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Tattoo Age: Troy Denning Part 1


*NEW* Photos Added to the Gallery

Tattoos by Marco Tafuri

http://www.facebook.com/marco.tafuri

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NYC Tattoo Convention March 7-9

By Marisa Kakoulas

Source: http://www.needlesandsins.com

NYC Tattoo Convention flyer

As we first posted back in October, the original the NYC Tattoo Convention will be taking place March 7-9, 2014 at the the historic Roseland Ballroom – before this legendary venue closes in April (hence, why the show won’t be taking place as it usually does in May).

And as always, we’re stoked for the show, particularly for its finely curated line-up of tattooers from around the world, including long-time legends, and also traditional hand-tattooing booths. There are some great sideshow performances, and tattoo competitions that really present some stellar work. Plus, the kickass vendors offer badass merch. [Literally, "badass."]

I have been attending the NYC Convention for 13 years, and it has consistently been one of the most electric shows I attend. I’ll be doing a book signing there this year for my latest monster, “Black Tattoo Art II.” Just follow the loud maniacal laugh when you get to the convention and you’ll find me.

Read the full article here: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/02/nyc-tattoo-convention-march-7-9.html


Alex “Kofuu” Reinke Horikitsune

Photos and interview by Ino Mei

Source: http://www.heartbeatink.gr

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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 and I was twenty-one. I bought a starter kit and I began teaching myself; I am self-taught. Pretty hideous, but what can you do? Then I went straight to the army, where I was also tattooing. Afterwards I met Horiyoshi III in Bologna at a convention in 1997. A few months later, in 1998, I went to Japan to start my body-suit. There I saw and realized that I could make a decent living from tattooing. Back then things were different and therefore I took a huge risk; in many people’s eyes it seemed “crazy” that I became a tattooist. It was socially “unacceptable” and perceived as “a step down” from my family; although they offered me the freedom to decide what I wanted to become. My dad is a surgeon and told me “you have to decide yourself about what you want to do for a living. When I am dead, you’ll still have your job and I don’t want to be responsible for you not being happy with your job”. He knew I was into tattooing, but he thought that tattoo was a phase. Like all kids go through phases. But this one stuck (laughs)!

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What happened when you went to Japan to get tattooed by Horiyoshi III?

I was totally into Japan, as I’ve previously mentioned, since I was a kid. I was also used to serving from being in the army; therefore I believe that the combination of those two resulted in me knowing my way around Japan quite well and I think that Horiyoshi III was taken by it, and we got along very well. At the end of 1998 Horiyoshi III came to Germany for the Berlin Tattoo Convention; he wrote me a letter asking to whether we could meet there and I took some time off in order to meet him. All of a sudden, I was the “organizer” for everything, because I could communicate with Horiyoshi III. It turned out really great. We had a great time together and we became friends.

How did your friendship “evolve” from this point onwards?

In the beginning of 1999 I went back to Japan to get tattooed again. I asked Horiyoshi III if he had a student, and he was like “no I don’t take any students”. Then, there was the Tokyo Tattoo Convention towards at the end of the same year and he said “you have to come again to Japan”. That is when I met the old-timers and many of the friends I have today like Lucky Bastard (Horiko), Mick from Zurich, Filip Leu, Luke Atkinson, Chris Garver, Marcus Paecheco; all super-great guys. It was a really important convention for all of us.

A couple of months after the convention, Horiyoshi III came to Germany again and I joined him on a trip to London to buy antiques. And Horiyoshi III asked me there, in London, in a black cab on the way to some antique shop, if I was still interested in being part of the Horiyoshi Family…

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To read the full article, visit: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/columns-features/artists-studios-columns-features/horikitsune/#!prettyPhoto[]/0/


Tattoo Stories Episode 8: Shawn Barber

Shot by Estevan Oriol


Lyle Tuttle Tattoos on All 7 Continents

Anna Felicity Friedman                                                                FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 2/10/14

tattoohistorian.com

+1 773 307-2753

tattoohistorian@gmail.com

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Lyle Tuttle Tattoos on All 7 Continents

Becomes First Person to Accomplish This Feat

On January 21, 2014, 82-year-old tattoo legend Lyle Tuttle became the first person to

tattoo on all 7 continents. A long-standing “bucket list” item of his, this accomplishment

fulfilled a personal mission for Mr. Tuttle. He said of the endeavor: “Because I was lucky

to have the greatest time slot that any tattoo artist ever had in tattooing, it wound up

that I had tattooed on six continents. So I had an opportunity to tattoo on seven

continents. Well, I’m not out to break any records but why not do it, it’s there! Edmund

Hillary, they asked him why he climbed Mount Everest, and he said ‘because it was

there’.”

After a long trip to the tip of South America, he and project assistant/tattoo historian Dr.

Anna Felicity Friedman, flew across the Drake Passage on a 6-seat charter flight. Still

plagued by after-effects from a bout of frostbite acquired while serving in the Marines in

the Korean War, the trip posed a particular challenge for Mr. Tuttle. The two travelers

spent a full day touring, seeing—among the many wonders of the icy southern world—

glaciers, icebergs, penguins, seals, and whales—and experiencing what life is like for

those who live in Antarctica for extended periods of time. Then, late at night, Mr. Tuttle

set up his tattoo station in a scientist’s guesthouse at the Russian Bellingshausen Station

and tattooed his signature tattoo—his autograph—on Dr. Friedman’s leg, later adding

“ANTARCTICA 2014” when back in Punta Arenas, Chile. They were among only a

handful of tourists who have the privilege of sleeping on the continent each year.

Along the way, Mr. Tuttle acquired two new tattoos (he calls them “stickers on your

luggage”), the word “LIMA” during a stopover in Lima, Peru, and “ANTARCTICA 2014”

with a small penguin after returning to Patagonia. A natural prankster, he delighted in

surprising local tattoo artists along the way with his completely unexpected visits.

Mr. Tuttle, noted for his role in helping bring tattooing to a wider clientele in the 1960s

and 70s, began his career in 1949. He has tattooed such prominent clients as Janis

Joplin, Joan Baez, and the Allman Brothers and was featured on the cover of Rolling

Stone Magazine in 1970. Mostly retired from tattooing, Mr. Tuttle hosts an annual tattoo

convention every fall in St. Louis, travels widely educating about tattoo machines and

other topics, and maintains one of the world’s largest collections of tattoo-history

artifacts and ephemera.

You can read more about the project and view some images at: http://bit.ly/ltaproject

Media inquires: Please contact Lyle’s assistant on this project, Dr. Anna Felicity

Friedman, at tattoohistorian@gmail.com or +1 773 307-2753. High-resolution images

and video are available. Thumbnails on request.

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Shenpa II

By Nick Baxter

http://www.nbaxter.com

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.

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Tinted panel with drawing, color block-in, building detail, adding final glazes and highlights, and finished painting.

 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.

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Shenpa II )Toward Healing), oil on panels, 4 x 3 inches (diptych), 2013

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!).

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Shenpa (Toward Healing), oil on panel, 11 x 14 inches, 2013


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

By Carroll Gardens

Source: http://www.nytimes.com

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The owner of Smith Street Tattoo Parlor described its style as traditional American, with a bit of Japanese thrown in.

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.

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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.

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THIS IS NOT A TOY

An Exhibition of the Contemporary Art + Collectible Design

Celebrate the World’s First Large-Scale Exhibition Dedicated to Designer Toys at the Design exchange.

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This Is Not a Toy at Canada’s Design Museum, Design Exchange, featuring Better Knowing by KAWS

 FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TORONTO, Canada – February 7, 2014Design 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.
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For Restless Pioneer of Modern Tattoo Art, a Life Beyond Ink

By David Gonzalez

Source: http://www.nytimes.com

Visitors to the cluttered studio inside Thom DeVita’s Victorian house marvel at the artwork that covers the walls, his drawing table, even his hands. The images reflect not just his interests, but his skills, which he honed as a tattoo artist on the Lower East Side for some 30 years; a storied era to aficionados. The accomplishment was all the more remarkable because it was illegal in New York City at the time.

Nowadays, it seems everybody has a tattoo. If there is someone to thank for the art’s increased acceptance and visibility, it might be Mr. DeVita. Every month, Chris Grosso brings admirers up to visit the old master, in Newburgh, the upstate town where he has lived since leaving the Lower East Side in the early 1990s.

“He is one of the founders of modern tattooing,” said Mr. Grosso, who befriended Mr. DeVita two years ago while filming a documentary about him. “It’s not what you see on reality television, but something that only he and seven other people in the 1960s started, from purely a love for the art form. He wasn’t from a sailor or biker background, where tattooing comes with the territory. They appreciated the great Japanese masters, the people from Samoa. Thom was at the forefront of that.”

Growing up in East Harlem, the son of Italian immigrants, Mr. DeVita did not set out to be an artist. After high school, he worked at various jobs, from factory hand to messenger. He recalled how his parents used to refer to some people as “bohemians,” and how he warmed to the idea.

“It seemed like a nice life to live, being with artists,” he said. “It didn’t seem like they went to work. Then I realized when I got to the Lower East Side, I was 30 years too late to be a bohemian. But I caught the tail end of the beatnik era and the beginning of the hippie era.”

His own entree into the art world was improvised, when a potential girlfriend asked him what he did.

“I had to be something, so I told her I was an artist,” he said. “So I became an artist. I had to show her I was an artist, so I started doing some artwork.”

He decided to become a tattoo artist when the city banned tattooing in 1961 (the ban was lifted in 1997). He figured business would be good, since the law drove out his competitors, and the police on the Lower East Side had more pressing concerns than outlaw skin art.

Mr. Grosso said that Mr. DeVita created new designs incorporating nontraditional elements, such as Pueblo Indian iconography and even the rose from the Lord & Taylor shopping bag. He said he admires him for his restless creativity, even if — at 81 years of age, with hands trembling from Parkinson’s disease — he no longer does many tattoos.

Instead, Mr. DeVita resorts to rubbings, stencils and stamps, making montages of old tattoo designs on recycled wooden crates, paper, cutting boards and even ancient ledgers. He signs them with his surname, rendered in snakelike letters that would be the envy of any graffiti writer.

“He paints on everything,” Mr. Grosso said. “Maybe if he had seen graffiti he would have been a tagger. He just doesn’t stop. It has to be a compulsion.”

Mr. Grosso can understand. After making a documentary on Mr. DeVita, he set up a website to sell his work. Now he visits him monthly, to give him cash from the sales and pick up new work to ship. He is often accompanied by a friend or two who might want to learn about tattoo history firsthand, like Fernando Lions, a tattoo artist from Brooklyn who recently accompanied him on a trek.

The two young men peppered Mr. DeVita with questions, and asked to see some classic designs or snapshots from his time on the Lower East Side. Depending on his mood, he may or may not comply; pictures he had told Mr. Grasso never existed magically appeared during this visit. At one point, Mr. DeVita took out some panoramas he had painted in bold, black brush strokes.

“These are beautiful,” Mr. Lions said quietly.

“You know how they’re done?” Mr. DeVita asked. “The paper is scrap I cut off bigger pieces. I paint on them with whatever is left in the ink pot.”

Before they are sent off to customers, Mr. DeVita packs a slip that reads: “Any Imperfections Will Add to Its Beauty.” He first saw the phrase when he bought a china closet, and liked it so much he appropriated it.

“All my art is imperfection,” he said. “I dwell on imperfection. I’m constantly pulling things out of the fire.”


Surgeon Takes Pains to Preserve Tattoos When He Fixes Spines

By Mitch Dudek

Source: http://www.suntimes.com

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Dr. Tyler Koski, 40, a surgeon and co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center talks about how he takes extra time in the operating room to preserve the tattoos of patients affected by surgery. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

Occasionally mixed among the family photos on Dr. Tyler Koski’s cellphone are pictures of back tattoos.

Koski, a surgeon, takes pains to preserve patients’ tattoos when he fixes their spines.

He’ll slice the inked skin, spend hours tinkering with a spine, and then study the picture the way someone working on a jigsaw puzzle looks at the box.

“It’s easy if the tattoo is letters or words, but when it’s a picture, it gets trickier,” said Koski, 40, co-director of the Northwestern Medicine Spine Center.

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Rob Crane, 48, had scoliosis and wore a back brace during much of his childhood growing up in Rogers Park. He was able to avoid surgery by staying in shape. But 15 months ago, the pain became too severe, and he underwent surgery to straighten his spine. His surgeon, Dr. Tyler Koski, took care to preserve the tattoo on his back. | Mitch Dudek/Sun-Times

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Rob Crane, a partner in Napleton’s Northwestern auto dealership, shows off the tattoo on his back, which Dr. Tyler Koski carefully preserved after fixing Crane’s spine. Asked if he had worried about the tattoo before the surgery, Crane said he was more worried about whether he’d be able to walk again. | Photo courtesy of Rob Crane



After concentrating for hours while standing on their feet, many surgeons will use staples — a quicker, easier option and less tattoo-friendly way to close a wound.

But Koski will spend an extra 45 minutes carefully stitching tattooed skin, even if a patient tells him not to “worry about making my tattoo look good.”

“It’s an art form like anything else. And people are proud of them and they are meant to be permanent,” said Koski, who doesn’t have any tattoos.
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Durb Morrison discusses RedTree Tattoo Gallery, Arizona, and leaving Ohio

By Kevin Miller

Source: http://www.tattoosnob.com

Earlier this week, Durb Morrison announced on Instagram that RedTree Tattoo Gallery would be opening a second location in Phoenix, Arizona. In the same announcement, Durb officially stated he would be relocating to Phoenix. This is obviously a huge announcement, as Durb is a leader in the Ohio tattoo scene and the tattoo industry as a whole.

To find out more about this news, we caught up with Durb Morrison and asked him a couple questions.

Red Tree Tattoo

Tattoo Snob: Let’s start off with the basics Where is original location of Red Tree Tattoo, and when did it open?

Durb Morrison: The RedTree Tattoo Gallery opened in 2012 at in Italian Village connected to the Short North Arts District at 1002 N. 4th St. in Columbus, Ohio

TS: Who currently works at the Ohio location?

DM: The artists at RedTree in Columbus are myself, Adam FranceGunnarKevin StressRich Cook, and Rusty Dornhecker.

TS: The shop is a little different than your average tattoo shop, can you tell us a little about that and why you chose to have it that way? 
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Nephews Skateshop + Gallery Presents Wild And Free January 25, 2014

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Port Monmouth, NJ – January 17, 2013 Nephews Skate Shop + Gallery will be hosting WILD AND FREE, a group artist exhibit on Saturday, January 25, 2014 from 6pm to 10pm. The exhibit has been guest curated by Little Chris Smith. WILD AND FREE will feature all original works of local tattoo artists Erik Schmidt, Little Chris Smith, Pete Pederson, Chuck Ordino, and Bryan Keinlen. Nephews will be opening up their doors to the public to host an evening of inspiration, conversation and enjoyment.

Erik Schmidt – “Erik has been tattooing in Neptune for several years after ‘doing time’ in Asbury Tattoo. He learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of those before him. His focus is clean, solid methodical tattooing, just like his mentors.”

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Little Chris Smith – “Little Christopher Smith hails from Sandy Hook, New Jersey.  He enjoys a radical lunch, surfing hella waves, skateboarding with buds, and entertaining hot chicks.  You will usually find his best girl, Leche (his baby dog), at his side when he is not tattooing at Neptune Tattooville, where he works for the most gnarly awesome bosses Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker.  Little Chris, or LC as his friends call him, prides himself on his ability to get wild and loves his mother like all radical dudes do.

Pete Pedersen – “Pete has taken the long road at achieving his tattoo skills. His background in art of all mediums has proven to be vital in his development as a tattooer and as an artist. Working at print shops, screen printing factories, and in the fields of photography and graphic design all eventually lead to his discovery and love for tattooing. After spending much of the late 1990s loitering around Jersey Shore tattoo shops, Pete finally landed a job at a local shop as a body piercer. During his time working as a piercer, he started to acquire much tattoo knowledge under the guidance of Jim Weiss (now at Black Panther Tattoo). An opportunity to fulfill another dream of playing music fell in Pete’s lap right around the same time and he took a brief break from the tattoo world to peruse his passion in music, all the while still working as an artist. After a few years on the road, Pete decided he needed to get back to his original passion of becoming a tattooer. His chance came in the way of a job working as the shop manager of Neptune Tattooville complete with an apprenticeship. There he learned to tattoo under the guidance of Patrick Dean and Dave Shoemaker, following proudly in the tradition of all those before him.”

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Chuck Ordino – “Chuck got his start in this shady business by apprenticing with Vinny Kapelewski, a Neptune native like himself, at Sinister Ink (now known as Revolver Tattoo) in New Brunswick.  Upon completing his apprenticeship, he went on to work with Vinny and Joshua Disotell at Broken Heart Tattoo in Keyport for 5 good years before settling in at Neptune Tattoo in April of 2010. When he’s not watching the Cooking Channel, listening to sludgy doom metal or teaching his son Lucas how to “color inside the lines”, he is constantly woodshedding; trying to simplify and refine his work, and strives to apply a clean, solid tattoo.”

Bryan Keinlen - “Back in high school some friends and I started a punk band. Being the artist I naturally took on the task of inventing what would be our logo, and then went on to design all of our record covers, T-shirts and whatever other merchandise I could think up. More than 20 years of the Bouncing Souls has gone by like a million lifetimes and yet seemingly in the blink of an eye. Creating music and art has remained my means of expression all throughout. When not busy with the band, I tattoo at Neptune Tattooville in Neptune NJ.”

Nephews Skateshop + Gallery is located at 183 Main Street, Port Monmouth, NJ 07758.

For additional information, please call 732-495-0750 or email nephewsskate@gmail.com.

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Fineline Tattoo in the East Village, the Longest Continually Running Tattoo Shop in Manhattan

By Allison B. Siegel

Source: http://www.untappedcities.com

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Fineline Tattoo opened in 1976 during the New York City ban on tattooing and is considered the longest continually running tattoo shop in Manhattan. It’s located on 1st Street and First Avenue in the East Village. Previously, Mike Bakaty, the founder and owner, operated underground for 36 years in secret back rooms and loft apartments. With the walls adorned with Bakaty’s original flash art, Fineline is definitely near and dear to our skin and to the history of NYC.

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We interviewed Bakaty and asked him about tattooing and New York City:

When did you first fall in love with tattooing?

I’m still falling in love with tattooing. I got interested back in ’74 when I went to get some work covered up…I got more interested in ’75…and then by 1976 my interest was such that I started tattooing myself.

And you didn’t care that tattooing was illegal at the time in NY?

Hell yeah, I cared. Every time the phone rang I jumped thinking it was the cops looking to bust me. After 21 years eventually I got over jumping at the phone.

How do you feel at the Bowery now and all the changes going on?

Well, you know, it’s not the Bowery I lived on for 34 years, you know? Don’t know how I feel about the changes. When they first built the Whole Foods down here I thought who the hell is gonna come down here and buy food? We tried to save the building we lived in (McGurk’s Suicide Hall). I lived there for 34 years. Check out more on McGurk’s.

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What’s your opinion on Mildred Hull?

Millie Hull…well she was one of the first female tattooers I ever heard of. There’s a picture of her right there (points to picture on the wall).

This piece has her in it and some other legends like Charlie Wagner.

Well, it was us (Fineline) that brought tattooing back to the Bowery and the fact of the matter is I was totally blind to the fact that the Bowery had such tattoo history. I read somewhere the first heavily tattooed person exhibition was around 1876 right across from 295 (Bowery) where we lived…

Do you call this a parlor or a shop?

It’s a studio. I don’t see a parlor anywhere in here.

Can I ask how old you are? 

Well, I’m 77.

G-d Bless you, man! You don’t look a day over 60.

Well, thank you, I just passed the big 77. If I knew I was gonna get this old I’d have taken better care of myself (laughter).

You can read the expanded original version of the interview on Bowery Boogie. Get in touch with the author @RebelKnow or contact her at BoweryBoogie.com.


New Seattle Shop To Check Out

Dark Age Tattoo is now open!!

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Artists: 

Derek Noble

Jesse Roberts

Jason Calvert

Hanna Sandstrom

Eric Eye

Heidi Sandhorst

Check out the shop located at: 

1407 E. Madison St

Seattle, WA

http://www.darkagetattoo.com

IG: @darkagetattooseattle

FB: https://www.facebook.com/Darkageseattle

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Watercolour Tattoos by Sasha Unisex

Reblogged from: feeldesain.com

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Russian (St. Petersburg) artist Sasha Unisex transports beautiful geometric watercolors on skin as permanent tattoos.  Find her works on Facebook and instagram.

@sashaunisex

http://www.facebook.com/sasha.unisex

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My Chat With Greece’s Heartbeat Ink

By Marisa Kakoulas

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Having a Greek father who once told me that tattoos would never be accepted in the motherland, it’s with true pleasure (and a bit of “I told ya so“) to see a tattoo publication rise to international popularity, which happens to come out of Greece.

HEARTBEATINK is an online tattoo magazine in English and Greek with excellent photography and videos, and thoughtful interviews with tattooists, musicians, and collectors. I’m honored to be among those collectors interviewed by the magazine’s most excellent editor Ino Mei. Our Q &A was just posted today.

I first met Ino in person at the last NYC Tattoo Convention, where she beautifully captured the scene in her convention coverage for her mag. Then we got to hang at the London Tattoo Convention in September, for which she also took wonderful images and video. There, we found a moment to chat about a possible “tattoo gene,” the comparisons between tattooing & plastic surgery, tattoo law, and what happened when my dad did find out I was heavily tattooed (and more). It was a fun talk. Here’s a bit from it:

 How did you get into tattoos?

Me:  Ed Hardy once told me in an interview that he believes that there could be a “tattoo gene.” It made a lot of sense to me because, when you ask somebody who has a visceral response to tattooing — who sees tattooing and has an actual physical reaction and is attracted to it — that is something that’s ingrained; people can think back and say,  “Well, I’ve always felt that way”.  I remember when I was very young, looking at my mother’s National Geographic magazines and coming across tattooed tribal women, and I was instantly thinking that this is really beautiful, mysterious and bad-ass. Of course, this is an ideal way of looking at it. really, if I would be honest with myself, it is because I liked tattooed boys when I was teenager (laughs).

HEARTBEATINK: Where you then tattooed when you were a teenager?

I was a nerdy teenager, did good in school, and my parents were very conservative. I didn’t run around a lot. So when I found myself at tattoo shops at a young age, it held a kind of magic for me. Keep in mind that getting a tattoo was illegal back then, until 1997, in New York, so it was more secretive. You had to know where to go and ring the right buzzer. It was like a clandestine operation. However, when you were “inside”, it wasn’t what you’d expect, like a biker shop. At least in my experience, when I was first exposed to it, I was seeing really beautiful custom tattooing. There were art books rather than trendy flash for inspiration. I respected it so much that I felt I really wanted to wait until a had the right idea and do it at the right time. So, I didn’t get tattooed until I was in my early twenties. Actually, I got my first tattoo during the early weeks of law school. I felt I didn’t fit it, and was afraid that I’d become something that I wasn’t. I love the study of law, but I’ve never been super competitive and I’ve never felt that I had to be above somebody else to be better. It was really at that time that I started thinking about art and tattooing a lot in terms of individuation.

HEARTBEATINK: That sounds very mature…

I was a very mature kid (laughs). Now, I’m regressing. I’m like a thirteen-year-old boy (laughs). Back then, I was like a forty year old women (laughs).

Read more of this article here: http://www.needlesandsins.com/2014/01/my-chat-with-greeces-heartbeat-ink.html


Heartbeatink with Yorg Powell

Photos and Interview by Ino Mei

Source: http://www.heartbeatink.gr

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Unique, humble and conscious of himself, Yorg Powell spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk, about his eighteen year-old career and traditional – classic tattooing.

What lead you to get your first tattoo?

I was born in London. My parents didn’t have any tattoos. However they were up to beat with everything. So in the summer of 1983 we were on a family trip in Mykonos and there was an English tattooist on the island working out of a rented room. It was the age of punk, we were very young and the moment we heard about him we went and got ourselves tattooed without a second thought. I didn’t even ask the price. I picked a design off the wall that was a rat with his hands behind his back holding a pool stick. It was an experience. I remember it well. Then we found out that the inhabitants of Mykonos got him, threw his things into the sea and shipped him home because he tattooed a fisherman’s daughter.

When I was sixteen, I saved up after selling an old BMX I had and went to Bugs. It was a random choice. He wasn’t known then and did his tattoos in 1,5 x 1,5 room next to the toilet of an underground retro rock n’ roll cafeteria in Camden. Nothing custom existed in those days, it was all ready-made flash designs on the wall.

What design did you choose the second time round?

I got a unicorn. I went for something classic (laughs)! Three years later, fully conscious of what we wanted, me and Mike went to Bugs again for our first official large tattoo. Bugs covered up his unicorn and the rat.

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How did you and Mike meet?

We’ve been friends for many years, from before we started tattooing together. We met through a mutual friend. We had many things in common, such as our great love of tattoos and motorcycles and going out a lot. Mike had the balls and was the first of our group to dare to do a tattoo on someone, this during an era when it wasn’t cool to be a tattooist. I found it very weird sticking a needle at a person in order to make a design on him. Afterwards, I studied fine art at Wimbledon College of Art and although I designed tattoos, I hadn’t made the move to human skin yet and wasn’t even sure if I wanted to. Mike prompted me after our visit to the 1995 Amsterdam tattoo convention when he said “common man, what are you doing? I’m waiting for you!”.

Then you returned to Greece and began learning at Mike?

Yeah, I came back right away! Mike already had Tas (Danazoglou) as an apprentice for about a year. I didn’t have an entirely traditional apprenticeship. I mean I didn’t go with my portfolio and offer to be an apprentice for some tattooist. I was a bit spoiled (laughs). He was giving Tas a hard time. I feel lucky that my best with whom we talked constantly about tattoo and we were drawing on ourselves, prompted me to do this and provided me with the foundations to do so and helped me so much.

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To read the rest of this article, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/december-2013/yorg-powell/


Paul Booth Preview Video: TAM Issue #35


Knives & Needles with Ryan Zale

By Molly Kitamura

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Ryan Zale is a very talented chef. He also loves tattoos! I got Ryan to write some stuff about himself the other day. Continue reading and see what makes this amazing chef tick! Plus he has a terrific recipe at the end…. A serious must try!

I am the Executive Chef at the Local Chop and Grill House in Harrisonburg VA. I work hard and play hard, haha. I love disc golf, gardening, home brewing, eating weird stuff and the Pittsburgh steelers. I grew up on a dairy farm in Ohio so fell in love with farm concept early on. My grandmother and mom were good cooks, so I learned a lot from them, but there always something about food that gave my pleasure in life, so I cooked a lot on my own.

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Experimenting, trying different flavor profiles, cooking for friends late-night wasted, that kinda of stuff. I went on to culinary school right out of high school knowing I wanted explore this crazy lifestyle. I really enjoy the snout to tail concept, utilizing the entire animal. Butchering is great, and the farm to table concept is what I’m really into. My first tattoo is terrible, I was 15 and it’s a stupid tribal piece with an eye ball in the middle of it. I love the creative side of artists, the passion they have. I think it makes are industry very similar, they get a human I get an animal and we transform it into something beautiful. As for tattoo artists, Andrew Connor is my favorite artist. He’s local and he’s vegan so its fun when he comes in to dine with us

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Nipple Tattoos and their Michelangelo

By Katy Watson

Source: BBC News, Baltimore: http://www.bbc.co.uk

Vinnie Myers has helped thousands of women recovering from breast cancer by painting tattoos for women who have lost their nipples to surgery.

A tattooist in Baltimore has built up a huge customer base because of his unusual specialty – tattooing nipples on to women who have suffered from cancer and had their breasts removed.

There is something very familiar about the suburbs of small towns across America.

The roads are big and distances long, but sooner or later you are guaranteed to come across a strip mall – a little open air shopping complex along the side of a main road.

And so there I was, 20 minutes outside Baltimore, parked outside one of these strip malls.

This one had a 24-hour pharmacy as well as a veterinary surgery, a hairdresser’s, a tanning shop and a tattoo parlour – Little Vinnie’s Tattoos, to be precise, and it was Little Vinnie I had come to meet.

He was a friendly man dressed in a tweed waistcoat, a striped shirt and a smart felt hat. Vinnie shook our hands, welcomed us in and showed us around his business.

The walls were covered in tattoo art with catalogues lined up at the back of the room, packed with thousands of designs to choose from.

A classic heart with a dagger through the middle, perhaps? Or maybe your favourite cartoon character or – if you are feeling patriotic – you could choose from a bald eagle or the American flag.

Little Vinnie's tattoo parlour

A few customers were sitting on the benches, waiting to go in one of the six studios along the side of the wall, each with a black crushed velvet curtain for a door.

But one studio on the other side of the room stood out. It had more of a structure to it and a wooden door, much like an office or a doctor’s surgery.

Rather appropriate really, because although Vinnie has no medical training, he has become a bit of a star in the medical world.

He no longer spends his day tattooing anchors on men’s biceps. In fact, most of his clients are women and they have one thing in common, they are all recovering from breast cancer.

A few years ago, a doctor in Baltimore asked Vinnie to help out with a patient who had had breast reconstruction, leaving her with no nipples.

So realistic were his skills in creating 3D nipple tattoos, patients started demanding him over doctors who typically carry out basic tattoos as the final stage of reconstruction.

Now, he says, it has taken over his life. Vinnie sees up to 1,400 patients a year and travels across the country and beyond.

To prove it, there is a map in his studio with pins in it, showing where people come from – he has clients in countries as far away as Saudi Arabia, no mean feat in a part of the world where tattoos are considered haram, or forbidden.

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When I was visiting, Sarah had just finished her appointment and was beaming.

Sarah is in her mid-30s and last year was devastated to find out she had cancer – just a few months after being told she was pregnant.

Within a month of giving birth to her son, she had to have an operation to remove both her breasts. She describes the first time she took off her bandages as the hardest day of her life.

“Every time you go and take a shower you see these scars that are a permanent reminder of what you just went through,” she says.

But now she can smile.

“I have other tattoos but I never thought I would be getting my nipples done.” It is certainly a conversation starter, she jokes.

A self-confessed bad boy who learned his trade while in the army, Vinnie says there are a million people who need this done, but just a handful of people doing it.

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He was even asked to fly to the United Arab Emirates recently because there were about 20 women who wanted his tattoos – but only three of their husbands would give them permission, so he could not go.

Such is his reputation, he is affectionately nicknamed “the Michelangelo of nipple tattoos”. But Vinnie plays down his talents – he says his work is not artistically challenging.

In fact, he got fed up a few years ago and decided to stop. He said enough was enough and he wanted to get back to regular tattoos.

But then one day a woman called him up to ask for an appointment. He said “No” and she sounded very upset.

Then out of the blue his sister called, telling him she had breast cancer too. It was a sign, he says, that he had to continue with this work.

“You lose the artistic satisfaction but then you gain this other satisfaction that is incredible,” he says. “I was not prepared for how it was going to make me feel.”


Knives and Needles with Shawn Brown

By Molly Kitamura

Reblogged from: http://www.knivesandneedlesblog.com

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Shawn Brown. Hardcore legend. Amazing tattooer. All-around cool guy. I had the honor of meeting Shawn and his wife, Michelle, a beautiful and talented photographer. Every time we hang out its continual laughs and high adventures (Japan <3)! Shawn lives in Washington DC and used to be the singer of legendary bands Dag Nasty, Jesus Eater, and Swiz. He is currently singing for Red Hare, they are definitely worth checking out! Shawn tattoos out of Tattoo Paradise, owned by Matt Knopp, so if you are ever in the DC area, you need to stop in and get a tattoo! In the meantime, read on and check out Shawn, his work and his mouth-watering tri-tip and vegetarian recipes!!

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A Review on Jeff Gogue’s “tattoo as I see it”

By Nicki Kasper

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“In that moment, I realized that instead of trying to be inspired, I was going to try to inspire people.”

I recently ordered two copies of Jeff Gogue’s DVD, “tattoo as I see it”… Jeff is one of my closest and most genuine friends and I wanted to support his project, something I know he and put a lot of work, time, money, energy and heart into.  I bought a copy for myself, and one for a close friend of mine – an artist I thought could use some inspiration.  I didn’t know exactly what the DVD would be like, but I know Jeff, and I knew it would be inspiring, as well as very giving with valuable information and advice to tattooers… I just now was able to find the time to sit down and watch it, and it doesn’t disappoint.

I know Jeff in a couple different ways…  We’re friends; I know him on a personal level, and he’s fun, open, genuine, kind, generous, and hilarious. I’m also one of his clients, so I know him on that level.  I know how much he cares about his clients, about the pieces he puts on our bodies, about the pain we’re feeling, etc.  I know how much heart he puts into every single piece, and I’m grateful and fortunate to be covered in them.  But in addition to being a friend, and a client, I’ve also had the pleasure of working with him on side projects.

I know from experience that nothing Jeff Gogue does professionally or otherwise is half-assed.  He cares about the details.  If he decides he’s going to do something, he wants to give all of himself to it.  If it has his name on it, he wants it to be the absolute best he has to offer at that time and place.  He never thinks he’s reached his full potential, which is why we see his work changing and evolving over and over. I can relate to him in many ways, which I think is part of the reason we became instant friends so many years ago.

“You’re either a taker, or you’re a giver.”

He wants to inspire others, and that is the point of this movie.  It will inspire everyone who watches, artist or not.  He’s honest and open about his process, what he wants, his strengths and weaknesses.  It’s real, and humble and people can always relate to that.

If you’re an artist, you will be blown away at how generous Jeff is with information that will help you from laying out a piece to tips on using contrast in your work to mixing colors.  It’s invaluable information that he’s learned by trial and error over the years and he’s sharing it all with you. But if you’re not an artist, and you just want to be inspired about believing in yourself and making shit happen for yourself… About not accepting failure, and instead being driven by it, you need to watch this film.

To Jeff and Ryan Moon – You guys did an incredible job on this, and now I wish I hadn’t been such a chicken about being interviewed for it! I’m proud of you both!


Tattoo Stories Episode 5: Franco Vescovi

Shot by Estevan Oriol.


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