Thursday, 31 May 2012

Marina's Hibiscus, Freshly Bloomed

A couple weeks back I ran into Marina on the corner of 30th Street and Seventh Avenue in Manhattan. She had just received this tattoo only two days before:


These stunning hibiscus flowers were tattooed by Gustavo Rizerio at Invisible NYC. Work from Gustavo has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Marina for sharing her lovely floral tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Pantera Giveaway

I was never a huge fan of the band Pantera, as they peaked just as my love of metal was on the downswing. I'm more of an 80's metal guy. However, as time has passed, I have grown to appreciate the band and regarded their breakthrough album, Vulgar Display of Power, as a classic.


So when the opportiunity presented itself to help promote the 20th anniversary of Vulgar Display of Power, I couldn't resist.

"But wait," you might be saying, "this is a tattoo blog not a music site."  True, but I can tie anything to ink, it seems, so let's go down memory lane and revisit an old post from July 2009:


I was talking to a guy named Izzy on the R train. My wife Melanie was sitting next to me as he was telling me about his tattoos.

"Ever hear of a band called Pantera?" he asked.

Melanie laughed, the tattoo made sense, I knew what the crux of it was immediately - Izzy had the autograph of Pantera guitarist "Dimebag" Darrell forever inked on his flesh. Sadly, for those who don't know, in 2004, Dime was murdered on stage by a crazed fan.

Above Dimebag's signature is the logo CFH from their debut album Cowboys from Hell and below it is a guitar drawn by the legendary musician.

Izzy met Dime about 11 years ago [1998], outside of the building where Howard Stern was broadcasting his radio show. Dime drew it all on with a Sharpie and an artist named Eric tattooed it in the back of Bleecker Bob's Records.


Read the full post here.

Earlier this month, Rhino/Atco released the 20th anniversary edition of Vulgar Display of Power.
The new package includes the original remastered album, with the addition of  "Piss," a recently discovered unreleased track from the recording sessions. It is packaged with a DVD that contains an unreleased live performance filmed in Italy in September of 1992, with the addition of the three official music videos from the album.

Check out the clip from the new video for the new track "Piss":




This is classic Pantera at the height of their game, and the live DVD performances are just phenomenal shots of pure adrenaline and power.

In conjunction with Rhino/Atco, we here at Tattoosday are giving away four copies of the 20th anniversary 2-disc combo. How cool is that!? So, if you are interested, please leave a comment on this post (making sure I have a way to contact you if you win) or, if you prefer, go to our Facebook page (here) and post a comment on the Pantera post to be eligible. I will use a fancy randomizer to help pick the winners and will announce them here on Friday, so enter by Thursday at midnight, EDT.

And, if you don't win, you can snag the CD from iTunes here or Amazon here.

In the mean time, you can also listen to some of the tracks streaming from the record by clicking this link:

Pantera - Vulgar Display Of Power 20th Anniversary Deluxe Edition


Good luck to all!




This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Sunday, 27 May 2012

Memorial Day Post: Brandon's Leg Says It All

I met Brandon briefly while passing through Penn Station one day back in March.

I was drawn to the script on his leg and it seemed to be appropriate for this Memorial Day weekend:


The tattoo reads "I'd rather die on my feet / Than live life on my knees."

This holiday weekend is all about honoring those men and women in our armed services that have made the ultimate sacrifice as defenders of our freedom and way of life.

Not many people know that the quote originates from Emiliano Zapata, who fought to overthrow the dictatorship during the Mexican Revolution in the early part of the twentieth century. Its meaning can be interpreted with many nuances, but I understand it to mean that it is better to die fighting for freedom than to live in servitude to others.

I didn't speak to Brandon for very long - it was a passing encounter, but I appreciate his service and sacrifice, and I encourage everyone to take a moment and reflect on the true meaning of this holiday, if you haven't already.

I'd also encourage people to check out this post from my friend Tracy, whose tattoo honors one of our fallen soldiers.

Thanks to Brandon and all of our armed forces for their service to our country.

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Anja's Ink: Not Your Type-ical Tattoos

One of my favorite tattoo encounters in 2011 has yet to see the light of these Tattoosday pages.

How can this be? You’d think I’d be rushing to post wonderful tattoos but, in some cases, I have what can only be described as blogger’s block. I can go around this encounter and “save it for a rainy day,” but those days turn into weeks, which become monrths, until I see an anniversary approaching on the horizon.

Such was the case with Anja, a native New Zealander who I chanced upon last July in front of K-Mart in the Penn Station concourse.

What stopped me dead in my tracks when I spotted her was that she was covered in text:




She had words inked on her flesh, all different fonts, but not just scrawled, but arranged artistically in a type-setter’s fashion. It was like she was wearing a collection of Ina Saltz’s greatest hits.

And here’s the rub: I think that the complexity of the tattooed words running across her body gave me pause. How would I explain this coherently?

So let me try.

Anja’s clusters of words are poetry, but not poems; they are love letters to family members, and they are deeply personal. The photo above was deliberately framed in a way so that the reader could not necessarily see each entire piece. In this way, Anja maintains ownership of the tattoos and their sentiments.

She has these words assigned in different fonts to members of her family, her mother and her sisters. For example, her tattoo for one sister is in a “Loki Cola” font that resembles the Coca-Cola script and reads




“Under/Flesh/Within/Breast/This/Heart/Holds/Heidi”

Here’s a complete piece for her sister Saskia, using the Konspiracy Theory font:




The verse reads “Saskia/Skin/Belly/Laugh/The/Very/Inside”.

Each piece is a work of beauty.

Anja came to New York specifically to be tattooed by Stephanie Tamez, an accomplished artist outright, but whose reputation as a master of inking type is unsurpassed. Stephanie is based out of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn.

Anja also shared this tattoo on her left hand:




She explained,
“This is my newest one [as on July 2011]. It’s an egret, or heron. Kotuku in New Zealand … me and my sister got one of these together. [The artist, Gypsy Nation] actually tattooed it on himself as well. He’s Native American and has the heron in his family.”
Gypsy Nation did the tattoo at Fineline Tattoo on the Lower East Side of New York, but has since moved on.

Thanks to Anja for sharing these wonderful tattoos with us here on Tattoosday, and for waiting so patiently for me to post them.

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

2012 NYC Tattoo Convention


This past Saturday, May 19, I attended the New York City Tattoo Convention at Roseland Ballroom near Times Square.

This was the fourth year in a row that I have gone and I have to say, it finally feels like home. I’ve always felt out of place and have always been overwhelmed by the sheer sensory overload. What follows is a loose recap of the event with some photos I took with both the camera and the Droid. I plan on expanding a few of these encounters in separate posts.

First of all, I must give a shout-out to Marisa and Brian from Needles & Sins. They’ve always been friendly faces that I can gab with to no end, and every year I spend more and more time in their company. They were the first people I saw and, much to my delight, I ran into them on the subway platform on my way back to Brooklyn. A hearty thanks to Marisa and Brian for their hospitality. If you haven’t checked out Needles & Sins, I encourage you to do so.

So obviously I saw a lot of tattoos in the five or so hours that I was ensconced in Roseland. But remember, we’re not just about gawking at amazing body art, but meeting and appreciating, as well. So we are very particular about who we photograph.

There are a few artists I want to acknowledge. I had a nice chat with Matt Van Cura, who is over at Invisible NYC on Orchard Street. Matt was familiar with Tattoosday from a post that featured his work here.

I also spent some time by the Sacred Tattoo booth, talking to shop manager Kevin Wilson. Jon Mesa was hard at work and I got to chat with him and tell him how well I thought he had done on Oxygen’s Best Ink competition (he was the runner-up). A general discussion of tattoo reality shows broke out which many of you already know is a topic of great interest to me.

I also had the honor of meeting an artist whose work I have admired for quite some time. When I snapped a photo of this phenomenal back piece, I also captured its creator (in the green shirt) David Sena.


Based out of North Star Tattoo, Sena is opening a new art space soon, with a private studio for tattooing, and was excited to be showing off his handiwork.

It’s also fun to run into people I’ve interviewed at previous shows. For example, I featured this back piece from Jessica last year and I ran into Steve who shared a really cool Celtic tattoo last year here. He had new work, also by Agent at Screamin’ Ink in Fair Lawn, which again emphasized his Irish heritage:


What also is really neat is seeing work that I had spotted outside of the convention, on the streets of New York, like when I recognized a memorial cat tattoo on the arm of Niki, who I met in July 2010.

And then there’s the new tattoos I see, like this awesome Coney Island-themed back piece on Tiffany, who sells art jewelery here.


This is a collaborative effort, Tiffany told me, of two incredible tattooists, Michelle Tarantelli and Chris O’Donnell, both of Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn.

Then there was Kate, who shared a tattoo that will appear on Tattoosday in a future post. She was a client of North Star’s Becca Roach, who was receiving a lot of attention first due to her phenomenal sleeves, and then when she stripped down to allow Becca to add a revolver to her side, which I captured here. Note the amazing work on her arms as well.


Speaking of gun tattoos, on the day before I attended the convention, I ran into a model named Melissa on Broadway in the mid-30s. She was heavily-inked but running late, and as she had plans to go to the convention, we agreed to meet up at the show. During one of the contests, she took the stage to display her left leg, sleeved by Gene Coffey at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn.


You can see her right leg is tattooed with a gun in a thigh holster. Earlier in the day, I sat down with Melissa and interviewed her about the gun and its back story. Stay tuned for that in a future post.

In years past, the biggest crowd seems to draw around the artists from Japan, using traditional tattoo techniques in a booth up on the Roseland balcony. I didn’t really watch them this year, but did admire the work of Brent McCown, who was using traditional Maori techniques down on the main floor.


While hanging in the bar with Marisa and Brian, I also got to meet Phil Padwe, whose childrens' book Mommy Has A Tattoo is a must have for kids with inked moms.
 
He has a series of coloring books as well, which will get some more attention from me in a future post.



You can check out some additional photos over on Needles & Sins here, which includes a shot of me sharing my Heather Sinn tribal piece from Ink Master. You'll also see Damion Echols, one of the recently-released West Memphis Three, who I had the distinct honor of meeting. This was a tremendous surprise to see him at the show and I had the pleasure of talking to him briefly at the Sacred booth. Despite it not being tattoo-related, it was one of the highlights of the afternoon for me.

Thanks to to all of the artists, subjects, and other assorted folks who yet again made my trip to the New York City Tattoo Convention a wonderful time!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, 18 May 2012

It's a Small World: Steve Shares Some Amazing Tim Kern Handiwork

Last June (yes, you read that correctly - I've been sitting on this post a while!), I attended a book release party at Sacred Gallery in Manhattan.

While perusing the art hanging on the walls, I noticed a fellow attendee who had a lot of tattoos. To be honest, that pretty much described everyone in attendance, but what jumped out at me was a familiar-looking piece on this gentleman's leg:

photo by Janet Loder-Berthelon
What was surprising about this tattoo is that I had seen it before - just not in person. It had, however, appeared on Tattoosday, two years earlier in this post, courtesy of my friend Janet, who spotted the host on the subway and unwittingly submitted one of the few "guest spots" we have ever had.

I introduced myself and learned that the gentleman's name is Steve Prue, a very talented photographer (click through his name to see some amazing work). Needless to say, he remembered meeting Janet, and offered up to me some of his amazing work on his left sleeve:



These wonderful tattoos are the handiwork of Tim Kern of Tribulation Tattoo. The robot face (above) and what Steve called his "robo-Kali" (below) are truly phenomenal and it is almost criminal that I have been sitting on these photos for so long.

This "small world" story ended up letting us experience segments of  two "out of this world" tattoos.

Thanks to Steve for sharing them with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Thursday, 17 May 2012

"Ladies, Ladies" Art Show at Tattoo Culture in Brooklyn Tonight!

Tonight at Tattoo Culture in Williamsburg, the second annual "Ladies, Ladies" Art Show is kicking off with a big launch event.

It was at a Tattoo Culture event several years back that I first met one of the curators of this show, Magie Serpica (who shared this tattoo).

Here's a work by one of the show's 100+ artists Itoyo Kinoshita:


Whereas last year's show was a tribute to "old school" female tattooers, this year's event has more of a New York-based slant, with an emphasis on female artists in the Big Apple. That said, I recognized, among the list of contributors, at least a dozen artists whose work has been featured on Tattoosday over the years.

I encourage you to attend if you are in NYC tonight and, at the very least, visit here to get a closer look at the Ladies, Ladies extravaganza.

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another website other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.



Tuesday, 15 May 2012

Shroomtastic!

Yesterday I was walking around Penn Station during lunch, as is my normal workday routine. I saw quite a few tattoos, but nothing seemed to impress. I was hoping to chance upon something a little more original than flowers, dragons and skulls.

I spotted a young woman talking to a few other people and a few of them had tattoos. I sauntered on over, figuring between them, I'd see something interesting. I wasn't disappointed.

Among the group was Mark, who shared this tattoo on the back of his calf:


Those are mushrooms. More specifically, psilocybin mushrooms, which have hallucinogenic properties.

The artist was the woman I initially spotted, a freelance "underground" tattooist from Oakland, California who gave her name as Steiner Ella.

Thanks to Mark and Steiner for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.


Sunday, 13 May 2012

The Great Big Banksy Post

I'd like to assume everyone knows who Banksy is, but then again, there was a point not too long ago when I didn't.
One of the nice things about this site is that it also acts as a personal timeline for me. Case in point: when I met Sarah and she shared this Banksy tattoo, I then became aware of the entity that made a name for himself (quite literally) by spray-painting graffiti around London.

How serious is this Banksy? When his documentary Exit Through the Gift Shop was nominated for an Oscar a couple years back, and he was in Los Angeles for the awards, he struck his graffiti claws into the City of Angels.

Art collectors were prepared, and within hours of his work being discovered, they had at it with jack hammers and chisels, removing the public display for private collectors, presumably at great profits.

I have since become familiar with Banksy through additional tattoo sightings (like this one) and from reading a few of the lovely books on the subject.

Last fall, I found two new books, companion volumes, that are exceptional introductions to Banksy, and also great companions to Banksy aficionados.






The two volumes, Banksy Locations & Tours Volume 1: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs in London, Englandand Banksy Locations & Tours Volume 2: A Collection of Graffiti Locations and Photographs from around the UKare great companion pieces that help one discover the work of Banksy. The author, Martin Bull, is a photographer who led walking tours of Banksy's public art in various English locales. He has taken great pains to catalog every Banksy piece, many of which have been demolished, painted over, or extricated from their original homes.

We even get GPS coordinates, so a true connoisseur can visit Banksy's ghosts.

Bull gets a little repetitive bemoaning the "theft" of the originasl and cursing those that profit from their sale. But I was able to look past that, and chalk it up to his uncompromising love of his subject.

These are not glossy tomes, but handy little guidebooks that would be worthy travel companions on any Banksy fan's pilgrimage to London.

And why am I rambling and reviewing these books here on Tattoosday?

I did mention two previous Banksy inspired posts and, it should come as no surprise, I have two more to share from 2011, as we come very close to the end of our backlog.

The first is from Natasha who I met in the now-vacant Borders bookstore on Penn Plaza. She has this piece on her arm:


One of Banksy's signature pieces is the rat, and he has multiple sequences of street art that involve rats, which are perfect vehicles for shining lights on society. This particular piece from Natasha is a "helicopter rat".


She credits Hexx, formerly at Fort Apache Tattoo Studio in Manhattan. 

Natasha told me, "I was actually surprised when I got this that more people didn't recognize it, because so many people know Banksy now." The rat using a helicopter blade to paint in a presumably inaccessible location is a classic Banksy motif.

The second Banksy piece we're appreciating today is from Taylor, whose ink has appeared previously in Tattoosday here.

Since Taylor first appeared on Tattoosday, she's had a lot of work done, but most impressive is this Banksy piece on her lower back:



This tattoo is based on this amazing Banksy piece:


When I asked Taylor why she chose this particular piece of art, she replied "The way it's raining underneath the umbrella, I feel like it's always raining on me."

She credits Angel at Puncture Tattoo Studio in Dyker Heights, Brooklyn, with inking this on her back.

Thanks to Natasha and Taylor for sharing their work with us here on Tattoosday. And, of course, thanks to Banksy for providing the inspiration.


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, 8 May 2012

Jesse's Tribute to Pee-wee

On a Saturday back in March, I was passing through Penn Station when I spotted Jesse, who had quite a few tattoos. He shared this great Pee-wee Herman tattoo on his foot:


Why did Jesse get Pee-wee inked on his foot? He explained, "When I was growing up, the only good thing that was happening in my childhood was watching his TV show [Pee-wee's Playhouse] ... so I felt like I owed it to him".

He credited this incredible piece to Blake Brand, a California-based artist who occasionally comes out to the East Coast and tattoos out of at Philadelphia Eddie's Chinatown Tattoo.

Thanks to Jesse for sharing this amazing piece on Tattoosday!


This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, 4 May 2012

Good Sparrow, Bad Sparrow

Last month along Eighth Avenue, I spotted Phillip, who had a ton of traditional ink. In fact, he had just had work done on his neck, rocking these two tattoos:



These two sparrows combine to represent a take on the good versus bad consciences that people have.

Phillip says he has "hundreds" of tattoos, and he credits Baz at New York Hardcore Tattoo with these pieces.

Thanks to Phillip for sharing these tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2012 Tattoosday.

If you are reading this on another web site other than Tattoosday, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://tattoosday.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, 2 May 2012

Wrapping Up The Tattooed Poets Project, Volume 4

Well, it’s May, which can only mean one thing here on Tattoosday - I’m exhausted.

Every year, I put together the Tattooed Poets Project in the month of April and it’s a labor of love. Toward the end of the month, however, it’s more labor and less love, and I am relieved when another National Poetry Month has passed.

So, I’m going to take a deep breath, and pause briefly, before we resume our normal programming here on Tattoosday.

However, before doing so, I want to take a moment to thank everyone who helped out with this year’s installment.

First and foremost, I’d like to thank all of the poets for their contributions. For a list of this (and previous) year’s inked scribes, you can visit the index at www.tattooedpoets.com.

Next, I’d like to thank David Lehman and Stacey Harwood from the Best American Poetry blog. They’ve been supporters of the project since its inception, they help publicize it every year and, in 2012, they helped even more by re-tweeting several of my posts.

Part of my process is to reach out to poets in the literary world, soliciting their submissions. Often, poets may not be tattooed, but they certainly know some who are. For that reason, I want to thank Tony Barnstone, Amy Newman, and Tim Donnelly, three un-inked poets who tipped me off to other poets who ended up in this year’s group of 35 contributors.

And of course, I want to thank the readers of Tattoosday, who continue to support the site through their appreciation of the site. In four years, we’ve featured 123 different poets, eight of whom have submitted work in multiple years. If no one visited, we’d be lonely indeed, and Tattoosday scored a record for April with 50,000 hits and a monthly high 89,643 page views (but who’s counting?). I am humbled by your interest and am motivated to make next year bigger and better for lovers of poetry and tattoos, everywhere.

Thank you again,

Bill Cohen