattooing has begun surpassing not only traditional tattooing but also art."

Horiyoshi III's  mention of Filip Leu is significant because Shige himself says in the book that meeting the third-generation tattooist changed his life. Shige never had an apprentcehsip and is a self-taught tattooer, but by getting tattooed by Filip and developing a friendship, he saw Japanese tattoo art in a different way -- that one "didn't have to conform to any particular style but could create freely and with his own imagination."

Many personal photos of Shige, Chisato and the Leu family illustrate the book -- my favorites are watching the process of Shige's own body suit by Filip.

yoko.jpgThese snapshots bring the reader in at the beginning of the book, engaging -- and endearing us -- to Shige but also prepares us for the stunning body suits and the personal stories of their wearers, like that of Yoko Uki, shown here (see more here).

A must read is Yoko's account of how she came to Shige for her full body suit, the difficult reactions she received in her native Japan, and how she found acceptance at international tattoo conventions, like the first one she went to in London in 2005. I remember running up to Yoko in the bathroom at that convention and completely devouring her artwork; she was so gracious turning around, lifting her arms, posing for pics, both of us giggling. Meeting her was the highlight of that show for me and she talks about how our appreciative response to her changed the way she lives with her Horimono.

That sense of community and belonging that, yes, still remains with us, is a thread that binds the Shige book, presented through the personal journey of one artist.

It was my own vacation, however, that led to this later posting on the book and so the hardcover is now sold out (and it sold out fast) BUT the paperback will be released in the Fall and I promise to give you heads up as soon as I get word from Horitaka of State of Grace who puts out the best books on tattoo.

Meanwhile, enjoy Shige's portfolio online or take a trip yourself to his Yellowblaze studio in Yokohama.
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