Interview by Brian Seghers
Brian Seghers: If you could go back in time to any era, or to work with somebody, or somewhere, where would you like to go? Have you ever thought about that?
Isaac Fainkujen: Yeah, I think for me the era that’s most interesting is kind of the tattoo renaissance that took place in and around the Bay area in the 70s and the 80s with Ed Hardy, Bob Roberts, Greg Irons, Eddy Deutsche and people like those guys that started to push the boundaries of what was okay and what wasn’t okay to do in a tattoo…
We have the good fortune of learning from their experiments so that we don’t have to make some of the same mistakes, or do things that we can look at their work 20 years later and say, “Okay, that worked,” or “That didn’t work.” I think that’s a really exciting time for tattooing and I think, to me, it probably produced the most tattoo artists, I would have to say, that I’m influence by directly as far as tattooing goes.
It seemed to be a time where there wasn’t just the sailor tattooer or the biker tattooer, or the person that kind of did tattoos as a… I don’t know how to say that?
BS: They were bringing more into it?
IF: Yeah, the art –the people were artists becoming tattooers rather than people becoming artists through tattooing. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, as I said before, some of my favorite tattooers are people that got into art through tattooing. Maybe they doodled a little bit here and there, like everybody does when they’re a kid, and then they didn’t really start buckling down on drawing and they didn’t open their minds to art in a broad spectrum until they got into tattooing.
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Isaac’s complete article is featured in TAM #26.
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