Sunday, 30 March 2014

April is Almost Here, and That Means Tattooed Poets!

On April 1, we will once more embark on a month-long celebration of tattooed poets, as part of the Tattooed Poets Project here on Tattoosday.

This year, we had over a hundred poets from four countries express an interest in participating and we've culled down the list, but I couldn't turn everyone away so we'll be posting twice daily, with a few exceptions.

One of the people who reached out to me was Anthony, "a rank and file family doctor who writes for his local newspaper." He told me "I have always been a prose writer but use my own name only for ... [a] poetry blog and newspaper," and added that he is working on publishing a chapbook.

He loves poetry so much, he's been inked with verse:


That's the first stanza of "And Death Shall Have No Dominion" by Dylan Thomas:

And death shall have no dominion.   
Dead men naked they shall be one
With the man in the wind and the west moon;
When their bones are picked clean and the clean bones gone,   
They shall have stars at elbow and foot;   
Though they go mad they shall be sane,   
Though they sink through the sea they shall rise again;   
Though lovers be lost love shall not;   
And death shall have no dominion.

This was inked on his right thigh by an artist named CJay, formerly of Rising Dragon when the shop was still on 23rd street in Manhattan.

And on his left thigh:


That's the first stanza of Robert Lowell's "Waking Early Sunday Morning:"

O to break loose, like the chinook
salmon jumping and falling back,
nosing up to the impossible
stone and bone-crushing waterfall –
raw-jawed, weak-fleshed there, stopped by ten
steps of the roaring ladder, and then
to clear the top on the last try,
alive enough to spawn and die.

Anthony told me this was tattooed
"at a juncture in life when I sought transcendence. And left thigh to serve as MY Fisher King Scar, Dad, the writer, had his own. This was my indelible commitment to creative thought, below it the Haida Salmon by Bill Reid.
The Robert Lowell stanza was done by an unknown tattoo artist in Flagstaff Arizona - he did it freehand. The Haida Salmon was done at Burly Fish in Flagstaff."
Thanks to Anthony for sharing his poetic tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Be sure to visit in the month of April to celebrate a full thirty days of tattoos and poetry!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Friday, 28 March 2014

Catching Up with Meaghan Farrell (at the NYC Tattoo Convention)

One last post from the NYC Tattoo Convention earlier this month.

Three years ago, I met a woman named Meaghan in Penn Station, and she was generous in sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday - we split them into two posts here and here.

Occasionally, when I meet some random total stranger and interview them, we connect through social media, and we become acquaintances and, occasionally, friends. Meaghan is one of those special contributors who I now consider a friend. That said, I was delighted when, on day two of the convention she messaged me that she was on her way to Roseland.

One of the tattoos we featured back in  2011 when I first met Meaghan was this rose on her shoulder:


As I explained back then, the rose represented her memory of her grandmother, who had an amazing garden.

In the three years since we last saw each other, this sole blossom has developed into a cluster of flowers:


And her grandmother, still close to her art, resides on her inner right biceps:


I always love checking back in on people we've featured before to see how there work is coming along. These tattoos were done by Meaghan's sole tattooist, Mr. Beans from Fat Cat Tattoos NYC in Astoria, Queens. I even had the pleasure of meeting him at the show, as well.

I'd be remiss if I failed to mention that Meaghan is a singer/songwriter and is worth checking out at her website here. In fact, she's performing a week from today (April 4) at the Bowery Electic to celebrate the release of her new EP, East Coast Girl. You can get a free download of the title track on her Facebook page here.

It was great seeing Meaghan again and catching up with her tattoos! Go see her live next Friday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

Buddha at the NYC Tattoo Convention

Sometimes when you go to tattoo shows, you don't always get the full story behind people's work. For many people; it is just art for art's sake, and people like me, who ask "What does it mean?" can be annoying little nuisances.

Here's a piece I spotted at the NYC Tattoo Convention earlier this month. I took the photos and I met the artist, but I'll let the work speak for itself:


This is a Buddha tattoo by Sid Lopes at 7 Tattoo Gallery in Newark, New Jersey. Here's a different angle with less glare and a better shot of the om symbol:


And then a better perspective of the paint-splattered lotus blossoms:


I never caught the name of the wearer of this tattoo, but I did get a chance to profess my admiration of it to the artist.

Thanks to Sid Lopes for sharing his work with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Kerry's Owl for Gavin (at the NYC Tattoo Convention)

Another one of my favorite tattoos spotted at last weekend's NYC Tattoo Convention was this owl on the thigh of Kerry:


Kerry explained that this owl is for her son, Gavin. It was done by her husband, Kris Geer, who works out of Victorian Ink in Oxford, Massachusetts.

I love how he merges the popular owl motif with the style of sugar skulls.

Thanks to Kerry and Kris for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.


Saturday, 15 March 2014

Joe's Sinatra and Monroe Tattoos Honor His Grandfather

Last week at the New York City Tattoo Convention, I ran into Joe at the Leathernecks Tattoo booth up on the balcony at Roseland Ballroom.

He shared these tattoos which are eventually going to be part of a larger sleeve:


I wasn't able to track down the original image for the Marilyn Monroe cover, but I did find the Frank Sinatra one:


Joe credited the artist Kenny Restrepo for this tattoo and elaborated on what he is working on:
"My grandpa was a decently-famous singer in the 50's, so he was in a few  magazines. I still have them, so I'm gonna have my grandfather in the pictures that he was in  ... I'm going to put them on my upper arm ... I'm going to do this whole side of my arm for him."
Thanks to Joe for sharing these cool tattoos with us on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.


If you are seeing 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.

Friday, 14 March 2014

Devon's First Panel (at the NYC Tattoo Convention)

As we continue to recap some of my favorite tattoos that I spotted at the NYC Tattoo Convention, let's take a look at this piece on Devon:


Devon told me that this is the "first part of a half-sleeve that's [going to be] all Marvel panels of all my different favorite characters."

When I asked her why she started with this particular panel, she replied, "Thor is one of my favorite heroes and Loki is the only villain I've ever cared about."

She cares enough about the super villain, that Loki is the moniker she adopted as a referee in the New York City men's roller derby league, The New York Shock Exchange.

She credited this tattoo to Vinny Romanelli from Red Rocket Tattoo in Manhattan. Red Rocket and Vinny are no strangers to Tattoosday, and work from Vinny has appeared previously on Tattoosday here. Clicking the Red Rocket tag below will bring up all the work from them we've posted over the years.

I look forward to checking back with Devon in the future to see how her Marvel half-sleeve evolves.

Thanks to Devon for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Thursday, 13 March 2014

Tattoos I Love: Melanie's Tribute to Our Family

How is it possible that my lovely wife Melanie, who celebrates her birthday today, has a tattoo that hasn't graced these pages? It just is, I guess, but in celebration of her special day, let's all look at my favorite tattoo of her collection:


This photo was taken shortly after it was inked by the awesome Peter Cavorsi, owner of Body Art Studios in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, many five or six years ago.

The center of the piece is a Star of David with the Hebrew word חי (Chai) in the center. The design is inspired by this necklace Melanie has:


The Hebrew words encircling the center design element are the Hebrew names of our family members: Melanie's, mine, and those of our two daughters.

When Melanie came up with the concept of the whole piece, she wanted to make sure she got the Hebrew correct, so she met with a friend of ours who is a rabbi. He agreed, in a very rabbinical way, to provide her with the Hebrew lettering on the condition that Melanie would meet with him and study why tattooing is considered by many to be forbidden in Judaism. She agreed, of course, and the lesson proves valuable whenever she feels like challenging those who challenge her on why Jews shouldn't get inked. Note this 2008 piece from the New York Times about Jews and Tattoos.

One technical note: I was in charge of proofreading the final design before the stencil was made, and I missed the fact that, in one of our daughter's Hebrew names, which is comprised of three names, the second and third names run together, a detail missed by many, but proof that, even when you think you know something's perfect, you should triple-check. This small technical error doesn't make the tattoo any less awesome, in my opinion.

Then again, I'm biased, because it's a beautiful tattoo on the woman I love and, well, she chose to ink my Hebrew name on her flesh, along with our awesome children, as well.

So, on this, Melanie's birthday, I want to share her tattoo and wish her a wonderful day.

I love you Melanie, and I love your tattoos!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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, 12 March 2014

Gonzo & Camilla on Denise (at the NYC Tattoo Convention)

Still recapping individual pieces I spotted at the NYC Tattoo Convention last weekend, I was fortunate enough to stumble upon Denise Bock, a licensed massage therapist from Philadelphia, who possesses these truly amazing tattoos:


Yes that's Gonzo the Great and Camilla the chicken, from the Muppets, gazing lovingly at one another from Denise's calves.

Earlier this week, Denise and I corresponded via e-mail, so I could get the full story behind these amazing tattoos.

Denise explains:
"The Muppets were a HUGE part of my upbringing. My father could do many of the voices and would sometimes break into the Swedish Chef at dinner time. This was back in the late 70's when the Muppets were truly bad ass.
You may not have noticed but my legs are kinda chickeny & skinny....doesn't help that my last name is Bock. I pick my food apart, inspecting it and I have been known to get myself in a tizzy with feathers all a flyin'. Therefore, Camilla represents me. My fiancee, John, he's Gonzo, the Big Nosed Weirdo. (If you didn't know, Gonzo and Camilla are married).
Long story short, I was going to marry John (not planned) in Hawaii but I chickened out. I was also supposed to get tattooed but the artist and I did not resonate well. So I left the island not married [and] not tattooed. Ain't no thing.
Tattoos are personal for me. All of my tattoos represent love. John and I love each other and Hawaii. Hawaii feels like home to me; one day I will permanently reside on the Big Island. That's why Camilla is wearing coconut boobies and a lei, and Gonzo has on a Hawaiian shirt. (I love how Gonzo is gazing at Camilla) The sunset heart. It's all there. 
If something ever happens between John and me, I wouldn't feel awkward for having a Gonzo and Camilla tatted on me. It's not like it's his name. Besides, there are so many other bad ass qualities, I didn't care. I'm a lady that does what she wants."
This incredible work was created by Pete Zebley at Body Graphics Portside Parlor in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Denise for sharing her amazing tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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, 11 March 2014

J.R. Gets His Moth On (at the NYC Tattoo Convention)

The Village Voice ran a piece this weekend about the New York City Tattoo Convention, including a slideshow called "What Inspired You to Get a Face Tattoo?" It's worth checking out and I was excited to see that the first photo was someone I interviewed as well!

I first snapped a photo of J.R. while he was getting his neck tattooed by Matt Truiano, who works out of Winky Dink Ink in Valley Cottage, New York:


I was later able to get a shot of the finished product later in the day:


Why this piece on the throat?

Simply put, "I just always wanted a moth," he told me.

It was also interesting hearing him describe the best way to get a throat piece, how one had to modify your breathing with the rhythm of the artist, timing the intake of air with the brief pauses the artist makes with the machine.

As an added bonus, J.R. also shared this thigh piece, one of his favorites by Mike Cann at Folk City Tattoo in Suffolk, Virginia:


Thanks to J.R. for sharing his amazing work with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Monday, 10 March 2014

Tasha's Horned Viper (from the NYC Tattoo Convention)

The 17th Annual New York City Tattoo Convention has ended, but I'll be expanding this week on some of the amazing tattoos I saw (and tweeted out) during the show.

First off is this amazing horned viper:


This vibrant tattoo is on the left hand of Tasha, the shop manager at Independent Tattoo, in Selbyville, Delaware. Matthew Amey, one of the owners, put this on Tasha Friday evening at the convention, so when I took the photo it was still fresh.

When I asked Tasha about why she got this particular piece, she explained, "I was actually gonna get Medusa, but it's like, ten pounds of shit in a dimebag - it's just too much for a small area so [Matt] said, What about a horned viper? and I was like, okay, and he brought the drawing in that he had done and I was like that's pretty cool!"

The rest, as they say, is history.

Tasha, Matthew Amey and Tres Denk, all from Independent, are super cool to talk to, and if you're ever passing through Delaware, are well-worth a visit.

Thanks to Tasha (and the rest of the crew from Independent Tattoo) for sharing this awesome horned viper with us here on Tatoosday!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Coda: NYC Tattoo Convention at Roseland

Today is the final day for the New York City Tattoo Convention at Roseland Ballroom. Next year, the show will return to May in a new locale, while the old home for the show will be a distant memory, swallowed up by NYC developers.


I spent a long day there yesterday and met a lot of great artists and tattoo enthusiasts. I met up with my old friend Paul, one of Tattoosday's earliest contributors (click his name to see his ink) and we had a nice chat with Jasmine, one of the stars of Tattoo Nightmares.

Jasmine and Paul
Not only did I spend time with the awesome Marisa & Brian from Needles & Sins, but I had a nice chat with Michael McCabe (below right).


McCabe is, among other things, the author of two of the best books on New York City tattooing, one of which New York City Tattoo, has just gone back into print. Check it out and order it here. His other book, also a classic, is Tattooing New York City.


It's hard to get bored with the convention and, thanks to warmer temps on Saturday, there was a lot more tattoos to see than Friday night. I imagine everyone will be out today to give Roseland a final send-off.

Be sure to follow Tattoosday's twitter feed and check back later this week for more tattoos and stories from the show!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Sam Shares Two Cool Tattoos at the NYC Tattoo Convention

It has been a brutal winter, and the tattoos have been scarce here in New York City, so I was excited to get back to the New York City Tattoo Convention and see some great tattoos.

The event is early this year, to account for the closing of Roseland Ballroom, so unfortunately there were an inordinate amount of people wearing jackets and long sleeves - meaning body art was not overflowing as much as it has been in the past. However, today looks to be warmer, and I'm looking forward to Day 2!

That said, I did interview a woman named Sam, who works at Lark Tattoo in Westbury, NY. She was kind enough to share two tattoos with us for Tattoosday.

First is this giant piece on her thigh:


Sam explained the origins of this piece, which was done in three sessions of three hours apiece:
"This tattoo was done at South Shore Tattoo in Amityville, New York by an artist named Mike Nomy ... he's the owner of the shop. I'd actually gotten it done a couple years ago ... it was one of my first tattoos ... I knew that I was gonna be a heavily-tattooed person and I needed a way to introduce it to my parents, in a way that was heart-felt to them and seemed genuine ... I got something that was literally for them - my mom has a little tattoo of a rose on her butt and my dad has always wanted to get snakes tattooed on him ... I kinda took the two ideas and formed it into something that would show them how much I care about them and hopefully they can see me in the way I choose to transform myself and love me that way also ... It's kinda the way I reached out to them ... I dedicated a huge spot on my body to them."
She also offered up this amazing piece on the back of her calf:


Sam credits this cool tattoo to Joe Friedman at Lark Tattoo.

She elaborates:
"It's a Maneki-neko cat which is normally a lucky cat ....this  type of cat is an unlucky cat, there's really no name for it - it's something that I kinda came up with based on a toy I had seen actually and it really inspired me to think about the way my life has been running, I'm pretty unlucky ... so I wanted a way to remind myself that I gotta work and not rely on luck."
Thanks to Sam for sharing her awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Be sure to head down to Roseland this weekend to catch the last two days of the NYC Tattoo Convention in this historic venue!

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.


Friday, 7 March 2014

The NYC Tattoo Convention This Weekend!


If you're thinking, "Wait, is the convention early this year?" you'd be right on the mark. 

Normally the Tattoo Industry takes over the venue in May, but  alas, our city's beloved Roseland Ballroom, the convention's home, is closing in April, after over 50 years in its current location. Rather than scramble to find a new home, it is only fitting that the 17th Annual New York City Convention bumped up its dates to this weekend, so we could have one last fling before moving to a new location in May 2015.

That said, I will be descending on Roseland this weekend and tweeting, Facebooking, and gathering material for posts for Tattoosday. The Convention has always been kind to Tattoosday, as clicking here can show.

Hope to see you all there!

Get more info on the Convention's Official Site and Facebook page.

This entry is ©2014 Tattoosday.

If you are seeing 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.