An Exhibition of the Contemporary Art + Collectible Design
Celebrate the World’s First Large-Scale Exhibition Dedicated to Designer Toys at the Design exchange.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – TORONTO, Canada – February 7, 2014 – Design 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.
Photos and Interview by Ino Mei
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.
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.
To read the rest of this article, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/december-2013/yorg-powell/
By Ino Mei
Heavy guitars, authentic attitude and a strong live presence, Orange Goblin could not but have tattoos.HeartbeatInk had the chance to “interrogate” and take photos of them before their long awaited concert in November in Athens.
Ben Ward: vocals
Joe Hoare: guitar
Martyn Millard: bass
Chris Turner: drums
How many times have you performed in Greece so far?
Ben: Tonight, it will be our sixth time and our fourth here at An Club. We always have a great time in Greece. The fans are very enthusiastic and as long as that continues we’ll keep coming back.
Chris: The thing with Greece is that it is part of Europe, but quite far out the bay; so whenever American & European bands travel, not many of them make it this far. So when a band seems to play, everyone seems to give their support.
Ben: And great food.
Chris: Terrible driving (laughs).
Are you familiar perhaps with any Greek bands?
Ben: I actually did vocals on an album for a band called “Lord 13”; good friends of mine. I also know Nightstalker who are quite big everywhere. We’ve heard things from the bands that we’re playing with; Stonerbringer tonight and Lucky Funeral tomorrow. We’re aware that there is a descent scene and there are a lot of good bands.
How’s the scene currently in London?
Ben: The scene in London is great! There’s a variety of shows every week. There’s always something on. Just this week Monster Magnet played last night and Alice in Chains and Ghost the night before. There are a lot of new good bands in London as well and many venues are doing a lot to support. Like the Black Heart in Camden; pretty much every night they put a young – new band to play live.
Martyn: The “Desert Fest” as well. It is every year the week before “Roadburn Festival” and it takes place in Camden Town for the whole week-end. It is actually quite big now.
Chris: It is basically like the British “Roadburn” but ten years ago; when it was less avant – garde and more just kind of riff based bands.
Are you preparing a follow up to your latest album “A Eulogy of the Damned”?
The plan is next year to knuckle down and do a new record. We have got a bit of time because
Martyn is getting married in May and that means that he’ll be away for his honeymoon. So if we can get stuff written, get in the studio before he gets married and goes away, we can get his parts done and the rest of us can finish it; hopefully we are looking at a midsummer release and so there is time to hit all the big summer festivals.
To read the rest of this interview, go to: http://heartbeatink.gr/en/issues/november-2013/orange-goblin/#
Photos and Interview by Ino Mei
The charismatic and one of a kind Tas Danazoglou spoke exclusively to HeartbeatInk, while tattooing at his booth at London’s “Into You” Tattoo Studio, about the art of the tattoo with absolute honesty and humour.
When did you first get involved with tattooing?
Twenty years ago, when I was 22 years old I began as an apprentice of Mike the Athens. Actually, Mike taught me everything I know. I still feel like Mike’s apprentice (laughs), because he is a such a perfectionist and even now calls me and tells me “what you did wasn’t that good, you have to do it like this”. He is also one of my best friends. We are like brothers.
What were you doing previously?
I was a radiologist’s assistant.
How did drawing come into the picture?
I have been drawing for as long as I can remember. My father was an amateur painter. Perhaps I was influenced by him. But yes, I definitely drew.
How did the transition from drawing to tattooing happen?
It’s kind of funny. Mike was my tattoo artist and because he likes music I used to record cassettes for him with death metal bands (I think he still has them) and I would paint their covers. At some point, after seeing my designs, he asked me to become his apprentice. I had never thought I would become a tatooer…
By Craig Burton
This is my first attempt at shooting video with a SLR camera, I was basically just hanging out at Frith Street and started shooting some random shots of Jordan drawing, then thought it would be a perfect chance to play with the video settings on my new camera. I ended up staying for the duration of the whole tattoo he was drawing. After a little while of getting used to the settings and the focusing i found it quite enjoyable, its something ive wanted to try for a while and now ive got a taste for it, expect more of this Vlogs. Thanks to Jordan and the Guys at FST.
The whole video was shot on a Canon 5D mark II with a Canon 24-70 2.8 lens, edited with Imovie.
Jordan Teear can be found at:
I’m working the London Tattoo Convention this weekend at the Tobacco Dock. All back issues are on sale for 10 pounds! Newest 3 issues, 15 pounds! I have Volume 1 books (our volume 1 book is the first 5 issues of TAM compiled into a nice hard cover book) on sale for 50 pounds, and Subscriptions are on sale for 36 pounds plus shipping! Stop by the Great Gallery room and check it out.
In honor of Tattoo Age’s Thom deVita episode, VICE is holding an art show and sale at Mike Rubendall’s Kings Ave Tattoo shop in NYC from January 11th-13th. Thom’s one of a kind creative rubbings from tattoo stencils, art boxes, signed books, and more will be available for purchase. The legendary artist himself will also be present to talk about his art and Scott Harrison will be tattooing Saturday and Sunday… (more…)
In the final part of Thom deVita’s Tattoo Age series we have to cover a lot of ground. So please sit back and prepare to go from the days before tattoo artists wore gloves while working to Thom’s current life as an artist. Enjoy. [More info on expanded page]
In the new episode of the Thom deVita Tattoo Age series we explore the neighborhood in which Thom live and worked, the Lower East Side of Manhattan. We also go into the types of tattoos Thom did, and what it took to talk someone into getting tattoos that were a little out of the norm. [More info on expanded page] (more…)
In part three of Thom deVIta’s epic Tattoo Age series, we take look at his personal history and how he came into tattooing. We also hear from tattoo legend Angelo Scotto on the history of tattooing in New York City… [More info on expanded page] (more…)
In the second part of the Thom deVita Tattoo Age series we focus on the touching and often hilarious relationship he has with Nick Bubash. Thom and Nick met in the early 1970s and soon after Thom started to tattoo Nick, he also started to teach him how to tattoo. Over the past 40 years their relationship has gone way beyond tattooing, or even art for that matter, but they still continue to create together… [More info on expanded page] (more…)
Thom deVita began tattooing in the late 60s in New York’s Lower East Side, when the practice was illegal. He quickly began to forge his own styles, drawing influence from Puebla Indian designs to Lord and Taylor shopping bags. In this episode, we hear from Ed Hardy, photographer Clayton Patterson, Nick Bubash, Scott Harrison, John Wyatt, Angelo Scotto, Bubba Reeves, Robert Ryan, and more, as we unfold Thom deVita’s epic story…. [More info on expanded page] (more…)
While we’re waiting for the premiere of Tattoo Age’s Thom DeVita killer episode, we just released some Valerie Vargas Bonus Footage. Vargas takes us to meet the legendary English tattooer Lal Hardy who has been tattooing since 1975 and is generally considered to be one of the people who elevated tattooing in the UK in the 1980s.
[More info on expanded page]
The next Tattoo Age series is about Thom deVita. Thom is an artist on many levels, and tattooing is just one of the ways he expresses himself. He began tattooing in New York City in the late 60s, when the practice was illegal. In this episode, which starts on November 21, we will hear from Don Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash, Scott Harrison, John Wyatt, Angelo Scotto, Bubba Reeves, and Robert Ryan, as we try to tell the epic story of Thom deVita, the artist. (more…)
In Part 3, Mutsuo reflects on the blurry line of legality of tattooing in Japan, along with the prejudice against tattooed individuals that still lingers within society today, where people with tattoos are not welcome in public baths, beaches, pools, etc. He muses on why tattooing makes him happy and provides personal thoughts on spirituality, while bringing us to local temples of his hometown and introducing us to his lovely family. (more…)
In this episode of Tattoo Age we delve into the history of Three Tides Tattoo. We hear from Mutsuo, Chris Garver, and Masa Sakamoto, as they give us insight into how western-style tattooing gained ground in Japan after the 1999 Tokyo Convention. We also hear about all the guest artists who have contributed to making Mutsuo the artist he is today.
The new Tattoo Age features Mutsuo, he has more styles than the first of day school.
This series revolves around an artist named Mutsuo who tattoos at the world-famous Three Tides Tattoo in Osaka, Japan. Mutsuo went from being one of the shop’s first customers to its first apprentice, and now he is considered its most senior tattoo artist. He learned the trade from all the American tattoo masters who visited Three Tides, and got what Chris Garver calls “a 90s-style tattoo education.” Enjoy.
[More info on expanded page]
In the last part of our Valerie Vargas episode, we take a closer look at the tattoo power couple that is Stewart Robson and Valerie Vargas. When we began shooting this piece, we didn’t know how close these wonderfully talented artists were and found ourselves pleasantly surprised by their shared pleasure in tattooing. P.S. Be on the look out for a little Valerie Vargas bonus part coming out later this season. Enjoy.
[More info on expanded page]
Second installment of Tattoo Age’s Valerie Vargas piece is now live! We take a closer look at Frith Street, the tattoo parlor where she works, and its owner, Dante DiMassa. Valerie also gives us insight into her development as a tattooer and why London will be her home base for the foreseeable future
[More info on expanded page]
Valerie Vargas grew up in Scotland, but has lived and worked in London for the last five years. You can find her at Frith Street Tattoo in SoHo, where she’s known for doing the prettiest “lady heads” in the world. Valerie has only been seriously tattooing since 2007, so she’s proof that talent and hard work will never fail you.
[More info on expanded page]
Interview By Chad Koeplinger
Chad Koeplinger: Who are some of the tattoo artists that you were interested in at that point? What were you looking at tattoo-wise? What was blowing your mind?
Valerie Vargas: At that point I don’t think I became fully aware of people that I like now until I already started my apprenticeship, because that’s when I was allowed to have a look through the books that for me at the time were way too expensive -I couldn’t afford them. And my boss had all of the Tattootimes. He never looked at them anymore but they were up on the shelf and any time it was quiet I’d have a look. I became more aware of Ed Hardy and more of the West Coast kind of guys. But even then I was still struggling to remember names, I just knew the work. I remember some backpieces that are still pretty awesome. And it was also through my friendship with Stewart in the beginning that he was really on it. He knew who everybody was, what they were doing, and he was totally stoked about everything, and he taught me a fair bit about it… (more…)
Interview By Gene Coffey
Gene Coffey: There are a lot of people in Europe now that do your style.
Noon: Well, not really my style.
They’re definitely influenced by your style though…