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The 2015 Bay Area Tattoo Convention!

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THE 2015 BAY AREA TATTOO CONVENTION The 2015 Bay Area Tattoo Convention (BATC) will take place Halloween weekend (Friday October 30, Saturday October 31 and Sunday November 1st) at the SFO Hyatt Regency. Hotel conventions are always fun and a halloween weekend will be especially cool! This will be the eleventh year and as usual, features a stellar line up of invite only, world renowned tattooers. This show was started and is still run by Roman (45s Forever Harley Shop, Strong Tattoo and Strong Shirt Printing) and Taki (State of Grace Tattoo) and keeps tattooing and tattooers as the main attraction. The BATC features NO piercing, bands, celebrity appearances or contests- we are purely a TATTOO SHOW. The number of vendors is kept to a bare minimum of tattooer owned/tattoo supportive companies to insure that tattooers can promote their own t-shirts, prints, machines, and other such wares. This show is about tattooing and puts tattooing first! Some of the attending tattooers include: Don Ed Hardy, Su’a Sulu’ape Alaiva’a Petelo, Bill Salmon, Junii, Oliver Peck, Toothtaker, Beau Brady, Chad Koeplinger, Greggletron, Chuey Quintanar, Mitch Love, Ben Rorke, Malika Rose, Matt Deverson, Fred Flores, Ricardo Avila, Horifuji, Horikiku, Peter Sulu’ape, Tim Hendricks, Juan Puente, Adrian Lee, Mary Joy, Holly Ellis, Freddy Corbin,Tuigamala Andy Tauafiafi, Greg Christian, Virginia Elwood, Henry Lewis, Si’i Liufau, Luke Stewart, Sulu’ape Steve Looney, Ross Jones, Ichi Hatano, Reiko, Valerie Vargas, En, Stewart Robson, Scott Sylvia, Kikupunk, Orly Locquiao, Kevin Marr, Steve Byrne, Tony Hundahl, Pierre Chapelan, Beppe, Don and Deb Yarian, Chris ...Read More »

Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival!

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Tattoo-fueled festivals have been cropping up all across the country. Check out the festival that took place at the Honolulu Museum of Art! When the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts in Richmond, Virginia, decided to host Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (on view until September 27),they also decided to create an arts and film festival to complement the exhibition. The first festival of its kind in Virginia, the Tattoo Arts and Film Festival on September 4th and 5th uses alternative art forms—from film to storytelling—to express the nature and spirit of tattoo. VMFA chose the films with a curatorial eye for top-notch cinematic qualities and tattoos functioning strongly in the narrative. Each will be introduced by world-renowned experts. Eastern Promises (2008): This taut crime movie, starring Viggo Mortenson and directed by David Cronenberg, tells the story of a shrewd criminal trying to rise in London’s Vory v Zakone Russian Mafia, where tattoos are earned for status and respect. Utamaro and His Five Women (1946): This Japanese classic B&W film by Kenji Mizoguchi dramatizes the creative drive and features a sub-theme relating tattoo with Japan’s woodblock print tradition. Tattoo Nation (2013): The recent documentary historicizes the U.S. tattoo practice by focusing on the Los Angeles shop that may have started the mass movement in body art. Japanese Anime Tattoo Traditions: VMFA explores examples of the particularly Japanese animated cartoon art, anime, with a tattoo inclination. With Anh Do, VMFA and VSU faculty animation expert In conjunction with the films, ...Read More »

Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video3 w/Drew Flores

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Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition focuses on the work of seven internationally acclaimed tattoo artists –Ryudaibori (formerly Horitaka),Horitomo, Horishiki, Miyazo, Shige, Junii, and Yokohama Horiken – inspired by the Japanese tradition of tattooing and heavily influenced by the traditional Japanese arts ofcalligraphy and ukiyo-e woodblock printmaking. Specially commissioned photographs of work by each artist will be displayed alongside tools and relief carvings, as well as a recreated Torii. A companion book of the same title features additional photographs and writings, and is published by the Japanese American National Museum. Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition is created, designed and photographed by Kip Fulbeck, and curated by Takahiro Kitamura (Ryudaibori, formerly Horitaka). *Please help SUPPORT the VMFA’s efforts to elevate tattoo and tattoo art — Follow the VMFA on FaceBook:   Related Articles: Introduction to “Perseverance” by the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo Perseverance Tattoo Exhibit VIDEO #1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #2 w/L.A. Horitaka Perseverance Japanese Exhibit VIDEO #3 w/Drew Flores Virginia’s 2015 Tattoo Arts & Film Festival !! Read More »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo

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Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo When visiting Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition, on view at the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts (VMFA) in Richmond, Virginia until September 27, you’re struck by the pure artistry. Photo after photo of intricate, mesmerizing designs, breathtaking colors, and symbolic imagery, one interwoven into the other, which would be difficult to render on canvas, much less flesh. There’s a passion and a reverence in these galleries that is almost palpable.  That’s why it’s almost inconceivable that Japan, which has been so instrumental in elevating tattooing to an art form, has also pushed this art form into the shadows, even condemned it for centuries. To understand the seemingly conflicted relationship that Japan has with tattooing, you must carefully unearth the deep roots of Japan’s tattoo culture, which date back to the Jomon Period (roughly 10,500 to 300 BC). That’s when the first evidence of tattooing in Japan was recovered from tombs, in the form of clay figurines with faces painted or engraved to represent tattoos. Fast forward many years later to the Edo Period (1615-1868) and Japanese authorities began using tattoos to mark criminals. According to “Japanese Tattoos: From Yakuza to Artisans, Aesthetes” in the Wall Street Journal, “…convicts were branded with penal markings such as bands on the arms, or the kanji character for ‘dog’ on the forehead.” While this criminal stigma would prove difficult to shake for many centuries, tattooing enjoyed a significant reprieve from the negative connotation at the end of the ...Read More »

Virginia Museum of Fine Arts: “Perseverance”

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Since 1936, the Virginia Museum of Fine Arts has been dignified. Revered. Respectable. Timeless. As of May 29th, however, it’s going to look a little different. On May 29th, it’s getting 115 tattoos. And frankly, it’s about time.  With the opening of Japanese Tattoo: Perseverance, Art, and Tradition (also known as Perseverance),Richmond’s most popular art form moves into the biggest gallery in town. The world-famous exhibition—including pieces by Horitaki, Horitomo, Miyazo, and Shige—combines the mysticism and beauty of feudal Japan with the style and skill of modern art. And if there’s a better place on the East Coast for it, we can’t think of it. The capital of the old South—Richmond, Virginia—is now the artistic hub of the new South. It’s the third-most tattooed city in America (per capita, mind you),which makes it the perfect match of artists and audience. Richmond is, was, and will always be in love with art. Just not always the kind that hangs on gallery walls. Tattoos, graphic design, sculpture, typography, mural painting—Richmond’s breaking all kinds of new ground in these every year. When you’ve got a mix of young artists, art students, tattoo artists, musicians, skateboarders, crust punks, regular old (or as regular as they get) punks, bike gangs, motor-scooter gangs, and general nonconformists like Richmond has, you’re going to see an awful lot of beautiful things that don’t always fit the 20th-century definition of “art.” VMFA, to its credit, has realized this. In a city that prides itself fiercely on outsider ...Read More »

The Pros and Cons of Tattoo Conventions

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Thinking about attending your first tattoo convention? Here are some suggestions for getting the most out of your convention experience, and a few warnings to consider before you go. The very best tattoo conventions in my experience, (for fans and pros alike),are those hosted by actual tattooers. I’ve been involved in tattooing for 25 years now, and I remember back in my early days the sheer excitement of attending one of the perhaps three or four tattoo conventions being held per year. My first convention experience was magical. (*Read about here-)  Good tattoo conventions are special; they encourage community, advance the craft, and they are focused on the fans, the art AND the artists, not the money. In the beginning, conventions were exclusively put on by art-ists, not corporations and not event professionals. Today, more numerous than ever, conventions seem designed for the green more than for the ink, and definitely more than the actual art or craft of tattooing. So many of them are getting known for gouging the artists working the show as well as the thousands of attendees, at every opportunity, charging outrageous amounts for tickets, food, beverages and the like, while they rake it in, hand-over fist, capitalizing on tattooing’s meteoric rise in popularity. Tattooing doesn’t matter to these people, it’s just an opportunity to make money. And it’s no wonder, tattoo conventions have become a multi-million dollar industry over the last several years, with more than 400 tattoo conventions being held annually, worldwide!   That’s an average of more ...Read More »