Saturday, October 25, 2014

Old Drafts, Part 1

I was working on my blogger publishing platform, marveling that I have published over 1700 posts on Tattoosday over the years, when I noticed that I have 23 drafts that have yet to see the light of day, or are just sitting there, functioning some way.

I decided to purge these old semi-posts, but thought I would give them life in a mass post or two (or three or four).

Like this unadorned post from May 2010, called NYC Tattoo Convention: A Snapshot:

Last year when I attended the New York City Tattoo Convention, I was awed by the spectacle of it. My inkspotting brain overloaded as I processed the data before me and, despite many people expecting a flurry of posts, I wrote one dispatch and only photographed three people and reported on those here and here on Tattoosday.

This year, I approached it differently. My lovely wife Melanie joined me, and I hoped to introduce her to several people I have met through my inkblogging experience. I also enjoyed observing her closely as she was the recipient of the overstimulating organized chaos of the event. And despite our combined reverence for the art, our combined ten tattoos seemed collectively paltry when compared to visions of sleeve after sleeve, chest pieces, back pieces, and full body suits.

Acknowledging that it is impossible to fairly "cover" a three-day event when we hung out for only 3-4 hours, I offer up a snapshot, rather than a recap.

As for the typical Tattoosday tell-me-about-it-post, I only collected photos from one attendee, whose amazing work is here.

Upon arrival, we did a few loops, checking out the various booths, artists, and attendees.

Of note were the artists at Sacred Tattoo. Picasso and Lalo were finishing up sketching an immense octopus on the back and shoulder of a convention-goer. He would eventually get some of the piece completed, as the two artists tattooed him simultaneously.

We were also drawn in by the two artists from Japan who were not only tattooing, but they were using traditional equipment. This is always a big hit at the convention, and generally draws a crowd throughout the day as the clients lay on the floor, barely flinching at the repeated penetration of the needles. Gawkers flinch for them enough. But it's still an inspiring site to see a generations-old art practiced in person.

I could fill a month or two with dispatches from Roseland if I wanted to. But I don't. Imagine, I go everywhere with my little Polaroid digital camera, just to be prepared to take a picture of someone's tattoo. Yet, put me in a convention hall where it's hard to find someone without ink, and I exercise a form of abstinence. The phrase shooting fish in a barrel comes to mind.

Before taking the one set of photos I couldn't resist (Greg and his sharks here), Melanie and I stopped by to say hello to Marisa from Needles & Sins, working at the Father Panik booth. We checked out her new foot tattoo and, while chatting, the woman who had been, hours earlier, under Dan DiMattia's needle, stopped by to say hello, her right thigh swathed in cellophane as a traditional post-tattoo dressing.

Di Mattia's tribal-style black work popped out visually even under the plastic wrap and we just stood and admired how beautifully done it was.

So, it was a relatively short stint at the Convention this year, but well worth the price of admission.

~ ~ ~

Obviously, pictures would have been nice, which is why this was relegated to the dustbin of Tattoosday archives.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

Katrina and the Headless Victorian

One of the last photos I took at the NYC Urban Tattoo Convention back in June was this tattoo on Katrina:


The work is by Tig Quest at Big Bang Ink in Brooklyn.

When I met Katrina, it was very loud, so I didn't get much information, other than her artist's info.

The message of the tattoo is clear, however - "The idea is to die young as late as possible." flows across the banner behind the decapitated woman in a ball gown. The quote is attributed to British anthropologist Ashley Monatgu.

Thanks to Katrina for sharing her 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, October 16, 2014

Birds of a Feather - Rachelle's Tattoo

I met Rachelle over the summer in Brooklyn Heights after I spotted her tattoo and asked her about it. It runs the length of her arm:

Here's a closer look at the feather:


Rachelle explains how this feather and the flock of birds on her arm came to be:
"My husband actually came up with the design and it means more to me than he'll ever know.  I wanted to cover up an old tattoo on the inside of my forearm and we brainstormed together to choose a design.
He really got into the 'project' and would send me design and scale/location ideas.  In the end I decided on this design and credit him for it entirely.  We had gone through some tough times months before and this collaboration was a great experience for us both.  I love the wispy feather - Sergio [the tattoo artist] spent a long time coming up with the design and I sent him pictures of beautiful feathers I'd come across on the street.  He did such an amazing job on the fine lines, the contrast of the birds (some are fine spots) and with his overall interpretation of what we wanted.  
My husband has no tattoos and I have several, which he loves.  It's part of my personality and I remember on our wedding day, I was tempted to cover them up for modesty being around my family. He blatantly said 'don't you DARE! your tattoos are you and it's a part of what I love so much about you.'  To this day, this tattoo is by far my favorite."
Sergio, who Rachelle mentions above,  is the artist Sergio Luis Mesa, who tattooed this at The End is Near in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

Thanks to Rachelle 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.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Rachel and Her Tree of Life

I met Rachel after work one day on Wall Street and asked her about this tattoo gracing her right arm:


It's a pretty cool concept with our solar system swirling above a tree bordered by an embryo and a skull.

She credited the work to Rich from High Roller Tattoo in Hicksville, New York.

"It was like six or seven years ago," she told me, "it was just something I came up with artistically and he [Rich] cleaned it up ... it's basically the tree of life."

Rachel even went so far as to send me a side-by-side comparison of the tattoo, then and now, as an interesting illustration on how the tattoo has aged over six years:



Thanks to Rachel 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.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

Elisa's Pulp Tattoo by Karel Mato

Once in a blue moon, I'll get off of my bike on the bike path to ask people about their tattoos. I rarely will disembark and hop off onto a sidewalk to interview someone. However, this summer I did just that, back in August, when riding along Ridge Boulevard in Brooklyn, I saw a woman with an amazing tattoo in front of the Bay Ridge branch of the Brooklyn Public Library.

I can only imagine how disconcerting it is to have some guy jumping off his bike to ask about your tattoo but, fortunately for me, Elisa was forthcoming and allowed me to take a photo of this gorgeous piece on her upper left arm:

Elisa gave me some details about this incredible tattoo:
"I love pulp paperbacks, and the art work on the covers. I collect them. One of my favorite artist's is Robert Maguire. His covers are beautiful. I also love Jim Thompson. This is the cover art from [his 1957] book called, Wild Town. I love her, and identify with the emotion and clandestine darkness of this cover. 
It was hard to choose a cover, I have many I adore... but I am 100% happy. I can hardly wait for my the next one...."
Elisa credited this tattoo to an artist named Karel Mato, who works out of Electric Church Tattoo Parlour in Albuquerque, New Mexico. Karel is a good friend of Elisa's and he tattooed this piece on one of his visits to New York. If you're interested in Karel's work, check out his shop's Facebook page, linked above, and see some more of his amazing tattoos.

Thanks to Elisa for sharing her tattoo and the story behind it 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, September 22, 2014

Paulie Wears Gene Proudly on His Sleeve

For quite some time, I have been passing by a street vendor on Wall Street who has been sporting a pretty cool tattoo.

I usually see him around lunch and he's often busy selling sandwiches, so I always balked at bothering him when he was busy.

Finally, a couple weeks back, he had a break and so I introduced myself.

When I told Paulie about the site, he was happy to share this tattoo on his left forearm:


That is, of course, Gene Simmons, the bassist from the band KISS known for many things, including his long tongue.

Why does Gene grace Paulie's arm?
"I've been following KISS for the longest time ... He's like a mentor to me ... what he has, we have something in common ...Gene's always working, always working, even when he's retired, always working to make the money, and I like that."
And what do they have in common? Paulie showed me:


The best part of the story, for me, was finding out who did this tattoo. Paulie told me it was a guy named Siki, aka Siki Boy or Siki the Kid, from Brooklyn, who was coincidentally the artist that did my first tattoo back in 2003.

So if you're walking down on Wall Street and you see a guy with Gene Simmons staring up at you from his arm, say hi to Paulie and buy a sandwich from him. They're pretty damn good!

Thanks to Paulie 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.


Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Maureen's Last Line: Lost, Then Found

I met Maureen on the 59th Street subway platform last month in Brooklyn.

She had a cool literary tattoo on the inside of her wrist, so I asked her if she'd allow me to take a photo and tell me about it. She agreed, but when I hot home, the photos I had taken were gone, due to a bad memory card.

I was fairly bummed but I had hope. New York commuters are creatures of habit and I banked on the fact that I would spot Maureen again and, sure enough, a couple weeks later, there she was. I confessed my technical issue and she was kind enough to let me take another photo. This time, I got it:


The tattoo reads:
"So we beat on,
boats against the current,
borne back ceaselessly into the past."
Maureen explained that this is the last line in The Great Gatsby by F. Scott Fitzgerald, which has always been her favorite book. "It was an important book for me growing up," she explained.

She had this done by an artist known as "A-Rod," in South Glens Falls, New York. A-Rod is currently working out of Tattoo Clinic, Ink 4 Joe.

Thanks to Maureen for sharing her literary ink 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.