Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World
MARCH 8 – SEPTEMBER 14, 2014
About the Exhibition
Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World explores the artistry of traditional Japanese tattoos along with its rich history and influence on modern tattoo practices in this groundbreaking photographic exhibition.
As Japanese tattoos have moved into the mainstream, the artistry and legacy of Japanese tattooing remain both enigmatic and misunderstood. Often copied by practitioners and aficionados in the West without regard to its rich history, symbolism, or tradition, the art form is commonly reduced to a visual or exotic caricature. Conversely, mainstream Japanese culture still dismisses the subject itself as underground, associating it more with some of its clientele than with the artists practicing it. Both of these mindsets ignore the vast artistry and rich history of the practice.
Although tattooing is largely seen as an underground activity in Japan, Japanese tattoo artists have pursued their passions, applied their skills, and have risen to become internationally acclaimed artists. Through the endurance and dedication of these tattoo artists, Japanese tattooing has also persevered and is now internationally renowned for its artistry, lineage, historical symbolism, and skill.
Curated by Takahiro Kitamura and photographed and designed by Kip Fulbeck, Perseverance is a groundbreaking exhibition and the first of its kind. Perseverance will explore Japanese tattooing as an art form by acknowledging its roots in ukiyo-e prints. This exhibition will also examine current practices and offshoots of Japanese tattooing in the U.S. and Japan.
Perseverance features the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists, Horitaka, Horitomo, Chris Horishiki Brand, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken, along with tattoo works by selected others. Through the display of a variety of photographs, including life-sized pictures of full body tattoos, these artists will cover a broad spectrum of the current world of Japanese tattooing.
Mariko Gordon and Hugh Cosman
UCSB Academic Senate
UCSB Department of Art
The Japan Foundation, Los Angeles
Los Angeles County Arts Commission
Atsuhiko and Ina Goodwin Tateuchi Foundation
By Indigo del Castillo
Sculptor Jessica Harrison has forever changed how we see Victorian-era ceramic figures with her works involving ladies in fancy dresses sporting badass tattoos or their own blood and guts. In this exclusive interview, she talks more about her roots as an artist and her unique take on ceramics. [read our original posts about her sculptures here and here]
How did you discover your passion for sculpture?
When I was little I wanted to work in animation – there were quite a few great children’s tv programs on in the 80’s that were made with 3D models and I decided quite early on it looked like the best job in the world to mess around with clay all day.
Let’s talk about your grotesque ceramic ladies with severed heads and misplaced body parts. Where did you get the inspiration for this collection? What was the message you were trying to convey here?
That series is called ‘Broken’ as the pieces are made using found ceramics that I have quite literally taken a hammer and chisel to.They present an impossibly fair-skinned ‘perfect’ woman and my attraction to these works was precisely because of this image they portray of the female body – my aim was to counter it and present its opposite within itself.
This was simple to do, by breaking apart the hollow cast pieces and ‘revealing’ the interior, a standard formula in Western knowledge for making discoveries about the body. The female interior is a space still laced with taboo in a way that the male interior is not, and for me this gender bias of what is most often an invisible space in our everyday lives was a fascinating and important one to address. This series, like my other works in stone, ceramics, silicone and ink comes from exploring shared ideas about the body, unraveling shared experiences of different spaces, textures and shapes.
Do you have any memorable reactions and responses regarding the macabre ceramics?
Not really, the pieces from the ‘Broken’ series are very bland to me before I break them. I think they make more sense in their altered form.
Seeing as you’ve been into sculpture all your artistic life, how difficult was it to move into tattoo art in your series about the Victorian-era ladies with tattoos?
It wasn’t difficult as it is not something different. I’m using the tattoo in this series to explore the skin space rather than creating any tattoo art itself, which is a completely different thing. Tattooing is not a painting or a drawing onto a static plane, it is incredibly sculptural, literally threading ink into a moving surface, one that has no flat surfaces.
So although the pieces are called ‘Painted Ladies’ in reference to the old term for a tattooed woman, they in fact draw from something incredibly sculptural and active in space, the skin.
The tattoo imagery I have used is all from war-time source imagery, to recall a time before the popularity boom of the tattoo when it may be pointed more towards a particular kind of harsher life. The idea was to present opposing outer layers, contrasting skins, where masculine illustrations are intertwined with overtly over-idealized feminine costume. The viewer is presented with the question of what we are supposed to consider beautiful, which costume to believe.
How long did it take you to finish a piece?
A long time, that’s why there are only a few, and why there are unlikely to be any more!
Do you have anything you’re currently working on that we should look out for?
I have an exhibition opening at Jupiter Artland in Edinburgh this July. It’s going to be very pink…
To Benefit the Children’s Burn Foundation
I am proud to announce the first annual “The Art of the Machine,” a charity event to be held July 11th 2014 in Downtown Long Beach at the Mai Tai Bar at the historic Long Beach Pike from 6pm – 2am.
The Art of the Machine will be a celebration of the Tattoo Machine with Custom Tattoo Machines to be auctioned off to Tattoo Artists as well as pieces by world renowned artists available to the public.
The Children’s Burn Foundation is the only known foundation that offers the Full Recovery Program for child burn survivors, locally, nationally, and internationally – a unique blend of medical care, psycho-social support services, and daily living support to help young burn survivors achieve their full potential.
The complex interplay of physical and psychological trauma resulting from severe burn injuries can profoundly affect the lives of children for years to come. Through the Foundation‘s full range of programs and services, young burn survivors receive new hope, a community of supporters who understand, and a chance at a full recovery.
Program services include:
- Medical Care & Support for Physical Recovery
- Family Emergency Assistance
- Camps & Retreats for Child Burn Survivors and Families
- Teen Support Group: Young Adult Burn Survivors & Supporters (Y.A.B.S.S.)
- Child & Family Support Groups
The night will begin at 6pm with a silent auction closing at 10pm and then followed up with live music and some special surprises until 2am.
There will be a special program highlighting the event, its donors, and sponsors with an article on the history of the Tattoo Machine and special cover art by Tattoo Artist Josh Duffy available to all attendees.
If anyone is interested in participating or sponsoring, please contact Casey Keener at email@example.com. We are still accepting Machine donations as well as art for auction to benefit the charity.
Current Sponsors Include: TatSoul, Eternal Tattoo Supply, Tattoo Artist Magazine, Tattoo Culture Magazine, Sullen Art Collective. Sponsorships are still available. Check out our Facebook page at: https://www.facebook.com/ArtoftheMachine
Machine Builders currently committed include: Tim Hendricks, Union Machine, Chris Quidgeon, Dewey Smith, Mike Schaeffer, John Boyd, Cory Rogers, Paco Rollins and Brandon Lewis.
Tattoo Artists donating art include: Josh Duffy, Tom Berg, Scott Richardson and Tokyo Hiro.
We will also have a website up in June, roughly a month before the event starts with profiles on the Machine Builders and Artists as well as specs on the donated machines. Anything that does not sell the night of the event will be available on the sites e-store after the event for purchase.
Thank you for your support and I look forward to everyone getting involved in this special night to benefit kids in need! If we don’t, who will?
By Kevin Miller
If you have visible tattoos, chances are that someone has asked about how much their idea cost, how much they cost you, or the worst – how much they paid. Well, this article is for those people who are curious. The article specifically talks about a sleeve, but it applies to any tattoo really.
Huge props to Dave Tedder for taking the time to answer this on Quora…
Tattoos: How much does a full sleeve tattoo (from wrist to shoulder) cost?
Your question almost has the same answer as “How much is a sackful of groceries.?” It really depends on where you make your purchase and what’s in the sack, or sleeve.
Purchasing a tattoo is the same as making any other investment into art. Sometimes you can find an incredible artist at very reasonable rates and sometimes you can buy a polished turd for tourist prices.
Many people spend far too much on sleeves or other large scale tattoos that they will forever remain unhappy with by starting out with the exact same question you have. “How much?” Because with that mentality the next logical move once you receive an answer is to look for it somewhere else for less. Price shopping for tattoos usually leaves you in a subpar artist’s chair receiving subpar art and tattoo services. Then what do you have? A sleeve that you’re unhappy with. After a few years of looking at other sleeves that are far better most people choose to go to another artist to try and salvage the bad decision they made years prior. The smart ones have done research and decided on a competent artist at the second time, but… The truth of the matter is, at this point the tattooer is entering a fight with one arm tied behind their back. Cover ups and reworks never turn out the same quality as a tattoo that starts with blank skin. Success is determined by wether or not the tattoo looks better than it did before, not by completion of original intent.
I can assure you that the best way to get an answer to your question and a quality tattoo is to decide what you would like your sleeve to look like. Think style(i.e. Traditional Japanese or Americana, color or black and grey, realistic, geometric, etc.), think theme, think subject matter. Then spend hours and hours scouring the internet and social media sites at hundreds of hundred of tattooers work. This is a much easier task today than say 20 years ago when you physically had to travel shop to shop to look at portfolios. Don’t bother looking at the artists location, airplanes make the world a very small place, and when you find the artist that you want, I promise no distance is too great. You have your entire life to wear this tattoo and you shouldn’t sell yourself short. Make sure that every time you look at your forearm you’re satisfied. Tattoos are the only thing you have with you for the rest of your life, everywhere you go until you die. It amazes me what some people will spend on shoes or vacations and then bargain shop for a tattoo.
After you have all of the above determined, contact the artist you’ve chosen and ask about their preferred method of appointment consultation. Please keep in mind that many quality tattoo artists eat sleep and breath their jobs so sometimes answering the emails takes a little time, especially older artists that have tattooed longer than the internet has been around. Many artists work 8-12 hours a day at the studio then go home to paint or draw for the following days/weeks, so sometimes you need a little patience and persistence. During your consultation, after you’ve discussed your ideas you’ll have the opportunity for “How much?”. But most artist prefer it if you’re a wee bit smoother, as in “What’s your hourly rate?”, and “About how many sessions do you think this will take and how many hours will we be working per session?”. If this exceeds your projected budget this would be a good time to mention that and discuss other options. Be honest and up front with what you have to spend. Most good artists that I know aren’t crooks, they just want what they have determined their work is worth. Some adjust this by the laws of supply and demand and others keep a set rate their entire career. Every artist is different, and as always in the art market it’s buyer beware. Do your homework before you purchase.
Hope that helps
By Kiri Westby
When I first heard there was a tattoo convention in Kathmandu, Nepal I was astounded!
I lived in Nepal as a college student, worked there as a human rights activist during the recent civil war and have spent a lot of time studying Nepali language and culture. I also married a tattoo artist seven years ago and have been on a crash course of American tattoo culture ever since. Nowhere in my mind did the tattoo scene that I had come to know and the traditional culture of Nepal mix. But there it was, website and all, and I was instantly fascinated.
My friend Eric Inksmith, a veteran of American tattooing, challenged me to take him to Kathmandu, having never really left the U.S. before. Like a butterfly suddenly wondering about the storms it’s own wings have produced, Eric was curious to follow the trail that he himself had blazed. I was honored to be enlisted for the job and to have the chance to experience alongside him what tattooing on the other side of the world has become.
At almost 70 years old, Eric recalled stories from the National Convention in Philadelphia more than 30 years ago. As I listened to tales of rival biker gangs fighting on convention room floors and people being thrown from hotel room windows, I tried to imagine how the kind, soft-spoken, Nepali people have embraced and come to celebrate tattooing. And not in a subtle, underground way either, the convention was being held at the famous Yak & Yeti hotel, one of the most iconic establishments in the Kathmandu valley.
As these things go, friends were recruited, word of the adventure spread and we soon had a posse heading East from the U.S., including: Mike Wilson, Mac Bibby, Robert Ryan, Jae Connor, Phill Bartell and Chad Koeplinger. Eric handled the longest flight of his life and no one killed each other on the way over…in fact, from the beginning, everything felt pretty magical.
Kathmandu has changed significantly since 2007. Corruption and an inefficient, newly-Democratic government have left city services under-funded and unattended. Half-finished construction projects leave gaping holes and exposed power lines, not to mention the electrical brown-outs and water shortages, which have left things feeling chaotic on the streets. But the upside to Nepal’s new political landscape is that there is also more public art and individual self-expression, and many people I spoke to were hopeful and optimistic for Nepal’s future, a far cry from my time here during the war in 2003. Part of this new self-expression has manifested in a relatively fresh and exciting tattoo scene.
Saturday, January 25th – Saturday, March 15th
The Galleries at Moore, Philadelphia, PA
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF EXHIBITION-RELATED PROGRAMS, CLICK HERE
A survey of the extraordinary diversity of punk and post-punk graphic design, Pretty Vacant: The Graphic Language of Punk features several hundred posters, flyers, fanzines, handbills, record sleeves and other graphic ephemera from the collection of Andrew Krivine.
Emerging in the mid-1970s, punk was truly popular culture on the margins, with new ideas germinating out of a sense of urgency and seemingly random aesthetic collisions. Before it became commercially commodified into a simplified mishmash of safety pins, mohawks and anarchy symbols, punk was as much about its wide range of visual signifiers at it was a kind of music. A do-it-yourself approach and a loathing of commercial slickness were key hallmarks of the punk attitude, informing not just the music, but also the explosion of graphic design that accompanied it. Taking cues from a wealth of influences ranging from Dadaism to the Situationist International to pulp fiction, and communicating the themes of nihilism, black humor and reappropriation, the visual language of punk was a pastiche of imagery that reflected the consciousness and anti-aesthetic of a new counterculture.
Featuring several hundred works on loan from New York-based collector Andrew Krivine, the exhibition includes iconic works by some of the most illustrious graphic artists of the period, including Barney Bubbles, Malcolm Garrett, Raymond Pettibon, Jamie Reid, Peter Saville, Linder Sterling, Gee Vaucher and Arturo Vega, as well as pieces created by the hands of talented, yet anonymous, artists. Beyond the ‘holy trinity’ of punk – The Clash, The Ramones, and the Sex Pistols – Pretty Vacant includes posters, flyers, handbills, record sleeves, badges and other graphic materials created for both iconic and obscure punk and post-punk bands, including: A Certain Ratio, The Adverts, The B-52s, Bauhaus, Blondie, the Buzzcocks, the Circle Jerks, The Cramps, The Cure, the Damned, Devo, Elvis Costello, The Fall, Fear, Gang of Four, Generation X, The Gun Club, Iggy Pop, The Jam, Joy Division, Killing Joke, Kraftwerk, Lou Reed, New Order, Public Image Limited, Sham 69, Siouxsie & the Banshees, Teenage Jesus & the Jerks, Television and X-Ray Spex.
By Nick Baxter
Here’s a process sequence for a tiny diptych painting I did a few months ago related to the recurring theme in my work of healing wounds.
This tiny little pair will be included in the forthcoming art catalogue Pint Size Paintings Volume 2, which compiles these small paintings completed by members of the worldwide tattoo community, and features them in a traveling art show.
I wrote about the Tibetan Buddhist symbolism surrounding my use of the hook symbol last year, after completing Shenpa I (which now resides in the collection of the amazing and prolific figurative painter Shawn Barber!).
An Exhibition of the Contemporary Art + Collectible Design
Celebrate the World’s First Large-Scale Exhibition Dedicated to Designer Toys at the Design exchange.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TORONTO, Canada – February 7, 2014 – Design Exchange (DX), Canada’s Design Museum, is proud to present a series of firsts with its playful, unprecedented exhibition This Is Not A Toy, guest curated by music and fashion mogul Pharrell Williams. The first major original programming produced by DX. The first foray into museum curation for cultural connector Williams. The first time coveted artists, Brooklyn’s KAWS and Japan’s Takashi Murakami, have shown their work in a design museum. Dedicated to exploring the conceptual toy – a form made solely as an expression of an aesthetic or idea – as a fine art and design object, as well as a contemporary cultural signifier, This Is Not A Toy marks the first time these vibrant collectible sculptures, figures and paintings have collectively been on display in a museum setting.
By Bj Johnson
The meaning behind the madness…
I have been making things my entire life. I was never a conscious choice, it simply flowed naturally and automatically from my skills, my interests and my passion. For me, creating is innate. I cannot not create.
I finally made a career of my art in 1997 when I began tattooing. Tattooing is creative and experiential, but I found I still needed to build tangible things as well, so I soon gravitated to investigating the mechanics of building tattoo machines. Creating custom tattoo machines from scratch was wildly fulfilling, and naturally I wanted to set my work apart from others. To do this, I turned to other forms of metal art. I took a couple jewelry making classes at GVSU and was introduced to the metalsmithing craft. I became addicted to this new medium immediately. However the constraints of tattoo machine mechanics would not allow for exploration of all these wonderful tricks and techniques the metalsmithing world offered, so I began making little sculptures. These small scale sculptures were simply physical forms based on ideas and emotions I had, but I never went in any specific direction with them. It was just playing.
I have also always loved symbolism. Wanting my work to have deeper meaning and layers, I began researching. All the paintings of the old masters are rife with symbolism. Each element in their paintings was there for a reason. I loved this and began to search for ways to include symbolism in my own work.
All of this became a explosion of purpose when I thought of making my monster sketches into three-dimensional pieces. Through my research I found that historically,
Check out the AMAZING deals we are offering for Cyber Monday!
All issues $5.99 off
Gods & Warriors: The Works of Chris Treviño: $69.99
TAM Volume 1 Book: $39.99
TAM Subscriptions: $36.00
By Marisa Kakoulas
From today through December 23 (or until they run out because I don’t have many left), my new Black Tattoo Art 2 will be on sale for $140 (including free shipping in the US); theBlack & Grey Tattoo box set is on sale for $300 (originally $399); and the individual books of the set are $120 each.
You can order via Paypal on the Needles & Sins online store or contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Tomas Jivanda
Reblogged from: www.independent.co.uk
Five tattoo parlours in Scotland will be offering free swastika tattoos on Wednesday as part of a global event to “reclaim” the symbol.
The worldwide initiative branded “Learn to Love the Swastika”, is being held on the first anniversary of the death of a Canadian artist and poet called ManWoman, who was covered in swastika tattoos.
ManWoman spent decades trying to restore the image of the swastika – an ancient image of peace in Hinduism and Buddhism – tainted by its use in Nazi Germany.
He claimed to have been prompted to start the campaign after a series of dreams and wrote a book on the subject titled “Gentle Swastika, Reclaiming the Innocence.”
Writing on Facebook, organisers said the event, which will see tattoo parlours across the world participating, was set up to “spread knowledge and appreciation of the gentle swastika”.
Audrie Cabena, who works at Yankee Tattoo Parlour in Dundee – one of the shops taking part – told the Evening Telegraph: “I met ManWoman once and he was covered in swastikas. I think it is important to recover that symbol and educate people really.
“It has been a peace symbol for thousands of years, but it is now seen as a symbol of hatred just because of a relatively short amount of time.
“I will talk to the people that come in on Wednesday and make sure they are doing it for the right reasons.
“I’m not saying it is safe to walk around with a swastika on you and you might get people making comments. But if I receive any backlash over this then I will have to deal with it when it happens.”
Anti-racism campaigners have condemned the event. A spokeswoman for Show Racism The Red Card in Scotland told the Daily Record: “I’m shocked – really shocked – by this. I’m appalled.
“I don’t think anyone today would see the swastika as a peace symbol, and I would advise against any legitimate tattooing business doing this.
“Much as the swastika may have started as meaning one thing, fascism is what it represents now.”
Most individuals that I meet who work in a tattoo studio often mention to me…”You’re furniture is really bloody great, but unfortunately I don’t have a $1000 kicking around for a light table, and some of the stuff that I would like to have in the studio isn’t readily available and at an affordable price.” So I talked with a friend of mine involved in the tattoo industry, he mentioned something to me; “Why don’t you offer a line of products that are more affordable? Products that are in the $450.00 or less price range.”
I thought to myself. “Hmmm…what can I possibly build that would be useful to a tattoo artists at that price and still keep my head afloat.”
After spending some time talking with him and other artists, I came up with some pretty damn good products which we both agreed upon as being really useful and also look great. These are products which will make your life as an artist much more simple and accessible, and will also be a striking piece in your shop. They will also offer trimmings and aspects of old traditional woodwork.
By John Niederkorn
Reblogged from: http://tattoomuseum.wordpress.com
Since the closure of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum (ATM) in Nov. 2012 the tattoo community, along with fans and followers of the museum have had many questions about its untimely closure.
Today the intention is to shed some light on this subject by presenting *bankruptcy documents levied against the museum’s main financer and location provider Mrs. Mary Jeannette Leonora Seret, and her private company by the name of Partners at Work BV…
*1.7 Cause of bankruptcy
The bankrupt company is engaged in the reintegration of long-term unemployed people and people who have trouble finding labor. The orders were to do so – after tender – awarded by the municipalities or social services.
At one point, a partnership was established between Mr. Henk Schiffmacher or the foundation Amsterdam Tattoo Museum and the bankrupt company. Mr. Schiffmacher, known tattoo artist, had the desire for its collection accessible to a wide audience in a museum and for the bankrupt company was ‘ideal’ means to place multiple people from the reintegration purposes to work in this museum.
Henk Schiffmacher and Seret agreed the Schiffmacher collection would be housed at the Plantage Middenlaan 62 location. In conjunction with this agreement Seret and her Partners at Work BV company had an agreement with the Dutch government to provide employees for museum, under which its main function was to give employment to reformed criminals and “underprivileged” individuals… Due to the nature of the Seret’s company she received financial backing from the local government.
Based on this agreement, Partners at Work BV claimed to invest 1 million Euros in the ATM…
*Housing was sought and found in the building currently in use at the Plantage Middenlaan 60-62 in Amsterdam.
TCM Issue 4 available now!!
Paul Booth, Miss Arianna, Dong Dong, Tattoo Archive, Tattoo History, Debra Yarian, Sean Herman, Needles and Sins, Pep Williams, Bro Safari, Artist Galleries and more…