Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Twiggy Electric's Lines

One night back in September, I was headed home from a poetry reading (and tattooed poets), when I met a woman on the 59th Street Platform in Brooklyn. She let me photograph her tattoo:


She called herself Twiggy Electric, and this is how our conversation went:

Tattoosday (BC): Is there any significance...

Twiggy Electric (TE): There is, um, it's more about what you see, so...

BC: Okay

TE: What do you see?

BC: Well, when you say Twiggy, then I think twigs.

TE: Okay, obviously, but that has more to do with the model, so I'm actually curious what you see...

BC: Oh, lines and cracks and fissures and, there's some structure in there. Barbed wire, but not really like in that tacky, like '80s, '90s barbed wire arm band type of thing

TE: Okay

BC: Concentric circles around the lower part of the arm. Um, so I... I don't see...they're just fissures and cracks in your arm

TE: Right, okay

BC: Is that okay?

TE: Yeah, no it's cool. My vision between the entire thing [notices the phone out] You're recording, I see

BC: Is that okay? [Train pulls into station slowly, noisily]

TE: Yeah, that's cool. You didn't ask me first...

BC: Sorry, Sorry [Thinks to self, I though it was obvious, I was holding my phone out.]

TE: But I see that you are, so but my vision

BC: I don't put the recording up there

TE: is to force people to view things artistically

BC: So you force people to view things artistically?

TE: Yeah, so um, they're just lines. That's it.

BC: just lines, that's it?

TE:No other structure, that's it.

BC: Okay

TE: The way I view it is, ordered chaos, in a way.

BC: Okay

TE: The first circle is closed and all the other ones are open That's something you're gonna see if you look very closely, but the whole point behind seeing things artistically is, you pick up on your own vision.

Here's another shot of Twiggy Electric's tattoos, much more artistic, copied from a public photo on her Instagram:


Thanks to Twiggy Electric for sharing her tattoo, and for engaging me in a discussion about the work.

This entry is ©2015 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, March 1, 2015

Shayna's Docs, Inspired by Japanese Tattoo Design

We've all seen tattoo-themed clothing, led by the societal onslaught of the "Ed Hardy" clothing line, which was hijacked by fashion designers and turned the brand into a stereotypical joke.

But there's a right way to appropriate the design aesthetic and make it stylish and hip. Check out this new pair of Doc Martens my 16-year old just got for her birthday:

Photo by Melanie Cohen
Take a closer look:






The Doc Martens website says about these boots:
"Our 1460 8-Eye boot has been a counter-culture classic since it first came out in 1960. Inspired by the iconology and styling of US Hardcore bands and their fans, we've wrapped this iconic style in Japanese-influenced tattoo art-- including koi fish, cherry blossoms, peacocks and clouds (plus a red 1460 hidden away in the pattern). The intricate design is printed in muted tones on tan full grain leather, set off by a strong-and-simple black welt and grooved sole."
You can order them online here.

I'd get a pair for myself, but my teenager would kill me.

This entry is ©2015 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, February 27, 2015

Jeremy's Back With an Insane Tattoo

I recently learned my friend Jeremy has an insane back piece. Check it out:


I was dying to find out what this was all about. I recognized Charles Manson, but was that George Bush? Sigmund Freud?

Next time I had a chance to sit down and talk to Jeremy, he filled me in:
"I've had an extreme interest in serial killers since I was in high school ... I'm going back to school now ... for forensic psychology ... to do profiling ... So I've always had a huge interest in it ... Down in Puerto Rico, when I was getting tattooed down there, I was talking with my tattoo artist and he'd never seen a piece that big dedicated to that [serial killers]."
So who is in this Hall of Serial Fame? From the top left, going clockwise, we have David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz, then Charles Manson, then Ted Bundy (looking a little like George W. Bush), Andrei Chikatilo, Albert Fish (the one I mistook for Freud) and Ed Gein, with a silhouette of Jack the Ripper in the middle.

Am I the only one who thinks that Ted Bundy looks like George W. Bush? "No," Jeremy told me, "I get that a lot."

He credited the work to Blen167 from 167th AllStar Tattoo in Puerto Rico. Blen167 now works at Harisumi Tattoo.

So how long did this take? Jeremy told me it was about one sitting per face, "so about 6 different sittings, 4-5 hours each, 35 hours total, not super bad."

Jeremy recognizes that this might not be the most popular subject matter for a big tattoo piece, but he's committed enough to the study of the criminal mind that it seems fitting. It's definitely not work you see every day.

I thank Jeremy for sharing this amazing back piece with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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, February 16, 2015

Caroline's Tattoo, Traded for a Stuffed Magpie

Last summer I met Caroline on Broad Street, one morning before I was headed into work.

She had this really cool and interesting tattoo on her arm:


Caroline explained that this tattoo was done by an artist who goes by the name Tron who lives in Portland.
Caroline explained her relationship with Tron and how this tattoo came to be:
"She's been a friend of mine for years ... we actually met on a music message board when I was in high school, like a Riot grrrl music message board ... I had seen her designs, I loved them, [and] I saw she did a page of flash for a convention that was all about the band Bikini Kill , which was one of the bands we grew up loving ... I had a taxidermy bird that I bought at a taxidermy shop years ago, I was trying to get rid of it, I could not get anyone to buy it - she [Tron] wanted to trade it for a tattoo, so it worked out perfectly, I traded her this ... I think it was a magpie, for this tattoo, and I saw the picture and I loved it and I actually emailed her about getting it a couple days later .. "Resist Psychic Death" is a Bikini Kill song and the rest of it was designed by her. I knew I wanted something, she kinda does something with those M.C. Escher-style impossible objects, and I was like 'Sure, just throw up [a] skeleton's hand, that sounds like it makes sense.' "
Thanks to Caroline for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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, February 9, 2015

Coney Island, USA (Thanks to Tommy)

Occasionally, friends text me photos of tattooed people. This is one of the benefits of celebrating people's body art.

This came to me, courtesy of my friend Tommy, who snapped this photo of an anonymous guy's Brooklyn pride:

The gentleman did not want to credit his independent artist, but was willing to share.

Thanks to Tommy for thinking of me and sharing this Brooklyn ink with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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, February 3, 2015

Rochelle's Tattoos Are Powerful Reminders

Last summer, while riding my bike along the Belt Parkway Promenade, I met Rochelle, who was kind enough to talk with me and share several of her tattoos.

The first one we discussed was this one on her calf:


Rochelle explained that this is an illustration from Peter Rabbit, but not the one that is familiar to most of us. She explained that in the German version, the story spoke to her more, as Rochelle once had problems with drug abuse. She explained that the rabbit in this other version of the story took to stealing vegetables from the farmer, “but he grows fat and he is then cooked in stew by the farmer’s wife." Rochelle added, "So he’s, like, consumed by his desire, and I was consumed by my desire to do drugs ... I got the tattoo when I was becoming sober.”

This tattoo and several others Rochelle has were done by Mike Lucena from Brooklyn's Flyrite Tattoo, who she calls "a great artist and a good-hearted guy.”

She also shared this piece by Mike Lucena:


Located on her thigh, Rochelle explained, "It’s a pysanky egg, it’s a Ukrainian egg-decorating practice ... an old folk practice that my mother and I did when I was a child and I got it in memory of my mother when she passed.”

She also shared this tattoo on her upper arm:



Rochelle explained that this is Monkshood. She elaborated:
"It's a delphinium  flower ... it’s like a bluebell ... almost, but they call it monkshood because, if you look at the flower it looks like a monk wearing a hood. It symbolizes usually death and ill-will, but a lot of people also use it because it symbolizes warding off evil and warding off death … I got it from Becki [Wilson] the day after my mother died, so now it has a huge amount of meaning to me ... Becki was at Greene Avenue Tattoo when this was done, but she has moved shops."

And finally, Rochelle shared a fourth tattoo, on another calf:


She explained that this was also done by Mike Lucena, and is her interpretation of The Tower Tarot Card:
"I study tarot…this is my drawing and then Mike did a complete copy and ... he had done the rabbit first, and then I was like, I want you to do it like the rabbit with my drawing … so watercolor, sort of, so he faded out the inks, the symbolism of the tower tarot card is like chaos, destruction and rebirth."
Thanks to Rochelle for sharing all of her awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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, January 21, 2015

Three for Tattoosday - A Trio of Teachers Share Their Ink

Last summer, I was biding my time near work, at the corner of Wall Street and Broad, when a group of tattooed people walked past. Like many of the visitors to that section of the city, they were travelers from elsewhere. I learned that these three friends were also educators, enjoying their summer with a trip to NYC.

All three of them were open and friendly, allowing me to take photos of their tattoos and to get the stories behind them.

The first person I spoke to was Amie, who shared this Wizard of Oz tattoo from her upper right arm:


It's a really cool Emerald City image, encompassed in a snow globe, with a flying witch, a yellow brick road and a rainbow. Dorothy's ruby slippers are poised in front of the snow globe.

Amie credited the work to "Little" Jen Small from 510 Expert Tattoo in Charlotte, North Carolina. "I'd been wanting something Wizard of Oz because it's my all-time favorite movie," Amie told me, "and I mentioned it to her [the artist] and she ran with the idea and did exactly what I was hoping for."

This piece, so colorful, was only two weeks old at the time, so it still had that fresh tattoo sheen.

Next up was Chad, who shared this tattoo "in the ditch" for me to see:


Chad explained, "My tattoo was done by Nate Hudak at Flying Tiger Tattoo in Norwood, Ohio." Norwood is an enclave of Cincinnati. He added, "It's an all-seeing eye ... I'm ... into traditional tattooing and I like the idea of a higher being seeing over, you know, everything."

And last up was Tom, a retired school teacher who shared this exploding apple:


He summed it up succinctly in telling me, "I had mine done by Tommy Partin at Aces High [in Mt. Orab, just east of Cincinnati, Ohio] and mine was just a way to represent being done with teaching."

Thanks to Amie, Chad and Tom, this trio of friends, who were all so generous in sharing their ink with us here on Tattoosday!

This entry is ©2015 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.