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Tag Archives: tattoo history

The World’s Best Tattoos Just Might Be Centuries Old

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By Katherine Brooks www.huffingtonpost.com Oh, the tattoo. From an innocuous badge inked ever so carefully on one’s back to a blanket of color flowing from the shoulders to the ankles, the world has proven the tradition of permanently adorning the body with artwork is here to stay. Hidden from sight or paraded in public, designed by professionals or picked and poked by amateurs, humans just can’t get enough of this particular brand of body modification. Take, for example, a Harris poll from 2012, which declared that in the U.S. alone, one in five individuals had chosen to bring needle to flesh. That’s 20% of the adults surveyed, for those bad with fractions. Read More »

The Last Kalinga Tattoo Artist

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Photo and Caption by Michal Duchek www.travel.nationalgeographic.com A fascinating culture of the Igorot people brought me and my girlfriend to Kalinga. Head-hunting ceased decades ago, however, the motifs of Kalinga tattoos and the way they are being tattoed remains the same (charcoal and an orange thorn). We decided to visit this beautiful tribeswoman who is the last Kalinga tattoo artist. After a few days, long hours spent on buses and jeepneys, we were lucky to find a local guide Francis who brought us to Buscalan. We were overwhelmed how hospitable and friendly she is. Her natural beauty and her tattoo tempted me to ask her for a pose outside her dwelling. Location: Buscalan village, Kalinga, North Luzon, Philippines Read More »

Early Stick-and-Poke Prison Tattoos Preserved In Formaldehyde

By Sara Barnes Source: www.beautifuldecay.com Read More »

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 »

20 Great Female Tattoo Artists in History Tattooing Over 20 Years

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By Dawn Cooke In honor of women’s history month I have compiled a list of women in the history of tattooing. This is not a complete history by any means. There are hundreds of women throughout time who have contributed to the art form and trade of tattooing. Unfortunately a lot of them have gone unaccounted for.  I have tried to find some of the lesser-known women to highlight here however some of the well-known artists have also been included. I have included women with at least 20 years under their belts. I was overwhelmed with the response to my idea to write this article. Some of the women earlier on in history who paved the way for us included several sideshow performers. Betty Broadbent and lady Viola are among the most well known. In the 1930’s Mildred Hull was one of the few women tattoo artists working on the bowery in NY.  The beloved Cindy Ray from Australia, tattooed into the year 2007. These ladies have set our roots and our history is being made as we speak. But here are 20 women, most of whom are tattooing still, who deserve recognition for their contributions! These women tattooed long before social media and Reality television. They may not be masters at social media but they are masters of their craft. Take the time too look into these great artists! (In no particular order.) 1.Madame Chinchilla http://triangletattoo.com 2.Loretta Lue http://leufamilyiron.com 3.Pat Fish http://www.luckyfish.com Read More »

Recap: A Fitting Farewell to Tattoo Legend Mike Bakaty at the Bowery Electric

By Allison Source: www.boweryboogie.com The Bowery really was electric on Friday evening, standing amongst a crowd of family and friends honoring an inspirational man: Mike Bakaty, who passed away at the end of January. It was a farewell (nay, celebration) to a tattoo legend, hosted at his favorite neighborhood bar, Bowery Electric, and attended by friends and loved ones. Even some biker buddies from DC were in attendance. We stood to raise a glass, to cheers, to find the silver lining in his passing, or as Bakaty dubbed it, the”upshot.” We spoke from the heart, we embraced, we laughed and we cried because this man – a pioneer in the world of tattooing and an icon on the Lower East Side – is no longer with us. One of Mike’s sons – Mehai Bakaty stood with two of his brothers and spoke resounding words to an audience bound by one man. Here is Mehai’s soulful speech and some pictures from the event.   https://soundcloud.com/boweryboogie/at-mike-bakatys-memorial-at “They say you’re not really dead until the last person has spoken your name so I think our goal is to let that be a while before that actually happens.” Mike, we have your voice, your laughter, your wisdom for all to hear, and of course, our memories. It will be a while. The upshot is you will always be with us. Read More »

TATTOO HISTORY MYTHS EXPOSED

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By Marisa Kakoulas Source: www.needlesandsins.com Last week, Gizmodo, which is primarily a tech blog, attempted to condense tattoo history, from mummies to Miami Ink, in their blog post “How the Art of Tattoo Has Colored World History.” In what seemed to be research primarily conducted on Wikipedia, the author ended up perpetuating many of the myths and misinformation that float around online.  So I hit up true experts in the field of tattoo history to set the record straight: Dr. Matt Lodder, Dr. Anna Felicity Friedman, and Dr. Lars Krutak. So, you can take a minute and read the Gizmodo article first. Or not. I first asked Anna what she thought were some glaring mistakes in the post. Here’s what she said: ANNA:  By the third sentence of this “article” I knew it was going to be a doozy. The problem with this statement, “That tradition continues today, just with a much smaller chance of infection” is a) it’s incredibly melodramatic and b) it’s just not true. Many (if not most?) traditional tattoo practitioners were acutely aware of the possibility of infection, one of the reasons why we perhaps see suspension mediums in traditional tattoo “ink” recipes like alium juice or even one of my favorite rare ones, human breastmilk, both of which contain natural antibacterial agents. Rest periods for people having undergone tattooing are common cross-culturally (presumably to let the body heal and lessen the chance of infection). And with the rise of “tattoo parties” and so much home-tattooing by amateurs untrained in proper safe ... Read More »

10 Reasons the Tattoo Community Doesn’t Respect Tattoo Reality TV Shows

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By Dawn Cooke www.dawncooke.net I am speaking to you from deep within the trenches of this silent war. I reside inside of the tattoo community. I’m deep within the middle ranks of those that have lasted over 10 years in the trade. There is a war between the real traditionalists who are true to their craft and the tattoo rock and roll super star wanna-bes. This is more of a mentality than it is a style per se. What I mean is that there are those of us who love tattooing for it’s rich history and the purity of the art form and then there are those of us who only care about what tattooing can get them. Some of us are in it purely for the art sake others are here for an ego boost. So with that said here are the reasons the tattoo community hates reality TV, without being too obvious. Plus some great new artists I have come to know about! These shows and people who make them are missing the point altogether. Tattooing is counter culture not consumer culture. It’s theorized that all counter culture eventually becomes consumer culture. But tattoos aren’t like dollar store trinkets that you throw away in a year, made in some Chinese factory. Tattoos are permanent and what makes a tattoo good is it’s longevity as the skin is aging. They have no idea about the richness of history that is continually being shaped and unearthed regarding tattoo culture nor ... Read More »

A Treasure Trove of Antique Tattoo Flash is Found in Corpus Christi

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By Craig Hlavaty Source: www.blog.chron.com Long before tattoos were the subject of reality show after reality show and people like Justin Bieber sported ink, tattoos were the milieu of sailors, soldiers, Marines, and maybe circus folk. This weekend, Peveto Art Gallery will display 20 sheets of historic tattoo flash art that were recently found in an abandoned house in Corpus Christi. According to gallery owner Scott Peveto, the flash looks to be over 100 years old. The items were rescued from a Dumpster by a man who cleans out houses that are tagged to be torn down. “I’ve spent enough time with them to know they are real,” said Peveto. The sheets are water and nicotine-stained and more than likely were originally displayed on the walls of a tattoo shop for customers to choose pieces from. The art is on heavy illustration board and shows  signs of wear from push pins. Artist names are included on most. “The majority of them are by the same artist,” said Peveto. You can really pinpoint the ones that don’t quite go with the others. Peveto is looking to sell half the lot at a public unveiling of the exhibit  Saturday night at his Montrose gallery. He said he is going to ask around $2,000 per sheet. The exhibit opens at 6 p.m. Peveto said the work predates the art of  Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins, who made his name tattooing sailors, rebels, and rogues. Sailor Jerry’s name is now on rum bottles, art galleries, dorm posters, baby ... Read More »

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

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By Allison B. Siegel Source: www.untappedcities.com 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. 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 ... Read More »

DIETZEL: A RETROSPECTIVE

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By Marisa Kakoulas Reblogged from: www.needlesandsins.com One hundred years ago, Amund Dietzel (1891-1974), of Kristiania, Norway, arrived in Milwaukee with a knowledge of tattooing he picked up on a merchant shop. Deciding to make the city his home, he opened up a tattoo parlor that attracted tattoo collectors far beyond Milwaukee. Sailors and marines during two world wars came to see Dietzel before leaving for battle, choosing powerful designs from his handpainted flash that hung on the shop’s walls. Dietzel “helped define the look of the traditional or old school tattoo,” the Milwaukee Art Museum wrote of their “Tattoo: Flash Art of Amund Dietzel” exhibition, which ran from July to October. That wonderful archive of Dietzel’s painted flash, stencils and drawings, from the collection of Jon Reiter, will be exhibited at Great Lakes Tattoo in Chicago, from November 29th to January 5th. During the November 29th opening, not only can you view Americana tattoo history, but also have a piece of it tattooed on you, as artists will be offering tattoos from Dietzel’s flash sheets from 12 to 10 PM that day. The opening party, with food & drink, runs from 5 to 8 PM. Proceeds from the tattoos, as well as beautiful limited edition prints (shown below) and shirts, will go towards the hefty medical expenses Jon incurred from an ICU stay. For more on Amund Dietzel’s life, pick up Jon’s fantastic books, These Old Blue Arms: The Life & Work of Amund Dietzel, Volumes 1 & 2. Read More »

Tattoo Culture Issue 4: AVAILABLE NOW!!!

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TCM Issue 4 available now!! Paul Booth, Miss Arianna, Dong Dong, Tattoo Archive, Tattoo History, Debra Yarian, Sean Herman, Needles and Sins, Pep Williams, Bro Safari, Artist Galleries and more… Available in the app store here: http://bit.ly/18jVH9p For all other devices: www.TattooCultureMagazine.com Read More »

Jay Brown: Coeur d’Alene’s Blue Rose Tattoo – An Interview with Robert McNeill (Part III)

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By Jay Brown  In Northern Idaho there is the lake town of Coeur d’Alene, actually more of a city than a town. In the sea of tattooing these days, some of the old timers really shine through as great tattooers as well as incredible artists, one of those is Robert McNeill. I recently got a chance to stop in to see him at his studio on 4th Street right in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Blue Rose Tattoo is a clean, comfortable shop, with lots of incredible artwork adorning the walls, all of which is either Japanese or American Traditional tattoo designs, all painted by Robert. And speaking of painting, Robert is incredible at that, pin-ups I think being one of his strong points, but he can do anything, all in all Robert is one of those artists that can create on skin as well as he can on paper or canvas. So after we were done with the hellos and the pleasantries, we got down to the interview, which wound up being 43 minutes long, so I am gonna edit things, cause I don’t have enough pictures to go with that many pages, and that’s a lot of pages so we’re gonna trim it down a bit, although it was a great interview all the way through, but we’re not writing a book, but I digress… Yes, so the interview. I hope you enjoy… [Editor's Note: Jay's interview, due to its length, will be broken into three weekly installments, ... Read More »

Jay Brown: Coeur d’Alene’s Blue Rose Tattoo – An Interview with Robert McNeill (Part II)

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By Jay Brown  In Northern Idaho there is the lake town of Coeur d’Alene, actually more of a city than a town. In the sea of tattooing these days, some of the old timers really shine through as great tattooers as well as incredible artists, one of those is Robert McNeill. I recently got a chance to stop in to see him at his studio on 4th Street right in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Blue Rose Tattoo is a clean, comfortable shop, with lots of incredible artwork adorning the walls, all of which is either Japanese or American Traditional tattoo designs, all painted by Robert. And speaking of painting, Robert is incredible at that, pin-ups I think being one of his strong points, but he can do anything, all in all Robert is one of those artists that can create on skin as well as he can on paper or canvas. So after we were done with the hellos and the pleasantries, we got down to the interview, which wound up being 43 minutes long, so I am gonna edit things, cause I don’t have enough pictures to go with that many pages, and that’s a lot of pages so we’re gonna trim it down a bit, although it was a great interview all the way through, but we’re not writing a book, but I digress… Yes, so the interview. I hope you enjoy…[Editor's Note: Jay's interview, due to its length, will be broken into three weekly installments, ... Read More »

Jay Brown: Coeur d’Alene’s Blue Rose Tattoo – An Interview with Robert McNeill (Part I)

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By Jay Brown In Northern Idaho there is the lake town of Coeur d’Alene, actually more of a city than a town. In the sea of tattooing these days, some of the old timers really shine through as great tattooers as well as incredible artists, one of those is Robert McNeill. I recently got a chance to stop in to see him at his studio on 4th Street right in the heart of downtown Coeur d’Alene. Blue Rose Tattoo is a clean, comfortable shop, with lots of incredible artwork adorning the walls, all of which is either Japanese or American Traditional tattoo designs, all painted by Robert. And speaking of painting, Robert is incredible at that, pin-ups I think being one of his strong points, but he can do anything, all in all Robert is one of those artists that can create on skin as well as he can on paper or canvas. So after we were done with the hellos and the pleasantries, we got down to the interview, which wound up being 43 minutes long, so I am gonna edit things, cause I don’t have enough pictures to go with that many pages, and that’s a lot of pages so we’re gonna trim it down a bit, although it was a great interview all the way through, but we’re not writing a book, but I digress… Yes, so the interview. I hope you enjoy… [Editor's Note: Jay's interview, due to its length, will be broken into three weekly installments, ... Read More »

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