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GUEST BLOG: “TATTOOISTS, TATTOOED” EXHIBITION

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. 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 ... Read More »

Horiyoshi III and David Lee Roth

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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 ... Read More »

ARTIST PROFILE: KIRIAKOS, SAKE TATTOO CREW

By Marisa Kakoulas www.needlesandsins.com 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 ... Read More »

Knives and Needles with Ceiran Thomas

Ceiran Thomas

By Molly Kitamura Source: www.knivesandneedles.com 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. 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 ... Read More »

Confessions of a Tattoo Artist: Part 1

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Buddha tattoo woman flies from Sri Lanka ‘with apology’

Source: BBC News www.bbc.com 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. 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. Read More »

Aitchison/Gogue Collaboration Piece

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. 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. Read More »

Ladies, Ladies! Art Show 2014

Opening reception May 15, 2014 7-11 pm at Eight of Swords Tattoo and Gallery, 115 Grand str, 11249 Brooklyn, NY www.wix.com/ladiesladies/artshow Curated by Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev and Magie Serpica An exclusive all ladies group art show featuring some of the most talented female tattooers: from the NYC ladies to international talents, this art show displays different styles and/or techniques, but only one love: tattooing. The show was also and foremost created to pay respect to the ladies who started tattooing first and paved the way for all others to follow, (names like Debra Yarian, Pat Sinatra, Kate Hellenbrandt, Vyvyn Lazonga and few more) in a tough industry, historically male dominated. Nowadays we cant help but notice the growing number and variety of skilled female talents taking over the tattoo world!! The show is curated this year by Elvia Iannaccone Gezlev and Magie Serpica, and it’s at its 3rd edition. Opening May 15, 2014 at Dave Wallin’s Eight of Swords- Brooklyn studio and gallery, for two months, la crème de la crème of female tattooers art will be on display and for sale. A chance to buy original art and to meet some of the artists! Not to be missed!   Some of the artists of 2014: STEPHANIE TAMEZ TAI IGLESIAS LARA SCOTTON VICKY MORGAN VIOLA VON HELL MARIE SENA MARIJA RIPLEY DAWN COOKE DEBRA YARIAN HOLLY ELLIS IMME BOHME JACKIE DUNN SMITH JACLYN REHE JAMIE RUTH ROSE HARDY ALIX GE AMY SHAPIRO   …… AND MANY MORE!! Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine: Mike Rubendall Issue #28 Teaser Video

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Knives & Needles with Alessandra Palotti

Alessandra Palotti

By Molly Kitamura www.knivesandneedlesblog.com My new and dear friend, Alessandra Palotti is a great tattoo artist and a great cook! Alexandra is Italian from Bologna, Italy where she has been tattooing for over 6 years. Alessandra and her husband, Koji Ichimaru, run their private studio in Bologna, what a beautiful place to live, definitely on my go-to list!     Alessandra and I got to cook together one day. I made beef Milanese and she made Bolognese sauce. I had never had traditional, authentic Bolognese before and had a completely different idea in my head on how it is made. I learned so much from her that day.     Here is a mix of Alessandra’s tattoo photos, her recipe and photos of the process. Please enjoy and try out her recipe, it will become a staple in your culinary repertoire! Alessandra’s Bolognese Sauce makes about 4 servings To be served with pasta of your choice and garnished with a good grated parmesan cheese! 1 carrot, finely chopped 1 onion, finely chopped 1 celery stalk, finely chopped 2 fresh basil leaves, chiffonade 1/4-1/2c olive oil 1 pound ground beef 1/2 tsp sugar salt and pepper if desired 26-27 oz crushed tomatoes 15-26 oz water 2-3 TBLS butter Brown carrots, celery, onion over medium heat in the olive oil for about 10 minutes.     Add the ground beef and cook until the beef is cooked. Then add the basil, salt and pepper (if desired) and sugar. Let it simmer for ... Read More »

Japanese Tattoos as Fine Art

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

Knives & Needles with Grime

By Molly Kitamura www.knivesandneedlesblog.com Grime, Grime, Grime. One of the best tattoo artists in the world! On the slim chance you have not heard of him, he has a shop called Skull and Sword in San Francisco. He is widely known for being a renaissance man of tattooing (and art in general!). What I mean by that is that man consistently crushes any tattoo or style of tattoo requested of him no matter what it is. Grime has created his own style in the process, one that cannot be imitated or replicated although many have tried and failed. Basically you have to see his work for yourself to understand what I am talking about and I highly recommend checking him out! But today that is besides the point. Today we are talking Grime and his food! Mr. Grime can also cook (…renaissance man…) and he occasionally sends me photos of his dishes. They always look amazing. The other day he sent me a particularly mouth-watering photo of his pan-fried salmon filet with an oven-roasted yam and sautéed spinach garnished with raisins, pine nuts and a balsamic glaze. That photo had me seriously second-guessing what I had already decided to cook for dinner that night. You can never go wrong with simple yet sophisticated! Check out a few great recipes and some of Grime’s tattoo work below… Cheers! I will try my best to recreate Grime’s recipes for you all. Try this dish for your next dinner, you will love it! ... Read More »

Tattoo Artist Magazine: Ink N Iron 2011

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1300-year-old Egyptian mummy had tattoo of Archangel Michael

By Gene J. Koprowski www.foxnews.com A mummy of an Egyptian woman dating back to 700 A.D. has been scanned and stripped to reveal a tattoo on her thigh that displays the name of the biblical archangel Michael. The discovery, announced by researchers at the British Museum over the weekend, was made during a research project that used advanced medical scans, including Computed Tomography (CT) images, to examine Egyptian mummies at a number of hospitals in the United Kingdom last year. The woman’s body was wrapped in a woolen and linen cloth before burial, and her remains were mummified in the desert heat. As deciphered by curators, the tattoo on her thigh, written in ancient Greek, reads Μιχαήλ, transliterated as M-I-X-A-H-A, or Michael. Curators at the museum speculate that the tattoo was a symbol worn for religious and spiritual protection, though they declined to offer additional details. ‘Michael is an obvious identity for a tattoo, as this is the most powerful of angels.’ - Maureen Tilley, professor of theology at Fordham University But other scientists and theologians offered their thoughts on the tattoo’s cultural context. “There was a sizable Christian population in Egypt in the 700s, perhaps close to a majority of the population,” said Maureen Tilley, professor of theology at Fordham University in New York. “Like Greeks and Romans across the Mediterranean, the portion of the population that was literate was fascinated by the shapes of letters and delighted in making designs with letters in names. Hence, we have the ... Read More »