The Official Blog for Tattoo Artist Magazine

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Last Rites Tattoo Studio and Last Rites Gallery presents: Lastrites.tv

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Lastrites.tv: A NEW and Online Community

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New York, May 2014 – Last Rites is excited to announce the launch of its brand new website, Online Community and Forum. Lastrites.tv will serve as the umbrella site for both Last Rites Tattoo Theatre and Last Rites Gallery, uniting the two separate meccas for the dark arts under one roof, alongside the birth of the Last Rites Online Community. Although Last Rites Tattoo Theatre and Last Rites Gallery will still exist independent of one another, we hope this new site will make it easier for our patrons to enjoy all the talent and beauty under one roof, similar to our space at 325 West 38th Street in NYC. Our intention is to provide a digital space to serve as a comprehensive community of like-minded individuals that have a true appreciation for the dark side of art.
We’ve designed the structure of the website to make your journey simple yet visually stimulating as you peruse all facets of the dark art world that is Last Rites. Our main navigation gives constant access to Last Rites Tattoo Theatre, Last Rites Gallery, the Last Rites Store, Forum and Online Community. Each category gives you access to drop down menus allowing you to choose which component you wish to explore. Further, we have integrated social media streams, videos, appointment forms, a forum and tons of images for your viewing pleasure! It is our hope that our patrons will browse and interact with the art and one another on our platform through our Forums and Online Community.

Paul Booth truly wishes to unite friends, fans, and enthusiasts from both the Fine Art and Tattoo worlds. His inspiration and aspirations can now be accessed through the free Last Rites Online Community and Forum. The Online Community will allow visitors to create their own profiles, photo and video albums, chat, and interact with the website fully, including commenting and liking on artwork and pages. The Forum will offer a wide array of subjects to ponder and discuss, also accessible from logging on to the Online Community. It is our hope that these avenues of discussion and social sharing will allow you, without the restricting guidelines of censorship, to explore, contribute and embrace the dark arts.

Lastrites.tv is also mobile friendly and easily accessed from all smart devices. We hope our site proves to be ergonomic and a haven for all friends, fans, and enthusiasts.

Last Rites Gallery
325 West 38th st #1 NYC
212.560.0666

http://www.lastrites.tv

 

 


Sunrise News has No Love for Tattooed Ladies

By Kevin Miller

http://www.tattoosnob.com

This video by the Sunrise morning show in Australia has a lot of people upset, and for good reason. There’s too many ignorant statements to count throughout this segment, but the woman at approximately 1:00 takes the cake. She starts off comparing tattoos as a fashion statement, and then she informs everyone they’ll regret their decision to get tattooed. Oh, and she also discusses how men don’t find tattoos attractive and pokes fun at one of the tattoos they show as a visual example.

I tried to figure out who each one of these women were by using the ‘Meet our Team’section on the Sunrise website. Unfortunately all of their face lifts and botox sessions make them blend together.

I already sent my feedback to Sunrise using their Contact Us section on their website, and I would encourage you to do the same. Let’s tell Sunrise and theirs ‘news team’ what a bunch of ignorant assholes they are.

http://bcove.me/1a8f4ra1


GUEST BLOG: “TATTOOISTS, TATTOOED” EXHIBITION

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At the prestigious Museum du quai Branly in Paris, the “Tatoueurs, tatoues” opened on May 6th to great acclaim, with renowned tattoo artists in attendance for the opening, as well as international media (including the New York Times). Reviewing the exhibit for Needles & Sins, our friend Serinde in Paris offers her thoughts in this guest post as well as photos of exhibit pieces here on Flickr.

By Serinde

A tattoo exhibition? You mean, not in the corner of a tattoo convention? In a real museum? Well, it’s for real, and it’s happening now in Paris, at the Museum du quai Branly, which is quite famous for showing high quality exhibitions, usually specialized in anthropology and ethnology. And it is now showing “Tatoueurs, tatoues” (or “tattooists, tattooed”).

Of course, having a few tattoos myself, and being both interested and a bit educated in tattoo history and techniques, I had to rush there, and report back on what this exhibit has to offer:

The exhibition was curated by Anne & Julien (who’ve been involved in the modern art scene for many years now), and advised and directed by famed French tattoo artist Tin-Tin. The goal of the exhibit, as explained by Anne & Julien, is to show how tattoo, which has existed since ancient times, has changed, developed, disappeared, and been reborn to the art we know today.

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In the first part, named “from the global to the marginal,” the exhibition tells the story of tattoo throughout history, and society. You can view a mummified tattooed arm from Peru, antique tools, and amazing portraits of Algerian tattooed women. This part also explores the role of tattoos in the navy, and in prisons with, among other things, a short movie that I highly recommend: “La peau du milieu” (1957), showing the “underground” side of tattoo, at a time when the meaning was much more important than the style, which was, well, rather poor.

Then, you enter the marginal and colorful world of sideshow, circus, freaks, and…traveling tattoo artists. As a transition, there’s a very interesting “Wall of Fame,” displaying a timeline of tattoo culture, including laws, techniques, famous tattoo artists, and famous tattooed people.

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The exhibition goes on with a focus on tattoo in Japan, North America, and Europe. The Japanese selection shows some stunning paintings, tattoo projects, photos of tattooed people, videos, a photo of a tattooed skin taken from a dead man (gulp! I first didn’t notice it was only a photo); other incredible artifacts include a kabuki costume painted so that it looked like a tattoo when worn by the actor. In the North America and European selections, there were more photos and prints of tattooed people, and interestingly, a copy of Samuel O’Reilly’s patent for his tattooing machine (and some modern day machines as well).

Moving through the exhibit, at this stage, museum goers now view works made by tattoo artists exclusively for this exhibition: 19 artists worked on “tattoo project” paintings, and 13 artists tattooed silicon body parts to great effect.

There’s also an exploration into the revival of traditional tattoo in Oceania and South-East Asia, displaying some impressive masks and head sculptures (I was especially impressed by those), traditional tools, as well as modern tattoo projects. There’s further cultural discussion of tattoo in China, the Latino and Chicano cultures in the US, among others.

At last, the exhibition ends with the “new generation” of artists, such as Yann Black and the “Art Brut” movement in tattooing, as a nod to the future of the art.

Tin Tin tattoo silicon

 

 

To read the rest of this article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/05/tatoueurs-tatoues-musee-du-quai-branly.html

 


Horiyoshi III and David Lee Roth


*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

Tattoos by Hanumantra Lamar

http://www.modernbodyart.co.uk

Modern Body Art, Birmingham

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Woman’s journey to beat breast cancer ends with nipple tattoos

By Victoria Hansen

vhansen@abcnews4.com

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MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (WCIV) — It’s been five years since Sharon Dempsey took the shower that changed her life. She bent down to pick up a razor and immediately felt it, a lump beneath her breasts.

“My tumor was right under where they pull it up so it never made it on to the mammogram screen,” said Dempsey.

She quickly called her doctor.

“I said, ‘Dr. Scott, I felt something I’ve never felt it before. It doesn’t move.’ I went in to see him on Monday and by Friday I was already lined up for surgery,” Dempsey said.

The moment is still vivid as she makes what she hopes is her last doctor visit.

“I’ve always before I’ve had any of my procedures, I do research about it and there’s not a lot of research out there on how they do the tattooing,” she said.

At 55, Sharon is about to get her first tattoo — make that two tattoos.

“I wasn’t nervous until my son told me it was going to hurt, and then yes I was nervous,” she said.

Dempsey lives in Irmo, but has come to The Center for Natural Breast Reconstruction in Mount Pleasant to have most of her work done. Here, Dr. James Craigie took fat from her belly to build new breasts

“Tummy tuck and like the ladies at work say, I’ve got 18 year old boobs,” said Dempsey.

 

But that’s not all. Dr. Craigie even managed to create natural looking nipples from Sharon’s own skin.

“Well, we take the skin that is there and we turn the skin on itself,” said Dr. Craigie. “And we fold it up and we actually make the nipple from that skin.”

The nub of skin certainly looks like a nipple, only it lacks texture and color. There is no areola, just pale skin.

That is where medically trained tattoo artist Kimberly Kay comes in. She greets Dempsey for this final appointment, walking her through every detail.

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“I will mark you in the area that will be the size of the tattoo, and then we’ll do color matching against your chest,” she said.

Together, Dempsey and Kay decide the size and shape of her new nipples. They use stick ons to trace.

The next decision is color.

“She said normally your areola matches your lips and that is why she wanted me to remove my lipstick so that she could match it,” said Dempsey.

Like an artist, Kay pops open small pots of color — pink, beige and brown in so many shades.

“She basically takes a little pot and she just starts mixing the color and then she puts splotches on your skin,” said Dempsey.

Once the perfect combination is created, Kay cranks up the tattoo needle, but not before giving Sharon a little numbing medication. Dempsey does have some sensation still in her chest.

“She does a basket weave when she does the tattooing. She goes this way and then she goes this way,” said Dempsey.

“There are different techniques,” said Kay. “It’s not exactly drawing. We have to actually put it into scar tissue.”

Kay pushes the tattoo needle hard, but Dempsey doesn’t flinch. She’s been through so much more.

“I’m just thankful that I’m here,” she said.

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Kimberly finishes with some contrasting colors for a more realistic look.

“I’m going to spot do just brown and actually just do a brown ring around the base of the nipple to create the shadow effect,” Kay said.

She hands Dempsey a mirror and the reaction is immediate: “I look normal again, I mean it looks normal to me again.”

Dempsey will no longer have to be reminded daily of what cancer has cost. Her new tattoos cover the physical scars that will eventually heal. Mentally, she’s ready to move on.

“Well my tattoos are symbolic. My tattoos symbolize that’s the end,” said Dempsey.

“I made it. It’s over, yeah. I did it.”

http://www.abcnews4.com/story/25497833/womans-journey-to-beat-breast-cancer-ends-with-nipple-tattoos?hpt=us_bn8&autoStart=true&topVideoCatNo=default&clipId=10153637


What is Art? (Part 2)

By Nick Baxter

Last year I started collecting my thoughts on the continual debate in my head about what art is, and how it can be (among other things) an effective form of communication. That effort was and still is intertwined with the process of further understanding my own art, and all other art, as well. In hindsight, I thought the initial writing (here and here) was a bit unfocused, and since it was also incomplete, I took the time recently to revisit those blog entries and rework them into a more cohesive essay.
The final part of that essay, as mentioned in the second of those prior blog posts, is about my belief that photojournalism can be viewed as a creative art form, possessing an almost-accidental form of raw beauty capable of inspiring other works of art (such as many of my own). This critique of photojournalism introduces broader questions about the “unintended” as art, and–for now–completes my investigation into the sneakily complicated debate “What is art?”

In the future I’ll post the final version of the essay in its entirety, but for now here is the “part 2″ continuation of those prior blog posts.

Photojournalism and the Unintended as Art

In the last 100 years, photojournalism has become a fixture of our visual landscape. On the surface, it’s simply defined as the use of images to tell a news story or to report on current events. In this role, the photos are not art, and their photographers are not acting as artists, which means their images are typically held to strict ethical standards of honesty, impartiality, and objectivity. But these attributes are graded on a scale that becomes increasingly inexact amidst the complexity of postmodern thought and the digital age of endless reproduction and re-appropriation. This is the point at which the question “What is art?” becomes relevant and fascinating to me, when applied to the medium of photojournalism.
I’ve always appreciated the naïve purity of an image that’s been produced with no pretense of art, utterly uninhibited by the finicky shackles of artistic rules or the whims of unreliable muses like inspiration. In this open and wild space, artistic qualities and natural beauty are given the chance to emerge on their own, unintended and raw, like the strongest of weeds in a perfectly manicured lawn, and photography seems to be an ideal medium for this phenomenon. This element of chance can produce quite powerful images, capable of communicating intensely to the viewer while remaining—and precisely because they remain—firmly grounded in the truth of reality “as it happened.”
And so the commonplace photos we’re bombarded with through ever-increasing media saturation begin ostensibly as visual data comprised only of ‘facts’ or neutral information, yet end up loaded with symbolism, embedded with the perceptions and beliefs of their creators and audience after becoming the subject of this artistic line of inquiry.

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One of my all-time favorites (sorry I could not find the photographer or credit online).

In studying art history, it seems this afterlife of the journalistic image became much more possible in the wake of the Dada movement, when artists (including photographers) carved out new niches for their work beyond mere decoration or commemoration of important people or places. Art in the 20th century became increasingly deconstructivist, philosophically charged, and conceptual in nature, filling multiple roles while having its meaning manipulated by the increasingly complex worldviews of both creator and audience1.

Because of this evolution, just about anything could be considered art in the right context, meaning that most contemporary art now resides as much in the blurry, ambiguous realm of provocative ideas as it does in the realm of traditional craft. Hence a museum visitor might encounter an exhibit of random paint splotches that, beneath its completely underwhelming, childlike appearance, contains a metaphor referencing complex political or psychological theories learned by the artist through years of intense academic study.

 

This can be maddening to the viewer who simply wants to marvel at a skillfully executed object of beauty, or it can be liberating for those who want to engage in debate, controversy, or social change through the arts. My own art has always attempted to straddle this fence by incorporating the best of both worlds: technical, precise handling of paint in the realism tradition, yet depicting modern subject matter and informed by the angst and alienation of postmodern philosophies. It is my belief that photojournalism in the modern age, thanks to that 20th-century process of expansion and deconstruction, straddles a similar fence, one separating objective observations from subjective beauty and meaning.

This ability of the journalistic photograph to transcend genres is confirmed in the academic community by the fact that “Breaking News Photography” is a Pulitzer Prize category. This prestigious yearly award started in 1917 as a way to honor impactful achievements in American journalism, literature, and music. Winning photographs are resurrected as art objects, receiving appreciation for their poignancy and beauty—a second life of sorts, after their initial purpose or function in the journalistic media has been served.

This second life also takes the form of photo essays, curated and arranged into cohesive narratives, which are now commonly presented in art and lifestyle publications, fine art galleries, and museums throughout the world. Depending on the intentions of the photographer and exhibiting institution or publication, as well as the sensibilities of the viewing audience, these photographs may be appreciated for their communication about the world events that comprise their content, or for their artistic qualities—or both.

In his 1995 essay about the modern age of photojournalism, writer Richard Lacayo wades into the debate surrounding artistic subjectivity and meaning:

“Photojournalists tend to stay aloof from talk about camera aesthetics. There is something about dodging gunfire in Beirut that discourages ruminations on style, understandably enough. More to the point, no one who catalogs bloodshed or poverty wants to be thought of as yet another vendor to the senses. Some news photographers spend half their lives chasing wars; who can blame them if they reach for the door when they hear the word art? …The stereotype survives: artists have visions; journalists have assignments. They may both think to themselves, ‘I am a camera,’ but each means something different.

“Yet aesthetic questions have a moral dimension. Color is pretty; misery is not. How does one keep the simple appeal of color from confounding the full range of meanings a photograph may convey? If pictures of genocide come to us in the muted pastels of a GAP ad or the vivid hues of a rock video, how does a photographer keep atrocity from looking palatable?”2

While the moralist in me sympathizes with this sentiment, the artist and rebel in me, raised in an age of cynicism, desensitization, and ambiguity, views adjectives like ‘palatable’ as mere subjective opinions, impossible to resolve into an absolute truth for all to agree on. Human culture is so diverse that practically anything could be considered palatable art, by someone. And so I answer Lacayo’s question with another question: “Why should the photographer keep atrocity from looking palatable?”

I want to ask this question not because I enjoy atrocity, but because I am capable of the postmodern complexity of holding multiple feelings and competing appreciations within me simultaneously. In this case, that multiplicity includes the horror and revulsion at the tragic events occurring in our world as well as the aesthetic delight at the spectacle of color, shape, line, emotion, symbolism, and meaning on vivid display, emerging somewhat accidentally (and perhaps with more purity) through the photojournalistic medium.

As if to concede this very point I’m making and pay homage to the “What is art?” debate, the author goes on to admit, “The most capable photojournalists…have learned to incorporate the unruliness of color into a deliberate statement. …Barbaric rule can operate in the broadest daylight, suffering can happen in sensual settings, a place can be cruel and inviting at the same time.”

And so we see that through the inescapable conduit of subjectivity, passive observation becomes intentional communication, and thus, photojournalism can also be the highest of art forms, loaded with inspiration for artists working in any medium. I’ve always appreciated the best journalistic photography for this transcendent ability, the point at which the happenings of this world become awe-inspiring images, and the deepest truths contained in the human condition are put on poetic display.

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Various newspaper and magazine clippings I’ve save over the years for reference and inspiration.

So once and for all, “What is art?” This question may never be fully answered. But with an integral approach and an open mind, artists and viewers alike can use this line of inquiry to enrich their experience of reality, to deepen the communication that is the purpose of all art, and to find beauty everywhere, even where it may be unintended.

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Another powerful, poetic image (sorry I couldn’t find the photographer or image credit online for this one either).

1The Situationists of the 1960s took this evolution to the extreme, espousing radical anarchist views on art that embraced destruction and merciless re-appropriation of all imagery, in the service of transforming society and conscious reality into a powerful and playful dialogue with the present moment.

2Lacayo, Richard. “IV: Resurgence 1980-1995.” Eyewitness: 150 Years of Photojournalism. New York CIty: Time, 1995. 166. Print.


Mark My Words. Maybe.

By Leslie Jamison

http://www.nytimes.com

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MY tattoo kept getting delayed by other people’s weddings: a bachelorette party in Vegas, cliff-top vows in Zion, a ceremony in Westchester. I wasn’t just attending the ceremony in Westchester, I was officiating at the ceremony in Westchester. I couldn’t picture giving my blessing in front of 200 people while my left arm glistened under Saran Wrap. I felt the slightest twinge of resentment. My life seemed perpetually tucked into the pockets of time created between the milestones of other lives.

I was getting the tattoo, in part, to mark a break from the man with whom I’d spent four years building and then dismantling a life. I was branding myself to mark a new era: my body was no longer entwined with someone else’s. It was mine alone again. I was moving to a new city and I had a new book coming out, and the tattoo would be its epigraph: “I am human: nothing human is alien to me.”

The quotation belongs to Terence, the Roman playwright. In the original Latin, it reads: homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. When I first came upon it, I felt its force beyond rational explanation. I knew it was something I needed to keep saying.

I got the job done by an artist who worked in a converted fire station. His walls were lined with giant beetles in jars of formaldehyde, taxidermied birds and bright oil paintings full of wizards and dragons. “Sure you don’t want anything drawn?” he asked, gesturing to his art. I pictured a dragon with a thought bubble: “nothing human is alien to me…” I said I was fine with just words. He wrote them in a cursive line from elbow to wrist. “I’m going to do this so we miss your veins,” he said. I said that sounded great.

It hurt just enough to make me feel like something was happening. There was a sense of deserving — that I’d earned this by hurting for it. It was an old logic I hadn’t felt in a while: Pain justifies ownership. It scared me, a bit. It also thrilled me. I left with Very Serious Aftercare Instructions and an arm encased like a pale sausage in plastic wrap.

The woman at the drugstore where I bought my Very Serious Aftercare supplies immediately wanted to know what the tattoo said. When I told her, she looked at me for a long time. “I think there is so much evil in this world,” she said, “and so much good.”

From now on, I realized, my body would basically be asking every stranger, “What do you think about the possibilities of human understanding?” During the months that followed, I found myself explaining the tattoo to a parade of strangers and acquaintances. It’s about empathy and camaraderie, I would say. Or else, it’s a denial of this lifelong obsession I’ve had with singularity and exceptionality.

We often think of tattoos as declarations of selfhood: this is what I am, love, believe. But there are other things we might inscribe on ourselves: what we fear, what we hate, what we hope to be but can’t yet manage.

“I am human; nothing human is alien to me” — my tattoo wasn’t true for me, not yet. But it was what I most needed to hear, an asymptote, a horizon.

On a hot day near the end of summer, another drugstore clerk reached for my arm with a searching look on his face. He was a large man, imposing.

When I told him what the tattoo meant, he shook his head. “There are people going through things in this world that are really bad,” he said. “Do you understand that?”

I tried to explain about aspiration, asymptote, attempt.

“You will leave a little piece of yourself with everyone you imagine,” he said. “You will get exhausted trying to give yourself away.”

I didn’t know what to say to this. I felt exhausted by him. I felt how much I needed, from him and everyone, a certain kind of response: to feel inspired by the tat, and tell me so.

“You tried to give me something,” he said, pointing at my arm. “But I blocked it. I blocked what you were giving me.”

He was interrupting the ticktock rhythm of my righteousness, saying something about the easy aphorism on my arm: how it didn’t go down easy for him and shouldn’t go down easy for me, either.

He wasn’t the only one with questions. My father wrote from the Rwanda Genocide Memorial: Did I really believe what my tattoo said, even about perpetrators of genocide? And on a first date, a man asked me whether my tattoo could even apply to evil? We never went out again. But there were other dates, other men wanting translations, running their fingers along the script. It started to feel uncomfortably like philosophy as accessory, something to match a certain kind of intellectual posture.

Before these men, there was a moment with the original man, the one from whom the tattoo marked my liberation. I ran into him on an ordinary afternoon, about a week after I got the tattoo and a week before I moved away from the city we shared. He was surprised to see my arm holding something it hadn’t held before.

I realized how different things were now. Something could happen to my body and it would be weeks or months before he knew about it. The tattoo was supposed to represent a new freedom but in that moment it felt like a shackle. It showed me how much it still hurt to feel the new distance between us. I felt that loss of proximity like a flesh wound.

It’s like being pregnant, people would tell me. Your body is a conversation-starter. Eventually I started drawing the comparison myself. But the truth was it didn’t feel like being pregnant at all. I was alone; my body was my own. It was a deep privacy, an autonomy tinged with sadness. It was the opposite of pregnancy, the residue of intimacy.

I’d always insisted I didn’t get the tattoo so that people would talk to me about it. In fact, I told myself I wanted nothing less. But at a certain point I’ve had to admit to a desire for contact I couldn’t own at first: It’s there and it isn’t.

The script is full of vectors pointing in opposite directions, a statement both aspirational and self-scolding, a desire to be seen and a desire to be left alone; a desire to have my body admired and a desire for my body to need nothing but itself, to need no affirmation from anyone. The tattoo holds an idea and its refutation, a man and his absence, a vote of confidence from the world and — in that downtown drugstore, on that humid day in summer — something more like the opposite.


KURV Tips Available now from Morphix

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Morphix introduces a line of autoclavable tips (branded KURV) which are available for purchase direct from www.morphixtattoo.com or one of our authorized distributors listed on our website.  KURV Tips are available in 4 different sizes: 7M, 9M, 3/5D and 7/9D with additional sizes to be introduced in the future.

Our patent pending designs and FDA approved biocompatible, medical grade material offer the artist and client several advantages over standard metal tips.  Bright colors and whites stay pure while tattooing for a better end result, and there’s no subdermal metal flake contaminant — a side effect with metal tips.

Our designs have incorporated smooth corners/edges throughout saving additional trauma.  The KURVed mag tips allow for easier cornering, and all tips have a low profile housing for maximum visibility.

Retail price per tip is $8.50 and come with a 45-day money back guarantee for all purchases made through the website.

 


ARTIST PROFILE: KIRIAKOS, SAKE TATTOO CREW

By Marisa Kakoulas

http://www.needlesandsins.com

Kiriakos sake tattoo crew 1 Kiriakos sake tattoo crew 2

In Athens, Greece, the Sake Tattoo Crew is an incubator for top tattoo talent — not just respected in the country, but worldwide. One artist from this collective is Kiriakos Balaskas. Tattooing for 8 years after a tough apprenticeship with Sake, Kiriakos developed a style combining abstract expressionism watercolors and graphic art. But I wanted to learn from him how he views his work, and tattoo culture as a whole, so I took him away from organizing the Athens Tattoo Convention, which is May 23-25, for a quick Q&A. 

If forced to define your style, how would you describe it? What are the strongest influences on your work?


My tattoo style in general has always been a combination of heavy themes/ lines/ shapes, and naive — almost childish — color details. I’ve always found this invasion of joy into strictness (two sides that equally attract me) very interesting and exciting. As soon as I started experimenting with the watercolor technique, I felt I had finally found the absolute way of expressing this ultimate combination. My pieces mainly include these distinctive elements: a black graphic stencil or sketch, and either a brush or wide, “clean,” kid-style watercolors — usually two colors only. It is hard for me to define it in a sole, strict term as there is no one else in Greece who practises this style, but if forced to define it, I’d use the term my costumers use when they ask for it, “Kiddo.”

Some old school artists believe that “only bold will hold,” and that every tattoo needs a heavy outline to stay strong longer. What is your response to this? 

I agree and I myself use total black outlines in the stencil/sketch part. But as far as the watercolors outline is concerned, I feel the lines should create an ephemeral impression — if you take the loose element out of the watercolor, the very substance of it is gone. 

Because you are doing something new and innovative with your work, what kind of reactions do you get to it?

The reactions are positive, if not overwhelming. People are interested in trying this new technique or inflowing the style into their tattoos, and their eagerness to experiment with unconventional styles sincerely moves me.

What are some of the greatest lessons you learned in tattooing?

I’ve learned the greatest lessons and values of tattooing from the person who initiated me to this art, Sake. It was a tough apprenticeship by his side that I had to go through in order to become a respected tattoo artist, and one of the greatest lessons he gave me was to pay this respect back to the customers. They will have that piece on them forever, and that is something we always have to keep in mind. 

What do you think makes a good tattoo — and what do you think makes a good tattoo artist?

A good tattoo is a tattoo that remains the same over the years, as if it was only done two weeks ago. I consider good artists to be the artists who won’t rest or let themselves go as far as their technique, style and inspiration are concerned.

How have you seen tattoo culture in Greece evolve? How has mainstream culture in Greece adapted to the art’s popularity?

**To read the full article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/05/artist-profile-kiriakos-sake-tattoo-crew.html

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*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

Tattoos by Olaf Lobe

http://www.truelovetattoo.de

True Love Tattoo

Düsseldorf, Germany

Instagram: @olaftruelove

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Confessions of a Tattoo Artist: Part 3


Mike Moses: Facing the onslaught of the digital age

Source: http://www.tattoosnob.com

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Guest post by Mike Moses (On Instagram: @thedrowntown)

Those of us with at least a decade in the tattoo industry remember a world quite different from today. As for the old-timers… hell, they probably don’t recognize their own shops anymore. The nervous laughter and palpable fear of those yet to be tattooed is gone. Instead, quiet cadres glued to the 5600K light of a handheld revolution occupy our waiting rooms. Prospective clients gain reassurance that the process ahead is “no big deal” from an ever-growing web of search results.

What used to be a rite of passage for more questionable members of society (and more than a few good servicemen) is now served up hot to hoodie’d teenagers, housewives and your cousin Frank. You can’t even check out at the grocery store without a family of five cooing in unison, forcibly comparing their future projects and former mistakes to yours. I didn’t sign up for this – I just wanted some ice cream.

At some point, you have to wonder: “What the hell happened?”

Coming up in a small town, tattooers in magazines took on a heroic glow. They seemed so far away, their greatness vast and unattainable. As an apprentice, you poured over piles of moldy outdated magazines; tattooer preschool was all about taking notes of the good (and bad) aspects of others’ work. Next you began observing the guys you worked with and the dudes down the street; studying their style, approach, and remembering their names wasyour job.

In those days, even the guys a couple blocks over might as well have had miles of barbed wire around them. The only way to gain access was a chance meeting in a bar; perhaps you’d get lucky and someone would introduce you. To get a glimpse of their sticker smudged and road-worn portfolio meant manning up and walking into their shop, a frightening endeavor indeed. Understanding the industry relied on the realization that you owed other tattooers everything, simply for carving the path ahead of you.

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Back then tattooing was still massively unappreciated by the mainstream. It was a remote career, a venture regarded by all but the most subversive as a “bad move” – to pursue this was professional suicide. No one in their right mind would encourage you, and threats from disapproving parents hung in your head like nooses. But for all the nooses they tied and the gallows erected, nothing held the same allure as old timers’ stories: neon in the windows, shitty pool table out front; the hum and buzz off in the dark distance, the unknown.
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Knives and Needles with Ceiran Thomas

By Molly Kitamura

Source: http://www.knivesandneedles.com

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Ceiran Thomas has quite an impressive resume, having worked at some of the best restaurants in Wales, where he currently lives. I got excited when he approached me about doing an interview as I have always wanted to visit that area of England! I have heard its beautiful and I am curious about the local food. Ceiran has not only worked in the best places with some of the hardest kitchens in Wales, but was the head chef of a team of 40 at the London Games in 2012. He got started cooking with his grandmother as a child and loves butchery and considers himself a fishmonger.

Read more on Ceiran just below…. Plus his mouth-watering recipe!

Where do you work now?

I’m between restaurants at the moment I’m awaiting the opening of a new restaurant next month with one of the great British chefs I’m currently privately teaching.

What got you into getting tattooed?

I think the beauty and art of it I’ve Always been creative and expressed myself and I think it’s a beautiful way to do it.

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What was your first tattoo?

My first tattoo was a rib tattoo of the welsh national anthem it’s close to my heart I’m a patriot hearing it sung brings a tear to my eye.

What is your favorite thing to cook?

I love cooking fish it’s amazing nothing better than fresh fish it’s just magical especially strait off the line just brings you so much closer to nature. Just simple.

What is the food in Whales like?

Its Wales and its hearty and fresh we have a lively coast so the seas are abundant with shellfish and the like we also have a very green countryside full of the best organic veg and healthy cattle, wales is famous for its lamb.

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Do you ever go to any tattoo conventions?

I’ve only ever been to tattoo conventions in Cardiff (Cardiff tattoo and toy convention I received a beautiful dot-work sleeve and Cardiff Halloween bash where I received an epic neo traditional calf tattoo and some scarification off a legend Dr Evil.)

Who do you admire in the tattoo industry?

I can’t pick and choose in the tattoo industry to be honest I’ve seen beautiful work from world class artists and just as good from local apprentices it’s not about who’s been tattooing for a lifetime it’s about the vision of the artist.

Who do you admire in the culinary industry?

In the food industry there’s many to name a few

James Sommerin

Thomas Keller

Raymond blanc

Michel roux jr

The roux brothers

Tom kerage

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What will your next tattoo be?

My next tattoo will either be my lower knuckles or my kneecap tattooed with a neo traditional rose

What were the London Games like?

The London games were just alive the only way I can describe it just non stop I worked 17 hour days strait for the games and then 13 hours a day in the rest days between the Olympics and the Paralympics and then back to 17 in the Paralympics it was full on but I miss it

Ceiran has generously given us one amazing recipe, check it out and let the hunger pains begin!

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Crab and Scallop Lasagne with Chive Bureè Blanc

.400g fresh white scallop meat (white only)

.480ml fresh double cream

.Pinch of course sea salt and cracked black pepper

.430g white crab meat

.aprox.500g fresh Pasta dough

 

For the sauce -

Small handful of chives

Block of unsalted butter (cubed)

40ml white wine

40ml white wine vinegar

2 shallots

20ml cream

 

Roll out pasta sheets and rest between cling film sheets in the fridge

(Can you ready made sheets but these much be cooked aldenté before you build the lasagne)

 

Pick threw your crab meat for any shell.

Blitz your scallop meat in a food processor and add your crab meat.

Slowly add your cream and seasoning, put in a piping bag and rest in the fridge for 10 minutes

prepare your lasagne in metal rings

First layer a pice of pasta cut to size in the bottem then pipe your scallop mix about 10-15 mm and add another sheet then another 10-15mm of mix then a final sheet

To cook steam over boiling water for 8-10 mins with a lid

For the sauce

Dice your shallots fine

Add your white wine and vinegar to a pan and reduce add shallots and reduce till there is allmost no liquid in the pan then add cream and reduce further till thick move to a low heat and slowly whisk in your butter cubes

Chop your chives and add to the sauce.  Garnish with wild mushrooms if available and micro herbs.

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Thank you Ceiran!! Incredible food and great tattoos!!

You can catch more of Ceiran and his food on his Instagram, @theinkchef

If you would like to be featured on our blog, please email us or tag us!!

knivesandneedles@gmail.com

@knivesandneedles

Cheers!!

 

 


Confessions of a Tattoo Artist: Part 2


TATTOOS AT TRIAL

By Marisa Kakoulas

Source: http://www.needlesandsins.com
murder tattoo

 

A Kansas man who is charged with murder asked the court to either remove or cover up his large neck/throat tattoo — a tattoo of the word MURDER in mirror image (it’s art just for him!) in big shaky block letters. Ok, I’ll let that sink in for a while. 

This isn’t a post on bad life choices, however. For me, especially as a lawyer, I’m interested in the issue of justice and what constitutes a “fair trial.” According to the Great Bend Tribune, the attorney of Jeffrey Wade Chapman is asserting that there would be no fair trial if a jury were to see that tattoo (a tattoo that was done over a year before the crime he’s accused of). The Tribune wrote:

According to the motion filed by defense attorney Kurt Kerns, Wichita, Chapman has asked the jail to allow a professional tattoo artist to remove and/or cover up the tattoo across his neck that is a mirror image of the word “murder” in capital letters. The motion notes it is a large tattoo that cannot be easily hidden with clothing.

“Mr. Chapman has secured a licensed tattoo artist from Hays who is willing to go to the jail,” the motion states. “Mr. Chapman’s tattoos are not relevant to any material facts and Mr. Chapman asks for the court to exclude any mention of his tattoos at trial and further to be allowed to cover them up in an appropriate manner. The fact that he has ‘Murder’ tattooed across his neck is irrelevant to the State’s case and extremely prejudicial to Mr. Chapman if introduced at trial or observed by the jury.”

The State replied that they don’t allow tattooists to practice in jails [Kansas Administrative Code 69-15-14 states, "tattoo artists shall not practice at any location other than a licensed facility," which meets specific hygiene standards set by the Kansas Board of Cosmetology.] 

And so, today, 
an agreement was reached that Chapman would wear a turtleneck in court. Problem solved!

But the issue of having prejudicial tattoos on view in a criminal trial has been much more difficult to address when they are facial tattoos — and there are A LOT of gang/criminal/racist facial tattoos out there.

As I wrote about back in 2009 in my Tattoos as Evidence in Criminal Trials post, a Florida judge granted a motion to have the state pay a cosmetologist $150 a day to cover the Neo-Nazi facial tattoos of a man who was facing the death penalty for murder, stating “the tattoos are potentially offensive and could influence a jury’s opinion.” Naturally, the act of tax payer money going to a make-up artist to help a racist accused of murder didn’t sit well with many people. The NY Times had interesting coverage of that case — as well as a description of the cover-up process. 

To read the full article, go to: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/04/tattoos-at-trial.html


Confessions of a Tattoo Artist: Part 1


*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

Tattoos by James Mullin.

Lotus Tattoo

http://www.jamesmullintattoos.com

Hemet, CA

IG: @jamesmullintattoos @lotustattoohemet

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Rotary vs Coil Machines: Joe Swanson with Clinton Crider


The Professional Prejudice Against Tattoos

By Madison Hamilton

Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com

Imagine: A woman walks into a corporate job interview and her arms are covered in tattoos. Now, imagine another woman with no tattoos, but rather, apparent breast implants walking into the same interview. They are equally qualified for the position — who is more likely to get the job?

I’ve asked multiple people this question, and most seem to lean towards the woman with breast implants. This bothers me, not because I have a tattoo sleeve or breast implants, but rather because of the stereotypes associated with different forms of self-modification.

People dye their hair because they want a different look. Some get fluids injected by needles into their foreheads to rid their skin of wrinkles. Others have their lips, noses and entire faces reconstructed. So, why is it that other forms of self-alteration are accepted — and maybe even encouraged — while tattoos are still widely viewed as trashy or gang-related?

Perhaps the stereotype stemmed from World War II veterans’ ink; their tattoos represented their ranks. It could be because there are a higher percentage of tattoos among inmates (about 66 percent of inmates have tattoos). Or maybe it percolated from the mere idea that only a crazy person would willingly fuse permanent ink into their aging skin.

But — if you think about it — the people who are giving and receiving tattoos generally believe the design is a form of art. Thus, if their job performance is the same, why does corporate America continue to stifle this form of self-expression?

Don’t get me wrong; it’s understandable if an employer is biased when hiring someone with an offensive and visible tattoo, because one wouldn’t wear insulting clothing to work. But research from a Pew Research poll in 2010 suggests that 23 percent of Americans have a tattoo, and I have to assume that the majority of the designs aren’t offensive. So, what is it about our society that correlates tattoos with unprofessionalism?

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Photo courtesy of Hannah Denitz

Hannah Denitz was 19 when she applied for a promotion from Junior Lifeguard to Head Coordinator at Carpinteria Beach in California. At the time, Denitz had a few animal tattoos on her left arm, a Walt Whitman quote on her chest and a portrait of the Little Prince (a French children’s novella) on her ribs. Although she ended up getting the job, they wouldn’t allow her to talk with parents without being fully covered. “Basically if I wanted the job, which is on the beach all day everyday, I had to wear full clothing,” Denitz says.

This is the common theme: You can have the job, as long as you cover your art.

Art. That’s what it is, right?

Be that as it may, I’m not writing this to encourage you to get a tattoo, nor do I care if you like tattoos. I just hope that one day I have the opportunity to interview someone who doesn’t feel pressured to cover a personal choice.


*New* Photos Added To The Gallery

Tattoos by Matt Lang
Mike Parsons Ink, Riverview, FL
http://www.mikeparsonsink.com

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athena tattoo


Buddha tattoo woman flies from Sri Lanka ‘with apology’

Source: BBC News

http://www.bbc.com

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Naomi Colman: “I’ve been treated like a criminal.”

A British tourist arrested in Sri Lanka because she had a Buddha tattoo on her arm said she has been offered a holiday in the country “as an apology”.

Naomi Coleman will arrive in London later, following a deportation order, as a court refused her permission to continue travelling to The Maldives.

Police said she was arrested for “hurting others’ religious feelings”when she arrived at the airport in the Sri Lankan capital Colombo on Monday.

The holiday offer was made as she left.

Ms Coleman, a mental health nurse from Coventry, flew in to Bandaranaike International Airport from India.

Kissing a Buddha

The 37-year-old said she told police she practised Buddhism and had attended meditation retreats and workshops in Thailand, India, Cambodia and Nepal.

Sri Lankan authorities take strict action against perceived insults to Buddhism, which is the religion of the island’s majority ethnic Sinhalese.

In 2013, another British tourist with a tattoo of the Buddha, Antony Ratcliffe, was also denied entry at Colombo’s airport.

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Ms. Coleman’s tattoo shows a buddha sitting on a lotus flower.

A year earlier, three French tourists were given suspended prison sentences for kissing a Buddha statue.

Following Ms Coleman’s deportation order, she spent a night in prison in Negombo and two nights in a detention centre while security checks were carried out.

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TATTOO NEWS REVIEW

By Marisa Kakoulas

curly palm tattoo

tattooed palm

 

Tattoos above by Andreas “Curly” Moore.

Tons of tattoo news hit the headlines while we were out on vacation, so I figured I’d give y’all a run-down of some of the ones I found most interesting:

First off, I had to giggle over how the fantastic Andreas “Curly” Moore offered his own version of “Palm Sunday” (shown above) last weekend at Lionel’s Tattoo Studio in Oxford. The Oxford Mail quoted Curly saying: “It was Palm Sunday, so we thought for amusement we would do three free palms. The tattoos had no religious meaning, it was just for the sake of beautiful art.” Check more of Curly’s beautiful art here. [He's also featured in Black Tattoo Art 2.]

Then, specifically designed to kill my post-vacation buzz, The NY Times published yet another tattoo essay. It wasn’t because the word “asymptote” was used twice in an article that was not about geometry. It wasn’t because the writer used the word “tat.” Ok, maybe it was that, but it was used in this context: “I felt how much I needed, from him and everyone, a certain kind of response: to feel inspired by the tat, and tell me so.” The “tat” in question was a Latin phrase homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto, translated, “I am human; nothing human is alien to me.” I can see how it would be interesting if the tattoo was just a hook in the article to have a discussion on what that means…but then the writer brings in all the same stale discussions about getting tattooed post-breakup as some form of reclaiming her body, a declaration of selfhood, and the tattooed body as public space in some form — all very true, but nothing new. It also neglects another real truism: no one has to break up with you for you to get a tattoo.

scott campbell free arts nyc

 

To read the full article, visit: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/04/tattoo-news-review-32.html


Aitchison/Gogue Collaboration Piece

jeff and guy

Back in February of this year as a part of our ongoing professional development webinar series,

TattooNOW and Off the Map Tattoo produced and broadcast an unprecedented live streaming

internet event. A collaboration tattoo from tattoo masters Guy Aitchison and Jeff Gogue,

watched as it happened by over 6000 viewers. Matt McKelvey was the lucky recipient of this

amazing tattoo. Here is his story of the experience…

 

When I saw that TattooNOW was offering the opportunity to be tattooed by Jeff Gogue and Guy

Aitchison, I spent the next few days writing my submission. I treated my entry like a resume,

which was built upon the image of the Heike Crab. I first saw the unique creature and heard its

mythology on Carl Sagan’s Cosmos. My goal was to have elements where both artists could

bring their strengths, but it would be unique enough to be exciting. A few months went by, and I

was honored to find out I had been selected.

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It just so happened that I ended up in the same exact hotel room that I stayed in when I started

my bodysuit. There was some pretty bad weather in Portland that weekend and after a phone

conversation with Jeff, I wasn’t sure if Guy’s plane would be landing. We decided if things fell

through, the least we could do would be to work on my existing tattoo.
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