Thursday, May 22, 2008

John's Koi: Then and Now

It was only a matter of time.

I wondered when, just buy the nature of my talking to so many tattooed people, I would approach someone about Tattoosday, having already featured them on the blog.

The answer: seven months.

Here's an excerpt from October 2007:

Does that look familiar? I wrote in October 2007:

The first piece is a classic koi tattoo, done on the front of the calf. There is a dragon on the back of the leg but it is not finished yet, as color still needs to be added.

The host, John, is from the Bay Ridge area and had his koi inked at Body Art Studios on 3rd Avenue. We know the artist, Peter Cavorsi, who also runs the shop, because he is responsible for one of mine and three of my wife's pieces. I strongly recommend his shop if you live in southwest Brooklyn. His shop is clean and he does very nice work, as you can see from John's koi.

Koi are a traditional part of Japanese tattoo, and are very common subjects n body art because they represent good fortune. Despite their being regular subjects, they seldom are ever one in the same. Like snowflakes, they tend to differ from body to body, and unlike tribal pieces, I don't think I could ever get bored of koi tattoos.

John estimated that this large leg piece, including the dragon on the back of the leg, not pictured and not yet colored, took 13 hours so far. A lot of people don't realize how much time goes into elaborate pieces like these. On shows like Miami Ink, a ten-hour project can be compressed to five minutes of screen time.

Well, last Sunday, I saw the finished work, not realizing that John had been here previously. I handed him a flier at the grocery store, and he reminded me who he was. He was busy with groceries, but he promised me he'd send photos of the finished work. He estimates that Peter had spent an additional nine hours on the piece since October, making it about 22 hours in total.

That's one thing about the whole "_____ Ink" television experience, the work is edited down so much that many people don't realize how much effort goes into the large quality pieces.

And of course, John came through with these updated shots:

Thanks to John for sharing his finished leg piece with us! Stay tuned!! He also sent me photos of his other tattoos, which will be featured in a later post.

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