Category: Art

Cosmic Cuties: Body Confident Cartoons

Sixteen-year-old Mikhaila Nokel from Brooklyn, is the creator of Cosmic Cuties, a series of cartoon style illustrations that spread self love and body confidence. Mikhaila is a body image activist who uses her drawings to help other girls who may be struggling with self esteem issues.

The Cosmic Cuties website describes the illustrated girl gang as:

Kickass space girls who fight sexism throughout the universe. They stand for feminism, body acceptance, and self love!

 

Follow @cosmic_cuties for more awesome babes.

16th International Tattoo Expo Roma

Our Italian Contributor Ilaria went to Rome Tattoo Convention, this is the diary of her visit, including the incredible artists she met along the way…

 

“The International Tattoo Expo Rome was held from 8th to 10th May 2015. I could not resist, so I went there on Sunday, the last day…

“It is one of the biggest tattoo conventions in the world, where you can meet 300 international tattoo artists, from St. Petersburg, Beijing and Austin to Las Vegas, Montreal and London. The artists are very prestigious, and the convention allows the curious to get tattooed by their idols: for example, Sarah Miller, star of the US television show Ink Master, the phenomenon of Los Angeles Matt Arriola or the artists coming from the famous Lowrider Tattoo Studios.

“During last year’s convention, actress Asia Argento had marched on stage showing off her brand new tattoo done by Marco Manzo, as a competitor in the 2014 Tattoo Contest. This year Marco Manzo is still bringing his Haute Couture tattoos to the tattoo scene – feminine black lace inked onto skin. Last February, he also presented his tattooed clients at Maxxi Museum, the National Museum of XXI Century Arts in Rome. It was a success and a great step towards the acknowledgement of tattoo as an art form.

“Next I met Miss Juliet and Fabio Gargiulo, who created two limited editions prints to help Nepal earthquake victims. The proceeds will be donated to the appeal, and they will go on selling these artworks at other tattoo conventions: Naples, Athens, Milan and Cagliari. I think this is a strong and wise action, and the tattoo community has once again demonstrated sensitivity to world emergencies.

Miss Juliet and Fabio Gargiulo

 

“Walking around, I spotted so many new artists and I had the opportunity to meet some amazing people. Here are four people I was super happy to see:

David Côté. He is a young graphic designer and tattoo artist from Montreal, Canada. His psychedelic tattoos are stunning, and he is really a kind guy. Here is what he created during the convention.

 

Denis Elice. He is from Turin, Italy. I think you should keep an eye on him. He has clear ideas and his tattoos evidence this. Whales, sailors, roses, these are only some of his subjects. His style is black traditional, but with a very personal touch.

 

Chad Koeplinger. Well, he is one of the greats. Here are some of his tattoos from the convention.

 

Nicoz Balboa: (yep, after three men, we have a powerful woman!) She is an illustrator and her works on skin are simply beautiful, I think she has the right sense of balance between colour and subject, and she is great in freehand tattoo.

 

“Tattoo conventions always make me feel at home, and I think this is the best feeling ever. No judgments but only love and admiration for tattoos and art (that, to me, are just the same thing).”


ARE YOU A TATTOO COLLECTOR? TAKE THE QUIZ!

Eva Laflamme, editor of The Tattoo Tourist, invites you to take our tattoo collector quiz.

tattoo by Jeff Gogue

 

“Tattoos can say a lot about a person. Having a tattoo or tattoos, subject matter and placement all form an impression of an individual whether it is accurate or not. If you are reading this you probably have a tattoo or are thinking of getting one. What will your tattoo say about you? What do you want it to say? Ask yourself, “How will my tattoo/s represent me? ”

“Or don’t. Seriously – Do. Not. Get tattoos because they are cool as shit and you like them and you had some time and a hundred bucks to kill while you were getting your tires rotated and that is how you got your latest ink. I’m not making fun here – that is a completely legitimate way to ink up and the chosen method for a majority of tattoo enthusiasts. The sheer number of tattoo shops in the USA and abroad allows for a free-wheeling approach to acquiring ink that is unprecedented,

Twenty plus years ago when I got my first tattoo I was living in Utah. (Don’t judge. It could happen to anyone.) I decided to get my first tattoo and choosing a shop was very easy. There was only one in a hundred mile radius. My choice of artist? Limited to the sketchy metal head with the tattoo machine and a terrifying case of the shakes. Now you can find shops in the most unlikely of places including some very tiny locations and upscale towns. Where you used to have to go to the sketchier areas to find a shop you can now go to a fancy mall and get tattooed right in the display window. Times have changed but what about the way people get tattooed?

“Back in the early 70s when tattooing started to emerge from the docks and honky tonks and into “polite society” the first tattoo conventions were held. These were serious-minded collectives of tattoo artists looking to share information, check out each others equipment (basically all hand crafted) and compare work. The non-artists in attendance were mostly wives and girlfriends of the artists (precious few women tattooing at this time) and a sprinkling of die-hard fans. Now  many tattoo conventions are  full-scale lifestyle events with bands, car shows, beauty pagents, acres of branding and merchandise, celebrity artists, fans and collectors. So what is a tattoo collector exactly and what is the difference between a person who loves tattoos and has a bunch and a tattoo collector who also loves tattoos and has a bunch. Welllll – it’s subtle.

“A tattoo fan will get a tattoo as the mood strikes based on proximity to a tattoo artist, cash in pocket and whatever looks good on the flash wall or idea they have swimming around in their head. A tattoo collector will get a tattoo based on extensive research of favourite artists, email stalking of said artists, long waiting periods of anywhere from six months to two years and an investment in their ink that would shock a lot of people who have tattoos.”

tattoo by Teresa Sharpe

 

Here is a check list to see if you are a Tattoo Collector

(If you answer “yes” to more than two you have got the bug)

1. You have a list of artists you would like to work with

2. Those artists have waiting lists or their “books are closed”

3. This fact causes you angst to varying degrees.

4. You are willing to let an artist dictate partially or completely what they will tattoo on you and where and how big

5. This causes you no angst – you are totally game

6. You are willing to travel more than a couple of hours from your home – even fly and even go out of country for a tattoo (If you answered yes to this one you have the bug – period. – no cure in sight!)

7. You don’t have as many tattoos as you want because you are waiting for that particular artist to agree to work with you

8. You can identify more than five tattoos artists’ work at a glance

9. Your friends and family think you are a little nuts about the whole tattoo thing. You sort of agree with them

10. You know most people “don’t get it” but that is fine. Some people collect Beanie Babies or schnauzers and you don’t get that but it’s their thing and that is cool with you. Serious tattoo collecting is YOUR thing. You are approaching your body like a curated tattoo exhibit and it is a fascinating, exasperating, thrilling and expensive ride. Buckle Up!

tattoo by Erin Chance

 

“How did you do? I said “yes” to all ten so I am definitely up to my neck in it. And does it matter if you said no to all of them? Does that make your tattoos “less than”? Oh hell no. Part of me wishes I could tap the brakes on my tattoo mania and just get some ink without having to move heaven and earth first. I chatted about Rock and Roller Andy Biersack’s “random” ink collection last week and I wasn’t kidding when I said I thought it was cool as hell.

“That is one of the many things I love about tattoos and tattoo culture – it truly does embrace all types. From the middle age housewife with a serious tattoo collection to the young 20 somethings inking up on the fly with no plan and no worries.  At the end of the day it all looks pretty damn cool. Unless you get a crap tattoo. That is not cool.

“So maybe you are not a “collector” but at the very least be a good tattoo consumer. Go to a professional tattoo artist who employs proper safety standards and knows how to handle a tattoo machine. Scratchers are called that largely because their line work is shaky as shit due to their lack of know-how. Tattooing well takes serious practice and skill to do it right. Don’t offer up your skin to a half-assed amateur. Make sure you are getting inked by a professional who takes pride in their craft – whether it is an elaborate full back piece or a simple word tattoo – then your ink will always be cool to the only person whose opinion on it truly matters – Your Own.

tattoo by Kelly Doty

 

all tattoos in this post are done by my short list of “dream” artists. If you help me get an appointment with one of them I will bake you your favorite cookies and Fed Ex them to you – I promise!

Abracadhybrid – an exhibition by Amanda Toy

We sent one of our lovely readers, Ilaria, to the opening of Amanda Toy’s exhibition ’Abracadhybrid’ at Parione9 to review the event for us…

“Last week I was at gallery Parione9, in Rome, near Piazza Navona. As soon as I walked in, my eyes were welcomed by a feast of balloons, colourful walls… and so many people! Here I had the pleasure to meet two lovely ladies, Marta Bandini and Elettra Bottazzi, who curated ‘Abracadhybrid’, the first solo show by Amanda Toy. Amanda Toy, as you may already know, is a tattoo artist from Italy. For over 18 years,  she has reinterpreted old school with a really personal touch that is now very recognisable.

“On 10th April, she was in Rome to celebrate the opening of her chimerical art exhibition. Among nature, childhood and bright colours, you immediately get caught up by and feel involved with the artworks on the wall. It’s like falling into a dreamy yet very realistic world. It’s magic but also reality…  Abracad(abra)… hybrid!

“It was one of those rare moments in which you could feel the power of art and the passion all around, because Amanda truly painted her deep emotions and feelings onto canvas. She found a way to bring together happiness and sadness. That’s what she always says: no rain, no rainbow! Seven canvases on which hybrid creatures live to make you think and wonder. Seven characters in which are hidden different themes, from love to fear, from strength to fantasy.

From left to right: Marta Bandini, Amanda Toy, Ilaria, and Elettra Bottazzi

 

“As Amanda Toy explained, her paintings are her own vision, a transformation aimed at personal growth. Canvases play with the observer, and those big eyes are a key to self-exploration. The lady faces on the walls, at first glance, seem funny and cheerful, but… if you take a closer look, they will reveal the stratagem of life: not everything is what it seems. Here, as in our lives, there is space for happiness and joy, as much as for sadness and nostalgia.

“By this artistic mean, Amanda lets you get a closer look to yourself and be aware of this equilibrium. Abracadhybrid is her spell for a magical life!

You can see Abracadhybrid exhibition until 10th June 2015, at Gallery Parione9. You will also find Things&Ink mags, as the gallery has just become the first official stockist in Italy!

Photos by Diana Bandini and Matteo Rasero

Suds and Smiles Samantha Fortenberry

Photographer Samantha Fortenberry has created a series of photographs titled Suds and Smiles to encapsulate the joy of bath time. The collection explores the relationship between people and objects with vibrant colours, kitsch accessories and humorous staging.

Samantha also introduces  ideas of body positivity and gender equality, as she shoots both male and female nudes, all exuding a beautiful confidence.

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican

Magnificent Obsessions: The Artist as Collector at the Barbican presents the fascinating personal collections of post-war and contemporary artists. Ranging from mass-produced memorabilia and popular collectibles to one-of-a-kind curiosities, rare artefacts and specimens.

The collections provide insight into the inspirations, influences and obsessions of artists, including tattoo artist Dr Lakra from Mexico – whose collection includes brightly coloured album covers from his record collection – and the renowned, and sometimes controversial, Damien Hirst – whose collection consists of human skulls and taxidermy.

Album covers from the collection of Dr Lakra. Photo by Dr Lakra Skulls on display in Damien Hirst’s house, Courtesy Murderme Collection

 

 

While some artists are connoisseurs, others accumulate hoards of objects, never letting anything go. Many make direct use of their collections and others keep them under wraps or in storage. Collecting objects for research and study is key to the practice of many artists in the exhibition. Presented alongside examples of their work, their collections help to elucidate their art.

A highlight for us is discovering that pop art king Andy Warhol is as big a fan of kitsch as we are…

Cookie jars formerly in the collection of Andy Warhol. Image courtesy the Movado Group

 

 

 

If you love quirky collections and finding out more about the artists’ creative process, this exhibition is for you. It runs at the Barbican in London from 12 February 2015 – 25 May 2015, more info at www.barbican.org.uk

 

Photos from Huffington Post

Mårwåne Pallas: This Is My Body

This Is My Body is a series created by self-taught Paris born artist Mårwåne Pallas. The composed self portraits hauntingly explore physical anatomy and the damaging ways we manipulate the human body. The collection also looks at ideas of sexuality and physical status connected with the Bible.


In The Flesh

The Making of Eve 

My Body is a Temple

This Is My Blood

Tim Walker Photography

Tim Walker creates beautiful photographs with extravagant staging and romantic motifs. His work has adorned the pages of  Vogue for over ten years and The National Portrait Gallery homes a stunning collection. We’ve picked a few of our favourites from his online archive, which ones do you love?

Lily Cole, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, June 2005

 

Malgosia Bela, Essex, Harper’s Bazaar, October 2009

 

Laura McCone & Luke Field Wright, Suffolk, Italian Vogue, September 2010

 

Pastel Cats, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, November 2000

 

Lindsey Wixson, Northumberland, Italian Vogue, January 2012

Linnéa Sjöberg and her homemade tattoo project

The Swedish artist, Linnéa Sjöberg has been turning DIY tattoos into performance art after a year of travelling around Europe taking photographs of herself and her friends tattooing themselves.  The year long project has now culminated in a book called Salong Flyttkartong with the message ‘Act Before Thinking’ where she wants to cultivate irrational chaotic thinking, “that’s the energy in the project, kind of counter-productive. It’s two opposites: act before thinking but it’s going to stay with you for the rest of your life. People need to take a stand point: some people are like, “Yeah, go ahead,” and some back off and don’t want to hear about it, they are so frightened of this idea.”

  

  

  

  

A somewhat controversial subject and now what some may seem as ‘trendy’ are homemade tattoos but Linnéa delves into the psychology of tattooing yourself and why taking control of your own body is the most powerful tool we have. One of her most powerful tattoos was of the markings a plastic surgeon made on her breasts before having a boob job, “I booked a time at a plastic surgery clinic in Manhattan and asked the doctor to draw the lines that he would follow during a breast enlargement. With those lines I went home and tattooed them in front of the mirror, by myself.”

   

 Linnéa’s book Salong Flyttkartong can be purchased here and she is also exhibiting at the Gallery Steinsland Berliner in Stockholm. More information about her work can be found on her website 

Tattoos: 150 years of body art

Susanna Kumschick, a Swiss anthropologist, has curated an exhibition in Hamburg charting 150 years of body art. “I started with skin, because I really think if you are studying tattooing, you need to look at human skin closely too,” Susanna explains. She believes that the tattoo industry has not been represented enough when discussing anthropology in relation to art and design and after much research she “was surprised that it wasn’t actually a subject in art and design museums until recently.”

Thea Duskin, Untitled 2011

Kumschick discusses how tattoos have been represented throughout history in artists’ work, “They were always inspired by the aesthetics, from early on – the human body has been a subject in art for a long time, and so is painting on the body.”

The artist Fumie Sasabuchi adds tattoos to photographs taken from fashion magazines using traditional motifs taken from the Japanese Yakuza mafia. “Tattooing is more fashionable because we show our skin much more than in the past, so it’s more of a communication medium. We should look at them closely, because it depends where you have them on your body – you’re saying different things by the location you choose. It’s normal to have one today but it’s still a statement if you put one on your face, unlike one on your chest or ankle.” The image below was created from a photograph taken from children’s magazine Vogue Angels.

She also looks at how tattoos can stigmatise certain people.  The photographer and filmmaker Christian Poveda spent a year with members of the Mara 18 gang in El Salvador, who cover themselves in tattoos marking the numbers of people they’ve killed or commemorating the death of a fellow gang member.

The exhibition is at MK&G in Hamburg until 6 September 2015.