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Perseverance Japanese Tattoo Exhibit Video2 w/L.A. Horitaka

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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. *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 Video1: VMFA w/Kip Fulbeck       Read More »

Japan’s Complex Relationship with Tattoo


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 »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II Season Finale (Episode 10)


By Victor Farinelli  In the words of the dead, drug addled rock star Jim Morrison, “This is the end, beautiful friend, the end.” Yes folks, this pop-culture game show dubbed “Best Ink Season II” has reached its final episode. What started off as a study in mediocrity, slowly digressed into a judge’s vehicle in auto-fellatio pseudo-fame. If the item that is to be fellatioed could be found, that is…  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 9)


By Victor Farinelli  It is down to the wire, folks. Four contestants are left in the game show of extreme skill and ability to see who is going to be named Best Ink. They must pay income tax on $100,000, and appear on the cover of Tattoo Magazine. HA-HA-HA-HA-HA-HA, “extreme skill!” I crack myself up sometimes! And Tattoo Magazine? I haven’t picked up this rag in a long time, but when I did, it had some of the crappiest tattoos out there. Back in the day, this wonderfully professional publication contained construction paper pages of black and white photos of color tattoos. Apparently, it has improved somewhat over the years, relying more on artists’ submissions than submissions by people with their own homemade tats… Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 8)


By Victor Farinelli  This week’s show was humdrum and tiresome. It is a chore to watch this poorly produced, sadly directed piece of shit. I could edit better in iMovie than these cats can with their high-dollar editing studio. This week’s focus was on realism. For the flash challenge, the troupe was taken to a side-street where, out of nowhere, this clearly staged accident-slash-gun fight happened right in front of them. The contestants were supposed to draw a “hyper-photo-realistic” rendition of it. It was just a big advertisement for the new Fast and Furious 6 movie. Lame… Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 7)


By Victor Farinelli  This is not gonna be a long post because, frankly, this show is just becoming sad… Just sad. I thought this show would give me some great ammunition to vent the fury in my head. But alas, no. I have to take that out on my last place Brewers who, as I write this, beat the first place Cards. So I can’t even take it out on them. Fuck! I guess there are always the Astros…  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 6)


By Victor Farinelli  Let me start by reminding y’all that the views expressed in these here ramblings are my own and do not represent the views of TAM. With that out of the way, I wanted to touch on some action going on at the TAM Facebook page. There have been some posts that have criticized TAM for allowing me to even acknowledge that Best Ink, and other tattoo shows, even exist… One: See the first sentence. Two: Face it folks; ever since MTV’s The Real World (maybe even The Dating Game), TV has become one “reality” show after another. COPS, Survivor, Idol, Top Chef; the list goes on and on. Tattoo shows are no different. I don’t think they are going to go away anytime soon, either. Look at how many seasons American Chopper has been on. Those goofballs still get huge ratings. True “outlaw bikers” probably hate that show, just like many passionate tattoo artists hate tattoo shows…  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 5)


By Victor Farinelli  Howdy folks. It’s me again here to bring you yet another exciting and death-defying episode of Best Ink Season II. This episode demonstrates to me that I am absolutely no judge of what a decent tattoo should be. I thought that most of the work that came out of this episode was pretty good. However, walking heart-attack Joe Capobianco hated most of them. I never had good taste…  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 4)


By Victor Farinelli  My fellow cynic “johndotcom” asked me the other day if this show is painful to watch. Yes it is. It makes me wish for the zombie apocalypse. I think it has to do with the real egotistical ass-hats that are on this show, including the host, Pete Wentz. I guess that is why they were picked in the first place. Some of the douchingtons are so egotistical that they don’t even realize that they are fucking up someone’s life with a shitty tattoo. Well, I guess that is why the laser removal industry is so big now… Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 3)


By Victor Farinelli  Hello Folks. This is your resident dickhead back again to bring you a recap of this week’s episode from one of the most asinine shows on TV. Week three of Best Ink is pretty much like week two. For the flash challenge, the guest judges were Vanessa and Angela Simmons, founders of Pastry Brand fashionable footwear and apparel. The Simmons are daughters of Rev. Run from Run-DMC and nieces of Russell Simmons, co-founder of Def Jam records. The flash challenge was all about branding. So now tattoo artists have to brand themselves? What the fuck is that all about? Oh, I forgot, the last challenge was all about branding too. Kids; don’t do tattoos at home. But if you’re going to, use my Easy Glow Tattoo Pigment and custom “Brickhouse” coil tattoo machine…  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 2)


By Victor Farinelli  Hello, my name is Victor, and I am an asshole (Hi,Victor). I am officially in asshole relapse mode. I don’t know what has come over me. Everytime I try not to be an asshole, the compulsion takes over. So, I have accepted my assholism and will embrace it. Today is a new day. I feel like a butterfly emerging from the cocoon. I am going to spread my wings and fly! *grin* *single tear* *sunbeam and rainbows* Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II (Episode 1)


By Victor Farinelli  Hello friends and neighbors! It’s me again, here to give you the scoop on this shitstorm called Best Ink. First off, during the show, these little pop-up windows come up giving “industry slang.” One was “Skin- Tattoo Client.” What the fuck. The only time I have heard a customer called skin is never. Great. Now all these white trash wannabe scratchers are going to be calling their customers and clients “skins.” (Screen fades into dream sequence like a ‘70’s sitcom…)  Read More »

Victor Farinelli: Best Ink Season II Prologue


By Victor Farinelli  So… I was sitting with remote control in hand, watching reruns of Cops, surfing the Internet, and thinking about how depressed I have been ever since Ink Master Season 2 ended. There has been nothing to fill my gawking freak show void left by Ink Master, since it ended. I tried watching Black Ink Crew, but it just didn’t catch my attention. It reminded me too much of all the scratcher shops in Austin. There was no real point behind it either…  Read More »

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