Tagged: exhibition

Etienne Steffen: Bluttiefdruck

In this interview German born tattoo artist Etienne Steffen talks about his latest art project, performance and work: Bluttiefdruck


Etienne tattooing at the exhibition

Can you tell us about your project and performance? During my project Bluttiefdruck I combined my method of dry point printing with tattooing. I tattooed eight of a series of nine dragons – each one a whole sleeve. After each sleeve was finished I replicated the image of the tattoo onto a life-sized zink plate using a tattoo machine. Afterwards the image on the plate was printed onto handmade paper.
The performance was a combination of the previous techniques and mediums. The fusion was the next logical step. The ninth and final dragon of the series was tattooed on a participant using solely water instead of ink. The outflowing blood caused by the perforation of the skin was caught on a white piece of linen. An impression of the ninth dragon appeared. I coined this technique Bluttiefdruck.

_DSC7666 copy

The impression of the ninth dragon – Bluttiefdruck

How long did the performance take, how did the participant cope with the pain? The performance itself took about two hours. The participant took the pain very well. The pain was equivalent to getting a regular tattoo, due to the same process just replacing ink through water.

The Nine Dragon Scroll by Chinese artist Chen Rong from 1244 served as the main point of reference in this nine-part series. What was it about the dragon scroll and Japanese tattooing that fascinated you? It was always a reference when it came to dragons. I believe I have seen its influence in a lot of East Asian art whether ukiyo-e, sumi ink painting or horimono. So to me this project is also a homage to the nine dragon scroll. With regards to Japanese tattooing, I like the idea of a complete body suit concept with the back as the centre piece. Not to mention the fluidity in the background which carries the motives and connects them.


The participant and her finished tattoo after the performance

How has the exhibition been received? Most people that come to an exhibition are there because of the event, and the exhibition itself serves as a vehicle. The project and performance was very niche, to be able to understand it fully you needed specific knowledge of Horimono (carving or engraving) and dry point printing, so not everyone understood what exactly was going on. But there were quite a few close observers that really took the time to understand what the project and the performance are about – these were astonished and appreciated what they saw. On the other hand, someone in the tattoo industry, who I respect very much, said that they ‘hate everything it (the film) stands for and it has nothing to do with the art of tattooing’ – apparently my project polarises people.

What inspired you? Japanese woodblock prints have served as reference for most of Japanese tattooing and Horimono, and there is already a connection between printing and tattooing. I’ve been obsessed with the idea of combining Japanese tattooing with dry point printing since I started “tattooing” metal plates. To me it just felt natural to connect the two. When I realised that horimono could also be translated as engraving it made even more sense. After a long process of distilling different ideas the project became clear during one of my many travels to Japan to get my backpiece.


Four of the nine dragons in the series

What were you hoping to achieve, what message are you spreading? I want the people to see a certain subject through my eyes. To make the connections that I can see visible to others that might not see those parallels. To interpret traditional concepts and mediums (of art) in a new way. To put things into a new context. This project is about pushing boundaries. In today’s cultural landscape everything is about aesthetic -everything is superficial. In Bluttiefdruck I visualise the process. I had to disconnect the process from a more permanent motive, to span an arc between Japanese tattooing/horimono, European printing/drypoit and initiation rituals of ancient African cultures. My work is about discurs.


One of the tattooed dragons created for the exhibition

What do you love about tattoos? I love so many things about tattoos! They’re simple and complex at the same time. On the one hand you have the simple exchange- I produce something someone else likes, they buy it and we’re both happy. Then there is the aspect of craft, no matter how good my design is I have to be able to tattoo it in a proper way. On the other hand some of the most beautiful and meaningful tattoos are not well crafted at all and because of that they send a stronger message than a good tattoo ever could. As a professional tattooer I also think it’s fascinating that as soon as the tattoo is finished it has no more monetary worth. It can not be sold anymore but it is still valuable for the wearer. No matter how good or bad a tattoo is, no matter if it is meaningful or just jewellery it marks a certain point in your lifetime. But what’s most appealing to me is that there is more to tattooing than meets the eye. The process of tattooing and receiving a tattoo is spiritual to me.


A close up of one of Etienne’s dragons

What the below video to see the Etienne’s performance and the creation of Bluttiefdruck:

#tiarchive opening night

We had a fab opening night for our exhibition The Archive on Thursday 31 March at The Circle and below are some photos from the night. The exhibition marks the end of the printed magazine, and our back catalogue has been turned into original works of art by contributing artists:

Rachel Baldwin / Tracy D / Grace Neutral / Danielle Rose / Flo Nuttall / Brian Wilson / Yann Brenyak / Emily Alice Johnston / El Bernardes / James Gilyead / Jenna Yenik / Onnie O’Leary / Dawnii / Shane Ivezic / Mister Paterson / Hattie Cox / Jondix / Sophie Gibbons / Deryn Twelve / Tina Lugo / Tessa Metcalfe / Deno / Chloe O’Malley / Gary Dunn / Ricky Williams / Paul Hill / Kelly McGrath / Ruby Wolfe / Emily Dawson / Chloe Woodgate / Eszter David / Tori Treasure / Dominique Holmes / Emma Zanelli / Ashley Luka / James (Woody) Woodford / Nina Waldron / Jessi James / Emily Gypsy / Abbie Williams / Daisy Watson / Jessi Preston / Kyler Martz / Hannah O’Driscoll / Lucy O’Connell / Raph Cemo / Ann-Marie Kohlbecher / Gem Carter / Dexter Kay / Rhianna Jones / Sofie Simpson / Alex Candela / Lain Freefall / Natalie Petal Gardiner / El Pozan / Antoine Larrey / Jessica Leigh / Joanne Baker / Drew Linden / Daisuke Sakaguchi / Polly Sands / Anna Giongo / Susanna Widmann / Marie Cox / Pedro Santos / Hanumantra / Lee Jones / Pins /Meg Langdale / Inma / Claudia Ottaviani / Julia Seizure / Melissa Szeto / Nic Smith / Jesse Singleton / Matt Valentine / Nancy McNails / Hollie West / Frederico Lopes Rabelo / Blue / Alex Edwards / Ellis Arch

You can bid on a piece of Things&Ink history at galabid.com/tiarchive with profits going to The One Love Project

Rum on the night by The Kraken Rum Photos by Heather Shuker Photography

We’re also holding a charity flash day, as part of our exhibition ‪#‎tiarchive‬, with tattoos by Grace Neutral and Emily Alice Johnston.  Profit will go to The One Love Project and designs are based around ‪#love and ‪#‎india‬…day starts at 10am, at The Circle in London. Get early to avoid disappointment!

EclectionPhotography201 EclectionPhotography202 EclectionPhotography203 EclectionPhotography204 EclectionPhotography206 EclectionPhotography208 EclectionPhotography210 EclectionPhotography209 EclectionPhotography211 EclectionPhotography212 EclectionPhotography213 EclectionPhotography215 EclectionPhotography216 EclectionPhotography219 EclectionPhotography220 EclectionPhotography222 EclectionPhotography223 EclectionPhotography225 EclectionPhotography228 EclectionPhotography230 EclectionPhotography233 EclectionPhotography234 EclectionPhotography235 EclectionPhotography236 EclectionPhotography237 EclectionPhotography238 EclectionPhotography242 EclectionPhotography245 EclectionPhotography248 EclectionPhotography247 EclectionPhotography251 EclectionPhotography250 EclectionPhotography252 EclectionPhotography253 EclectionPhotography254 EclectionPhotography256

Things&Ink present: THE ARCHIVE

Things&Ink present:
THURSDAY 31 MARCH 2016 6pm-late

 An exhibition of Things&Ink covers turned into original works of art by people who have graced the pages of the magazine over the years…

Things&Ink is delighted to announce The Archive, a group exhibition celebrating more than three years, and 12 issues, of Things&Ink by inviting artists who have contributed to the magazine to turn back issues into original works of art. Opening on Thursday 31 March, and running for two weeks, at The Circle, in London’s Soho, to raise awareness for The One Love Project, with profits from sales being donated to the project that helps under-privileged children in Pushkar India.

The original face issue cover The original face issue cover, published in February 2013 The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams The Face Issue decorated by Abbie Williams


The Archive will showcase the breadth and variety of artistic talent within the  tattoo community. With more than 120 contributing artists from across the globe, each of the covers will be auctioned off in a silent auction that will run across the course of the exhibition, with bids starting at just £6.95 – the retail price of the magazine.

Never afraid to approach taboo subjects such as DIY and facial tattoos, Things&Ink have published 12 issues to date and each has had a specific theme, covering art, love, history and even fruit. Turning tattoo media on its head and moving away from a more sexist model, Things&Ink promotes body confidence and self acceptance by featuring inspirational people such as tattooed bearded lady Harnaam Kaur. Its aim has been to celebrate tattoo history, give inspiration through high-end photo shoots and provide commentary on current tattoo culture, The Archive will celebrate this by bringing together everyone who has featured on its pages.

The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral The Modification Issue, decorated by its cover star Grace Neutral


Each contributing artist has been sent a back issue at random, and there is no brief. They simply have to turn the cover of the magazine into an original work of art by using a medium of their choice.

The exhibition will run from Thursday 31 March until Sunday 17 April, and the artwork will be on display at The Circle for the course if it. There will also be a flash day on a date to be confirmed, with tattoos by two of Things&Ink’s favourite cover stars Grace Neutral (The Modification Issue) and Emily Johnston (The Horror Issue).

The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron The Launch Issue, decorated by Nina Waldron


The archive event is going to be the first time that all of our favourite artists we have ever featured have participated in an exhibition together and I cannot wait to see what our front covers become after they have been transformed into original pieces of art.  The Things & Ink journey wouldn’t have been anything without the help and support of all the amazing contributors and we are eternally grateful.” Keely Reichardt, Project Manager of The Archive

LIST OF EXHIBITING ARTISTS: Cally Jo, Grace Neutral, Jondix, Bob Done, Rik Lee, Ashley Love, Shane Ivezic, Susanne Konig, Frederico Rabelo, Lianne Moule, Guy Le Tatooer, Mike Tea, James Hate, Robert A Borbas, Saschi McCormack, Antoine Larrey, Tina Lugo, Deno, Flo Nuttall, Rachel Baldwin, Brian Wilson, Emily Johnston, Claudia de Sabe, Drew Linden

PLUS many more artists to be announced…

The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin The Love Issue, decorated by its cover star Rachel Baldwin

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.

Mobile tattoo parlour collects 200 pictures and stories

A mobile tattoo parlour has been touring Bristol, encouraging the public to document their tattoos with photographs and share their stories. The project “I Will Always Have You” will be featured in the city’s art and culture show and started in Knowle West in June 2014.

Arts producer Melissa Mean curated the exhibition in order to gather memories and stories behind tattoos to add to growing digital archives.

By exploring the power of personal narratives and the construction of character through body art, we hope to better understand the growing popularity of tattoos across the UK and the richness of Knowle West’s tattoo culture.

The exhibition will be on show at Knowle West Media Centre until Christmas. People can add their tattoos to the online archive.

Image and Melissa quoted from bbc.co.uk

Identity – Portraits | Modification | Adornment. The exhibition launch night.

Identity – Portraits | Modification | Adornment.

An exhibition celebrating the work of tattooists, artists and photographers,
curated by Things&Ink magazine at Into You, London


This is a film by Papercut Pictures from the exhibition launch night.

Did you attend the launch night? Can you spot yourself in the video?

Identity: Portraits, Modification, Adornment from Papercut Pictures on Vimeo.
Music by: Manatees – ‘Untitled’ from the album Icarus, The Sunclimber

The crowds at the opening night of the exhibition at Into You, London.


Some more information behind the exhibition:
Identity means something different to us all, and it is something some of us can struggle with into our adult years. This collection of original artwork and photography explores the way our identities can be informed by the world around us and what we choose to do with our bodies. Each piece is the artist’s interpretation of the theme – no restrictions or limitations. The collection is varied, exciting and thought-provoking.

The exhibition also coincides with the launch of The Identity Issue – issue 7 of Things & Ink magazine – which explores identity within the medium of tattooing, with stunning editorial shoots and in-depth features.

The Identity exhibition is currently on show at Into You London until the first week of July.

The Identity exhibition features work from:
Alex Binnie / Araceli 4ever / Axa Shireen / Goldilox
Delphine Noiztoy / Duncan X / Joao Bosco /
Matt (Oddboy) Barratt-Jones / Susanna Widmann / Wendy Pham
Ramon Maiden / James Woodford / Jack Newton / Tomas Tomas  Adam Sage /
Luke Garwood / Heather Shuker 

The event was kindly sponsored by Sailor Jerry… thanks for the rum cocktails… xx


Sailor Jerry sponsors The Things&Ink Identity exhibition

We are very pleased to announce that Sailor Jerry will be sponsoring the opening of IDENTITY – Portraits | Modification | Adornment – our exhibition at Into You London in May 2014.

Join and celebrate with us:
Thursday 22 May from 7pm
Into You, 144 St John St, London EC1V 4UA
RSVP here.

Sailor Jerry will be providing awesome cocktails including:
Jerry and Ginger Beer
Sailor Jerry and Coke
Jerry Mojito
Shave & a Haircut
Heavy Punch

Respect his legacy, drink responsibly.

What more could you ask for? Ink, art and booze. See you on Thursday…

Jerry and Ginger Beer


SJ Mojito Jerry Mojito


Shave & a Haircut


Heavy Punch


Cocktails recipes from Sailor Jerry coming soon. More information about the event here.

Tattooist and the Tattooed, An Exhibition in Paris

From the origins of body art 3,000 years ago to contemporary artwork, a new Paris exhibition from HEY magazine and tattoo artist Tin-Tin charts the history and significance of tattoos throughout civilization.

Tatoueurs Tatoues runs from 6 May 2014  until 18 October 2015 at the  Musée du Quai Branly37 Quai Branly, 75007 Paris.

The exhibition is curated by journalists Julien and Anne, and includes photographs, tools, skulls and pieces of tattooed human skin.

“Tattooing is part of the common heritage of most of humanity, we wanted to do this exhibition for a long time because we feel it’s important to show that tattooing has a real history and is a pure product of humanity. There’s not a place in the world where mankind has been that has not used tattooing … It’s both artisan and artistic. In the past there was a fear of tattoos and people would hide them. Today attitudes have changed. People used to do it because they wanted to identify themselves as different to make a statement, but today it’s become fashionable and the opposite holds true. People want to be different so they don’t want tattoos.” Julien.

The exhibition explores the art of tattooing from around the world and maps the tattoo revolution. From traditional styles and techniques to the more mainstream and trendy ideas of tattooing.

All images from Vogue Hommes International