Monday, August 31, 2015

Christina's Incredible Sideshow

A couple weeks ago, I was on the C train early in the morning, headed to Penn Station, when a woman got on with incredible tattoos.

We didn't have much time to talk, and it was rush hour, but I did pass her my card, inviting her to send me photos.

A few hours later, on Amtrak to Albany, my email pinged and I was delighted to receive an email from Christine, not only sending me pictures of the tattoo I had admired on the subway, but some work that I wouldn't have been able to appreciate in person.

First off, the tattoo on her lower leg:

This tattoo of a snake charmer was done earlier this year at Kings Avenue Tattoo on the Bowery in Manhattan. The artist was the visiting Xam the Spaniard (Instagram here), who is based out of London.

Christina's other work was also done at Kings Avenue by other amazing artists. Behold:

I'll let Christina explain:
"My most significant tattoo is probably the bearded lady from Sarah Carter (she actually went by Sarah Schor then, was living in the States at the time, and started at the Kings Ave shop just after it opened its second location on the Bowery).
I was extremely naive about tattooing (as most people generally are when they nervously walk into a shop for the first time). I think I sent a really long, meaningful letter to Kings Ave before going in. Pretty cutesy/embarrassing stuff. Anyway, the reason this tattoo is the most significant one I have is because Sarah's work made me fall in love with tattooing. I admired her as an artist so much (serious girl crush—pretty sure she thought I was insane because I couldn't even respond to her in complete sentences) (part of this, honestly, is more about the whole tattoo-on-the-ribs thing though) (and people say it all the time, but that shit is no joke).
Before seeing her portfolio and getting tattooed by her, I had no connection to tattooing. None of my friends were into it, and I think we all know how difficult it can be finding artists and just generally knowing what you're looking at if nobody is there to show you. After, I was hooked. Especially since humble yet grossly talented artists like Mike [Rubendall] and Grez also added to my first real experience in a shop and made it a positive one. Grez in particular has become one of my favorite people just generally ever. Collecting from different artists is important to me, but if every single one of my tattoos were done by him, I'd be totally fine with it.
Sarah's bearded lady was the first of many black and grey sideshow performers I have on my body.  My entire right leg will be a cohesive piece in time, with different girl head performers from different artists. So far, it's Sarah, Grez, Xam, and Rose Hardy. In time, I'm hoping for Val Vargas, Chris Conn, Jack Rudy, and Tim Hendricks. We'll see how that all pans out."
Grez is responsible for the sword swallower and fire eater, which he tattooed in 2013.

Thanks to Christina for sending along her phenomenal sideshow tattoos!

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