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World’s top Japanese tattoo artists pt3: Mick Tattoo

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10 of the world’s best Japanese tattoo artists pt3: Mick Tattoo I spent a few days looking through my travel archives while preparing for this Artist Profile on Mick Tattoo, aka Mick from Zurich, (or, for you Game of Thrones fans)- aka Mick: the King of Dragons! When looking back on the history of this little adventure called Tattoo Artist magazine, I still don’t know how the whole thing came together. I’m no famous tattooer, just an average one with a side project  of documenting tattoo artists of the modern era, who suddenly found himself traveling the world and meeting the heroes of my craft. Back in late 2004/early 2005, TAM was still brand spanking new, understaffed, and much more complex (and expensive) than I ever imagined. I can’t tell you how many rides I bummed or couches I’ve slept on in the last twelve years since TAM’s inception, but I was receiving a lot of help from tattooers around the world, and each was encouraging me to push the boundaries of what our community could intentionally create, simply by working together. This was long before the social media explosion and the onslaught of TattooTV-type shows. Sadly, it was a much more unified time for our community; it’s a different world now, and I bear no ill will; things change. However, TAM’s objectives have not; it was (and still is) to conscientiously document tattooing’s most interesting, influential and talented artists of the time, plus collect stories of our shared past and then share all ... Read More »

10 of the world’s best Japanese tattoo artists: pt2- Horiyoshi III

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This is Part 2: Horiyoshi III – 10 of the world’s best Japanese style tattoo artists. -Horiyoshi III (no connection to Horiyoshi II, from the last post), is Yoshihito Nakano of Yokohama, Japan, and is our featured artist today. Horiyoshi the 3rd is perhaps THE most respected and celebrated tattoo artist in Japan’s history. His work is admired and studied by experts, artists and collectors worldwide, and with more than a dozen books available on Horiyoshi’s life and work, it’s easy to understand why he is unarguably considered the preeminent Japanese tattoo master of this or any era. His work is EPIC! Beautiful! And Groundbreaking! While still remaining rooted in centuries of tradition.                   It was during the first year of Tattoo Artists Magazine’s existence that I found myself given the sudden chance to travel to Japan and meet this legendary tattooer, Horiyoshi III. TAM was still brand new at the time, so having a friend send along my request to Horiyoshi, asking to feature him and his work in the new magazine project opened up the chance of a lifetime- an invitation to come visit Horiyoshi’s studio and museum. It would be the realization of a lifelong dream to see Japan, (having become obsessed with Japanese art, history and lore as a young child after watching the mini-series “SHOGUN” on television, and then discovering the amazing filmography of Akira Kurosawa and books of translated Japanese legends by Lufcadio Hearn in my teen years!) Hell yeah! I could NOT ... Read More »

10 of the World’s BEST Japanese style TATTOO ARTISTS: pt1

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Over the next few weeks we’re going to pay tribute to Japanese-themed tattoos and the contributions of 10 Tattoo Artists widely considered to be some of the BEST IN THE WORLD. For an ever-increasing  number of tattoo collectors (and artists alike), Japanese-styled tattoos are appreciated as the most sophisticated and visually pleasing style of tattooing, today. Though known about since the late 1800s, the popularity of Japanese tattoos in the United States, Europe and around the globe has really only expanded exponentially since the 1960s, prior to this time very few people could understand the depth to these expressions of ink in skin- historically or mythologically. Tattooing is a visual art form, however, and Japanese tattoo work has always had an incomparable effect on even untrained eyes. Just imagine early westerners traveling to a strange land, months at sea, stepping off and seeing such decorated warriors! The history of Japanese tattooing and the mythological roots of its powerful yet elegant imagery are deep topics of study and the daunting pursuit of many modern professional artists and scholars, alike. The myths represented in these tattoos and Japan’s rich history of tattooing are subjects for future blog posts, but for our purposes, now, let us trace the various Japanese styles of tattooing, today, back to but a few primary influences- starting with (perhaps, surprisingly to some) the pioneering work of American master, Sailor Jerry Collins and his correspondence with Tattooers around the globe. There are reasons Norman Collins (aka Sailor Jerry) is so respected by the tattoo community, not the ... Read More »

Jeff Gogue on attracting large scale tattoo clients

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By TattooNOWTV Jeff Gogue, internationally known for his famed original tattooing style and amazingly popular tattooing seminars, talks about how to attract large scale tattoo clients including backpieces and sleeve tattoos. Jeff chats about how the Shige and New Skool Collective backpiece books and his own experience getting a backpiece have help open clients vision. He is also asked if he feel like his work plateaus, and about learning to tattoo better. Whether you are a tattoo collector or just someone vaguely interested, this is great advice from one of the worlds top tattoo artists. Avoid tattoo mistakes that are easy to make but difficult to fix! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1aTqv6… to watch this 2 hour episode in its entirety which also featured famed tattoo artists Jeff Gogue and Nikko Hurtado who answered a number of fantastic questions via Skype and Canman who was in house and talked about his style and what he learned from Guy Aitchison’s painting critiques. Check out these other Gogue clips! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2DJys5… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MO1rep… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG-Ogj… Originally streamed from http://www.OfftheMapTattoo.com in Easthampton Massachusetts http://www.TattooNOWTV.com     Read More »

Art and Tattooing: Tradition and Post Modernism

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by Colin Higgins “I prefer drawing to talking. Drawing is faster, and leaves less room for lies” – Le Corbusier Ever since I can remember I loved to draw. As a kid I drew continuously on anything I could get my hands on. From my love to draw came my love of art in general. As a kid I loved comics, and aspired to draw as well as the artists who filled their pages. As a teenager I continued to collect comics. About this time period I also gained in an interest in tattoos. Before the 90′s were done I was getting tattooed and loving it. After I graduated high school I worked construction for some time before making the decision to go to university and major in studio art. I had no real aspiration to use the degree I was working towards as a gateway to a career of any kind, I just loved drawing and wanted to learn how to draw better. School opened my eyes wide, as I learned techniques and tradition when it came to drawing, painting, and printmaking. I also minored in art history and gained a broad appreciation for the greater history of the visual arts. Once I graduated I got back into construction as a means of making money and continued to paint and draw in my spare time. I always liked tattoos, but more specifically loved art and drawing. So in 2004 I managed to land an apprenticeship at a tattoo shop. ... Read More »

The World’s Best Tattoos Just Might Be Centuries Old

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By Katherine Brooks www.huffingtonpost.com Oh, the tattoo. From an innocuous badge inked ever so carefully on one’s back to a blanket of color flowing from the shoulders to the ankles, the world has proven the tradition of permanently adorning the body with artwork is here to stay. Hidden from sight or paraded in public, designed by professionals or picked and poked by amateurs, humans just can’t get enough of this particular brand of body modification. Take, for example, a Harris poll from 2012, which declared that in the U.S. alone, one in five individuals had chosen to bring needle to flesh. That’s 20% of the adults surveyed, for those bad with fractions. Read More »

P E R S E V E R A N C E

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Japanese Tattoo Tradition in a Modern World MARCH 8 – SEPTEMBER 14, 2014 Source: www.janm.org 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, ... Read More »

Horiyoshi III and David Lee Roth

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Tattoo Artist Magazine: Mike Rubendall Issue #28 Teaser Video

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Japanese Tattoos as Fine Art

By Liz Ohanesian Source: www.laweekly.com On Saturday afternoon, four tattoo artists went to work inside Little Tokyo’s Japanese American National Museum for the opening of “Perseverance: Japanese Tattoo Tradition in the Modern World.” They spent hours taking ink and needles to flesh, adding to the large, detailed illustrations that already marked their client’s bodies. Crowds gathered and dispersed throughout the day, watching with interest. Most seemed unfazed by the buzz of tattoo machines. Many of the onlookers here have gone through a similar process. Some had tattooed sleeves that crawled out from under t-shirts. Others had art that peeked out above collar lines or below hems. Instead, it was two of those tattoo artists working in silence at their stations who could provoke a wince from the crowd. They were practicing tebori. That’s the traditional Japanese way of applying tattoos. In other words, they were using equipment that wasn’t motorized. The artists dipped their instruments into ink before poking repeatedly at patches of skin on their clients. One lay on his back, an arm crossed over his eyes. His stomach moved with breaths that grew deeper as the prodding persisted. Another remained still on his stomach. From certain angles, you could catch the tension creases form on his face. Tebori is an old-fashioned way of tattooing, but it’s not antiquated. Takahiro Kitamura, known as Horitaka in tattoo circles, is the curator of “Perseverance.” He notes that there are still plenty of tebori practitioners at work. Many of them choose to ... Read More »

Traditional Japanese Tattooing with Chris O’Donnell

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Tattoo Age: Troy Denning Part 3

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Alex “Kofuu” Reinke Horikitsune

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Photos and interview by Ino Mei Source: www.heartbeatink.gr Alex “Kofuu” Reinke Horikitsune, the only apprentice of Horiyoshi III apart from his son Souryou Kazuyoshi and part of Horiyoshi III family, spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk Tattoo Magazine about the path in tattooing, the “Shu Ha Ri” learning system, the highly importance of the design and the “limits” of tradition. How were you first introduced to tattoo? When I was twelve years old I started Martial Arts. As a kid, from a really young age I was constantly drawing. So when the Martial Arts came into the picture, I started drawing Asian themes and especially Japanese; like dragons and all sorts of stuff. When I was fourteen, we were on a trip with my family to San Francisco and by chance I walked into “Tattoo City” which is Ed Hardy’s tattoo shop. Of course I had absolutely no idea about it. I bought Ed Hardy’s yellow “Tattoo Time” and Sandi Fellman’s “Japanese Tattoo” book and then I was drawing out of those books all the time. I was crazy for them. At that age, I had many older friends and when we returned to Germany after San Francisco, they asked me to design some tattoos for them because they liked my drawings and they couldn’t draw themselves. So I drew some designs for them and they went and got them tattooed. I kept drawing and drawing tattoos until I finished high-school and went for my A – levels. At that time I started tattooing. It was 1995 ... Read More »

The Canvases Walk in the Door: A Brooklyn Tattoo Parlor Popular with foreigners

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By Carroll Gardens Source: www.nytimes.com The brownstone-lined streets of Carroll Gardens may not seem like much of a tourist destination. But brand Brooklyn is ascendant these days, and foreigners come to idle at farm-to-table restaurants and browse in fanciful boutiques.And farther south, where affluence gives way to aluminum siding and Smith Street dead-ends under the din of the Gowanus Expressway, visitors come for a more permanent souvenir: authentic Brooklyn ink. On a recent Thursday, Yossy Yoshino, 35, a tattoo artist from Japan, lay face down on a massage table at Smith Street Tattoo Parlour while Dan Santoro, 31, inscribed a pig in a bikini on his back (“three tops, one for each set of teats,” Mr. Santoro explained). The words “Weird World” floated above the pig’s head. Mr. Yoshino, a teardrop tattoo dripping from his eye, said he had traveled thousands of miles from his home in Okinawa to get a “New York tattoo.” Just what makes a New York tattoo can be a bit difficult to pin down. The shop’s owner, Bert Krak, 35, described the parlor’s style as traditional American, with a bit of Japanese thrown in. Read More »

Irezumi Japanese Tattoo Art Exhibition

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Check out the IREZUMI art show at Space 15 Twenty in Hollywood, CA.  The show is up until October 20th. IREZUMI is a group art show featuring original Japanese Tattoo art works from around the world. Artists include: HORIYOSHI 3, BOB ROBERTS, HIROSHI HIRAKAWA, MUTSUO NAKABAYASHI, GANJI, NAMI CHANG, MIKE ROPER, MIYAZO, BRIAN KANEKO, SMALL PAUL & more!   Read More »

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