By Omar Edmison
My wife of 18 years asked me awhile back if I was still writing a blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine. I shot her a pile of excuses about time & being busy at work, taking care of the shop & spending time with her & the kids. She looked at me with her amazingly sweet smile as if to say “Sure Omar, I love you I have your back but you’re throwing up a smoke screen.” She knows me really well, better than any other human being on the planet. Her words that she spoke next were small and to the point. she simply said ” you’re really good at what you do. you have wisdom to impart.” I am not making that part up; she really does speak like that. So here I am sitting in front of a computer trying to figure out what to “impart” on you, gentle reader. I started thinking about what I had said to my beautiful and talented better half. It wasn’t a lie I have been busy with an amazing varied rag tag bunch of folks who for what ever reason be it a bump on the head or just a history of poor life choices have asked me to mark them permanently. It is also true that -as any shop owner can attest to- when you own a tattoo shop stuff comes up, there are always fires to be put out, business needs handling. It is most decidedly true that I love spending time with her and our 3 awesome kids. I don’t know about y’all but the last time I checked there are only 24 hours in a day only 7 of those days in a week etc., etc. you know the math. You are,I am sure, by this point getting my point that there are a lot of things that come up in my day to day life that are at times pleasurable at times nerve wracking & everything in between. Much like some of you out there, I get to try to figure out how to balance business & family, which is what struck me as something to write about…
Life, Happens everyday. It comes at us pretty fast you have to keep your eyes open and your head up if you are going to get through it in one piece. How to balance work & family…
Check out the AMAZING deals we are offering for Cyber Monday!
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Gods & Warriors: The Works of Chris Treviño: $69.99
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By Anni Irish
A recent animated film featured on Vanity Fair’s website in their “Through the Decades” series showcases artist Nick Hooker’s tattoo inspired interpretation of the 1940s. The short four minute film highlights several historical events from the 1940s and is done in an Americana tattoo style. The film opens with a shot of a vintage radio that is placed next to a bottle marked “xxx”. In the background there are various tattoo inspired images which are framed. The radio is on and we hear what seems to be a speech FDR being given in regards to World War II. Over the radio address the sound of a tattoo machine buzzes and the camera pans out to a reveal simple sign that says “tattoos”. The shot widens and various flash tattoo designs become visible and the room is transformed into a tattoo parlor. An Uncle Sam type tattoo artist is tattooing sparrows onto a patron who has a larger ship and American flag scene on their stomach and chest. The image quickly shifts again. Within this shot the framed flash tattoo designs become the object of focus. It is within the confines of the framed tattoo images where Hooker’s depiction of the 1940s comes to life.
An important element to Hooker’s representation of the 1940s is his emphasis on the history of tattooing. Hooker showcases this by making the link between tattooing and sailors as well as their presence within freak show and circus culture. Tattoo artists such as Professor Charlie Wagner, Sailor Jerry and Cap Coleman are referenced which is is important. Another key detail to Hooker’s telling of the 1940s is his foregrounding of the tattooed lady through Mae Vandermark. Vandermark a former stenographer turned tattooed lady becomes the darling of Hooker’s short film. In an “Behind the Scenes Interview” about the film, Hooker and it’s co director, Drew Christie talk about the “illustrative qualities” of tattoos. It is the “illustrative qualities’ of them that both Christie and Hooker note, which capture their interpretation of this decade. It is also interesting to note that This American Lifecontributor and author Starlee Kine, wrote and narrated the piece. This talented group of artists came together to create a compelling, alternative representation of this infamous decade.
What is significant about this animation for me is how an alternative narrative of history is told through tattoo culture. In many ways, tattoos came to encompass the 1940s. This occurred through the presence of the War and the various sailors and soldiers who documented the experience if it on their bodies to the tattooed ladies and various “freaks” of circus culture. Christie and Hooker are narrating a social history which often goes overlooked. This animation is raising larger issues surrounding the social history of tattooing within the United States while also giving insight into it. It is being done in an unconventional medium through one of the most popular publications out today. As a result, a new generation is learning about this alternative historical narrative which is incredibly important.
Given the fact that it is such a short film, only a portion of this history is being told which encompasses a larger time span. While I do not want to take away from the work that I feel this animation is doing, it is only a tiny piece in this larger social puzzle. There are many other elements that construct America’s tattoo history. People such as Margot Mifflin, Amelia Klem Osterud, and others are actively working to help recuperate this larger history but there is still much to be done. Being mindful of this wider framework and the issues “The 1940s” raises perhaps it will inspire the next generation of tattoo artists and tattoo historians to begin their own investigation.
**Anni Irish is a writer and researcher who holds an MA in Performance Studies from New York University and an MA in Gender and Cultural Studies from Simmons College. Her work focuses on the representation of bodies, fetishism, and the social history of tattooing in America. She currently resides in Brooklyn, NY.2015 |Candidate The Draper Program, NYU|
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.
Get TAM issue 10 with an interview on Scott Sylvia:
From Annemarie Beers to all the ATM followers, supporters and Blue Bone Society members,
Yesterday, two years ago we opened the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum. With help from a lot friends from all over the world we managed to start a great museum and realized Henk’s dream. Opening day and night was one to remember forever! Unfortunately we had to end this in a bad way due to our “financier’s” incompetence. We were kicked out of OUR museum on Nov. 12th 2012, Henk’s collection was kidnapped in the museum. On April 1st, 2013 the museum closed its doors…
Thanks to our dear friends, followers and tattoo fans we raised enough money to pay lawyers, get the collection back and start the Pop Up store for our staff to continue in the name of the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum.
I hope we’ll have a new museum by 2014. All of you that contributed in any possible way, THANK YOU!!! The positive part of all this was that we realized how big our loving and supporting family is! Thank you all again… ATM FOREVER!
All Photos by: Bobby C. Alkabes
Reblogged from: tattoomuseum.wordpress.com
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…
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Jeff Wright…
By Marisa Kakoulas
Reblogged from: http://www.needlesandsins.com
One of the most acclaimed tattoo gatherings – the NYC Tattoo Convention – has brought beautiful freaks worldwide to New York in spring time, as it has been held each May for 16 years. However, with the sad news that the convention’s venue, the historicRoseland Ballroom, will be shutting down in April 2014, I worried about the fate of my hometown show.
Thankfully, we’ll still be able to party in this iconic spot, if not for one last time, as the convention dates for 2014 are March 21st through the 23rd. While the news has been spread around social media, I’ve still been hearing people talk about making travel plans for May or even setting up appointments at that time, so I wanted to help get the word out there that the show will go on, but in March.
We’ll be there and hope to see you too! Check my bad camera phone pics from past shows on Flickr.
Campfires & Carbon’s mission is to have and promote real, unedited conversation with local tattooers. Here’s their podcast of a conversation with Clifton Carter who works in San Francisco and Tempe, Arizona…
Doc Ink is a brazilian web series of short episodes featuring some of that country’s most respected tattooers. It was introduced to us by São Paulo-based tattooer Nico Acosta. Enjoy episode #4!
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!
TAM will have a booth at the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts October 25-27! If you’re in the San Francisco area that weekend, stop by and check out the show!
By Bob Done
Reblogged from: http://www.swallowsndaggers.net
At a time when new Tattoo Studios are popping up in towns faster and more frequently than ever, I thought it would be cool to have a chat with my mentor and 20 year veteran of the craft Phil Kyle about the situation we find ourselves collectively in, and what it was like for him “back in the day”.
This is the slightly edited version because I don’t think the internet was, nor will it ever be ready for the original.
BD – Ok, what’s your name and how long have you been tattooing for?
PK – Phil Kyle, been tattooing 21 years and been getting tattooed for almost 30 now.
Where did you start tattooing?
I served my apprenticeship at Main Street Tattoo just outside of Baltimore Maryland in Edgewood. I started actually tattooing when my mentor thought it was the right time.
How many shops were in town when you first started tattooing?
2 at most, unlike today’s carnival.
And what was the relationship like between those shops and yours?
People just did their work and got on with it.
And what would have happened if someone else moved into town and opened up a shop?
(Laughing) Well…….Back then they would’ve got a warning, and if they ignored the warning there would’ve been some action. They’d have their equipment taken maybe, or you know… But the fact was that people with no morals or ethics got served the fuck up. It’s not like today where assholes open up one street over. What’s the fucking point? And they don’t even have the nut sacks to come say, “Hey I’m opening up”, or whatever. Like we did. It’s like fast food chains popping up everywhere. Serving total shit! (laughing) People that should just be clients are opening up shops. If they really loved tattooing they should just stick to getting tattooed, and not try to be some hipster cool guy who couldn’t tattoo their way out of a paper bag. These are the people that talk way too much trash too, if they could run their tattoo machines the way they run their mouths maybe they could actually tattoo.
By Danny Reis
My name is Pierre Botardo I’m currently living in Brooklyn New York and I am age 34. I grew up in Virginia Beach, Virginia and I was interested in tattooing pretty early, I guess. When I was in junior high, I was already doing stick and pokes on myself with a sewing needle and some ink. I remember trying to convince my friends to do it. That didn’t really work out because they weren’t into the idea of a tattoos, but I was proud if it. It was fun and painful; but that’s what drew me to tattooing because it was a kind of “club”. The pain is a part of the whole experience. Even to this day, I still see it that way. You have to “put up or shut up”. Also, around this time, tattoos weren’t very popular. It was still considered to be an “outsider” sort of thing; which I loved.
I honestly didn’t think about tattooing as a career until maybe 2007 or 2008. Around the first time I moved to Brooklyn. It was through a friend who suggested it. I was dead broke and I thought for some reason, it was something that would force me to focus on a path. I had a friend who was showing me a few things here and there out of the apartment. Good habits like setting up and breaking down the station and sanitation of equipment. After struggling with finding regular work, I thought it was time to actually pursue an apprenticeship and take things seriously. I wanted to learn more. What’s crazy is that I had invested so much money into my own equipment that I shouldn’t have been spending but I chose to anyways. It took me about a year to actually obtain any kind of apprenticeship.
Tattoos by Dillon Forte
“Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel.” The exhibit, which runs to the Fall, celebrates one of tattooing’s most remarkable forefathers, particularly the one hundred years since the Norwegian artist arrived in Milwaukee in 1913 and made it his home.
Dietzel’s studios attracted tattoo collectors far beyond Milwaukee. As the Museum notes, he “helped define the look of the traditional or old school tattoo,” and his tattoo flash remains just as powerful today as it was during the two world wars he tattooed through and the many years afterward until his death in 1974.
I’d venture a guess that, if Dietzel were alive today, he’d be having a laugh at the city’s museum featuring his work, especially as he put up a good fight against the Milwaukee City Council, along with Gib “Tatts” Thomas, when the city banned tattooing in 1967.
There are so many great stories of Amund Dietzel’s life, and they are wonderfully shared in tattooist Jon Reiter‘s book These Old Blue Arms: The Life & Work of Amund Dietzel, which I reviewed here in 2010.
This exhibit is drawn exclusively from the book and Jon’s collection of Dietzel flash, photos and “peripheral Dietzel Studio material.” It should be an excellent show for all tattoo lovers and Americana art buffs.
Here’s more on Dietzel from the museum:
Born in Kristiania, Norway, Dietzel (1891-1974) learned the art of hand-tattooing on a Norway merchant ship. When the ship was wrecked off the coast of Quebec, Dietzel and a few others decided to stay. Dietzel traveled with his close friend William Grimshaw, working carnivals as tattooed men and tattooing between shows.
Passing through Milwaukee at twenty-three, Dietzel decided to make the city his home. He opened a tattoo parlor and soon had a reputation as the region’s premier tattoo artist–and the one to whom World War I and II sailors and Marines went before leaving for battle. In 1964 at the age of seventy-three, Dietzel sold his shop to his friend Gib “Tatts” Thomas. The two worked together in the studio until the city banned tattooing, effective July 1, 1967. “At least it took the city fifty-one years to find out that it doesn’t want me,” said Dietzel.
By Paul Dobleman: Due to the fact I’ve been on the road, I haven’t had the chance to do a proper psychedelic story, so you are going to just have to hear one of mine… (more…)
Here is the Psychedelic Stories winner for March, thanks to everyone who participated… (more…)
A big thanks to everyone who wrote in… (more…)
By ATM/Blue Bone crew
The situation of the museum is still very complicated. The woman who was supposed to be our financier is bankrupt and there’s a curator now in the museum and they’re still figuring out who owns what. In the meantime we still cannot enter the museum or take the collection away. Every time they postpone the date the collection is to be released because of difficulties. However, it should last no longer than one month… (more…)
Dear Amsterdam Tattoo Museum Supporters & Blue Boners,
Thanks to your support we are happy to announce the opening of a new pop-up store by the Amsterdam Tattoo Museum on the 28th of February. You’re most welcome to attend this event from 4-7 pm at the van Woustraat 78 in Amsterdam. In the shop we sell a wide range of tattoo (related) books and gifts and Henk Schiffmacher, Danny Boy, Chris Danley and Yushi Takei will be tattooing here as well. Of course we will host a bunch of great guest artists like we did in the old museum… (more…)