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Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video2 w/L.A. Horitaka

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With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck       Read More »

Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck

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The title of the exhibition at Virginia Museum of Fine Arts is derived the Japanese word gaman, loosely translated as “perseverance“—a word that has long been associated with tattooing in Japan. According to Takahiro Kitamura, curator of the exhibition, and Kip Fulbeck, exhibition creator, designer and photographer, perseverance is what has created this amazing art form despite numerous attempts by the Japanese government to suppress it, despite ongoing prejudices against its practitioners and clients, and despite a constant trend to oversimplify its complexities in contemporary media. Perseverance is a core concept in the fleeting art of the Japanese tattoo, a tradition that is transient yet also alive and well in this modern world. *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Read More »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo

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Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo When visiting Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia until September 27, you’re struck by the pure artistry. Photo after photo of intricate, mesmerizing designs, breathtaking colors, and symbolic imagery, one interwoven into the other, which would be difficult to render on canvas, much less flesh. There’s a passion and a reverence in these galleries that is almost palpable.  That’s why it’s almost inconceivable that Japan, which has been so instrumental in elevating tattooing to an art form, has also pushed this art form into the shadows, even condemned it for centuries. To understand the seemingly conflicted relationship that Japan has with tattooing, you must carefully unearth the deep roots of Japan’s tattoo culture, which date back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 to 300 BC). That’s when the first evidence of tattooing in Japan was recovered from tombs, in the form of clay figurines with faces painted or engraved to represent tattoos. Fast forward many years later to the Edo Period (1615-1868) and Japanese authorities began using tattoos to mark criminals. According to “Japanese Tattoos: From Yakuza to Artisans, Aesthetes” in the Wall Street Journal, “…convicts were branded with penal markings such as bands on the arms, or the kanji character for ‘dog’ on the forehead.” While this criminal stigma would prove difficult to shake for many centuries, tattooing enjoyed a significant reprieve from the negative connotation at the end of the ... Read More »

Climb down off your high horse, by Dan Henk

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 Tattoos have really elevated in quality. You ask any old timer, and they’ll tell you it is undeniable. Sure, they might not be as “cool” or “polarizing” in certain circles, and people can argue all day on what makes the best tattoo, but the equipment available is leaps and bounds above what it was years ago, and the level of artistry is unparalleled. You have people stepping out of art school and into tattooing on a regular basis. That never happened in the old days. You have commercial illustrators, and galleried painters, who become tattoo artists. Shawn Barber immediately comes to mind, but he is far from the only one. I interviewed with several comic companies, including DC comics. I know how little they pay. I have done covers for cds, and music artists pay even less. Book covers pay, usually about $6,000 to $8,000, which sounds great until you realize they come around only about once or twice a year. And that’s for the major publishers. I have done book covers for smaller publishers, and they pay far less. Like in the low hundreds as opposed to thousands. Many commercial cover artists have second jobs, often as art teachers. Many comic artists work insane hours and take on more than one title just to make ends meet. So it’s not surprising that tattooing, with it’s elevated artistic status, has become so appealing. I’m sure, at this point, you’re wondering where I am going with this. Alright, this is the ... Read More »

Bad-Ass Geometric Tattoos and the Artists Who Create Them

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Some geometric tattoos represent ancient symbols and a oneness with nature.  They often depict an optical illusion that nothing is as it seems and that all things are continuous.  Geometric design brings together common shapes in an uncommon order.  The geometric tattoo is purely decorative, it is neither male or female and not typically associated with a life event.  They are indeed a very pure form of art.  Some people are taken in by the symmetry and beauty of the shapes, while others feel a connection to sacred symbols and history through geometrical images. The tattoo work for a powerful geometric piece is tedious and precise. It is an exercise in patience and perfection.  If one line is too heavy or to too thin it can throw off the entire piece and the visual illusion being sought fails to register in the viewer.  The gallery below showcases just a few highly talented artists with advanced technical skills in the geometric style.  This images are standouts in a sea of other tattoos. Amazing work by LewisInk in Switzerland. Lewis states he has always been passionate about geometry, shapes and space. Each piece is captivating and seams endless. DotsToLines is artwork by Chaim Machlev from Berlin, Germany.  Chaim is known for expressing his work with a seamless connection between  the laws mathematics and organic styling. Paul Davies reputation proceeds him. His designs are symetrical and fluid.  Each piece looks as if it was meant to be exactly where it is. From Japan, Kenji Alucky is a master with black ink and ... Read More »

Top Six Father’s Day Gifts on sale from TAM

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Look no further for the a perfect and unique Father’s Day gift for the tattoo enthusiast Dad in your life. Chris Treviño – Gods and Warriors ON SALE NOW — SAVE 60% — This is a fitting title for Chris Trevino’s first book. His tattoos often depict themes of ancient war and hidden images in his full body work. Chris is a master of Japanese tattooing and this book has more than 200 pages of backpieces, body-suits on tri-fold pages, and some amazing art. Plus an intro by Ed Hardy– Great coffee table book or perfect for your waiting area. Shop Now               Old Timers TRADITIONAL Set: A collection of the most popular issues of TAM SAVE 50% and Get lost of in the works of old masters in the days before tattoos were mainstream. Study the techniques of artists like Mike Malone, Pinky Yun, Bob Roberts, Dave Gibson, Thom DeVita, jack rudy, Chuck Eldridge, Scott Sterling, Hanky Panky, Tony Polito, Eric Inksmith, and more! Shop Now   Original Art and Sketches From the TAM Memorabilia Collection! For the exclusive and discerning collector, our selection of one of a kind, original works is a fine addition to anyone’s tattoo art collection. See original art, flash, stencils and photos from legendary artists including: Sailor Jerry, Mike Malone, Ed Hardy, Pinky Yun, and MORE. Shop Now Tattoo Culture Magazines The perfect gift for new tattoo fans. Tattoo Culture Magazine is a digital magazine available for immediate download. Create ... Read More »

Things to Look For in a Reputable Tattoo Studio

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We have discussed this topic before . . . however, the stories of bad tattoo experiences still come in.  So, here are some things to look for before committing to an artist or his/her place of business. Getting the tattoo you want is really a test of time . . . Many tattoo enthusiasts spend months thinking about the concept of their tattoo, discussing options with different artists and friends, finally selecting an artist and providing the artist with time to sketch out a unique piece for each and every customer.  And then of course, the process of actually getting the tattoo, likely in multiple sessions. All of it TIME well spent! Avoid being another statistic and another story of “Tattoos Gone Wrong” by carefully evaluating the place and artist you wish to do the work for you. The Tattoo Artist Offers Samples of His Past Work Selecting a tattoo studio where the artist cannot produce samples of his past work is obviously a bad choice. An album of the work the artist has done on living skin should be provided. A true tattoo artist will proudly stock photos of his previous work on the walls of his studio and have an online portfolio. This should be more than enough for you to gauge how competent the artist thinks he is. This is one of the first things you should look for in a tattoo studio. Tip: Great portfolios don’t always equal great results.  Ask questions about the art, how long did ... Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time. With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance), Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you), which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ... Read More »

10 insane, hyper-realistic 3-D & Portrait Tattoos: w/Karol Rybakowski

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Every now and then we find some hot new tattoo artist who has submitted photos to our InstaGram account, and they blow us away! Karol Rybakowski (of Ink Ognito Tattoo in Poland) did just that! Here’s just a taste of his AMAZING 3D, Portrait, and hyper-realism Tattoo Work! * If you’d like us to consider sharing YOUR tattoos, tag us on InstaGram @tattooArtistMagazine and use #tattooartistmagazine to submit your work!   Wow! A superb combination of black and grey technique with a truly stunning photo-realistic color blood-red rose! Hyper-realistic Chameleon tattoo. One thing I really like about Karol’s work is the use of focus and fuzziness in his work. In this image you can clearly see the technique called ‘reserve’, i.e.- reserving sharp focus and high detail for the specific focal point of the piece, while others seem to fade in both sharpness and detail. This is an artistic trick used to mimic the way our eyes naturally work. This Pit-bull tattoo seems to leap off the skin! Amazing full color animal portrait, with minimal background. Notice the use of deep background colors to PUSH the foreground subject forward toward the viewer. It not only establishes depth, but also a clean frame for the portrait, without the use of an outline.  The highlight on the tongue is particularly impressive to me, as an artist. Ahhh, here we have an incredible Portrait of actor Jean Reno in Luc Besson’s 1994 classic Hit-Man movie, “Léon: The Professional”. One of my all-time favorite gangster ... Read More »

An Interview with Dennis M Del Prete

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work… Dennis M Del Prete and I work at my shop, Providence Tattoo in Providence, Rhode Island. Tell us about your shop… how many artists work there, and what kind of shop is it…? Custom work? Walk-ins? etc… I have had my own shop now for about 8 years. We do custom work and walk ins. The five guys I work with now are some of my favorite tattooers and best friends. Nick Pellegrino, Rick Lacapria, Pete Toatley, Andy Reach, and John Gorman. They are what my shop is made up of and I am lucky to work with them. What was your art background like? Did you like drawing as a kid, or did that come later? I liked drawing. I have always been drawing. I Have no formal art training. I buy a lot of books and read them and study them. What made you want to start tattooing? I wanted to stay off the beaten path ( Ironic now, I know). I wanted to work with my hands and make something art related. It just seemed fucking cool, it still does to me. Tell us how you got into tattooing… Who do you credit for teaching you the trade, and how long have you been in it? I found out Ken Johnson, a local shop owner and tattooer was going to be making machines so I contacted him for a pair. He was kind enough ... Read More »

3 Day Ed Hardy Event at Kings Avenue Tattoo

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From Kings Avenue Tattoo: We are honored and humbled to host the legendary tattooer and artist Ed Hardy for an unprecedented 3-day event.  Hardy, renowned for his genre changing, globally influenced tattoo designs, announced that he will host “Pictures of the Gone World,” taking place May 15th, 16th & 17th at Kings Avenue Tattoo.  The event will consist of a three-day exhibition of Hardy’s most recent artwork, accompanied by the release of a New York- centric tattoo history book and a series of talks covering his influential, six-decade career. “Ed is a pioneer of tattooing, and we are making history with this event,” says Kings Avenue owner Mike Rubendall. Hardy will present a collection of his current and past artwork, consisting of mixed-media paintings that incorporate American an Japanese tattoo motifs, and “kiddie flash” – traditional maritime-inspired designs that he drew as a tattoo-obsessed child in the late 1950s, rendered with colored pencil on looseleaf notebook paper-which has never been publicly exhibited. The event marks the release of the Lew The Jew Alberts: Early 20th Century Tattoo Drawings, a compilation of designs attributed to Lew Alberts, a Newark, NJ native who tattooed under the famed Bowery-based artist Charlie Wagner. It’s the most recent title from Hardy Marks, the publishing imprint that Hardy co-founded in 1982, specializing in tattoo history and alternative art.  A limited number of books will be available for purchase at Kings Avenue, and Hardy will be signing copies on May 15th. Hardy will also stage two talks.  ... Read More »

An Interview with Matt Arriola

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By Nicki Kasper Let’s start with who you are and where you work…. My name is Matt Arriola. I work by appointment at Spotlight Tattoo in Los Angeles where I’ve been for almost a year. Tell us about your tattoo history. Who do you credit for teaching you the trade? How long have you been at it? I’ve been fascinated with tattoos since I was a little kid in Idaho… I can’t remember any special moment where I knew it was my thing, that probably came later as I got involved with skateboarding and playing music in punk and hardcore bands in Idaho. That’s what kind of led me into tattooing. I’ve  liked to draw since I was a little kid and when I was about 18 I decided I wanted to tattoo. I went to every shop in town with a resume and a bunch of drawings asking for apprenticeships. Haha!! Totally the way you’re not supposed to do it! I spent every day and night copying my favorite artist’s work out of tattoo magazines I bought at the gas station. I think my friends and family thought I was nuts!! Anyway after many denials, I finally landed an apprenticeship with Sean Wyett at Black Cat Tattoo. I bailed out early on my apprenticeship and moved to Seattle. This was about 6 months into it. Once in Seattle with no money and a whole 7 months of tattooing under my belt I found it difficult to find a job. Haha!! Once ... Read More »

10 Amazingly Cute Furry Animal Tattoos!

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Whether it’s a pet or you’re just an animal lover, animal tattoos never go out of style! Here’s a small collection of furry animal tattoos from the artists at STR Body Modifications for your viewing pleasure…Hope you’re not allergic! Read More »

How to paint Danny Trejo w/artist Ettore Bechis

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by Ettore Bechis Danny Trejo is one of the most easily recognizable tattooed actors of our generation. From Desperado to Heat and his solo film, Machete, Danny’s tattoos are nearly as famous as he is! A big thank you to artist Ettore Bechis for submitting this article to TAM. Enjoy! Read More »

Inked in Montreal

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For more information about the Art Tattoo Quebec show May 29-31 in Quebec City, visit: http://news.arttattooquebec.com For more information about the Art Tattoo Montreal show September 11-13 in Montreal, visit: http://http://news.arttattoomontreal.com Read More »

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