For his latest collection titled Pigs, New York photographer Peter Garritano asked tattoo artists to decorate real pig heads with designs of their choice as part of a project to show the relationship between tattooists and skin. Peter got the pig heads from a butcher in Brooklyn who sources animals that lead happy lives on local family farms. He wanted to show off the talent of tattooists in New York, the creativeness, strangeness and difference of the tattooing scene.
Who tattoos at the shop? I work at the shop full time and my business partner Brad Fink is based in St.Louis at Iron Age studio. He gets to New York as often as he can. Our other full time artists are Diego Mannino, Chilly Pete and Lara Scotton from Milan.
How long has the studio been open? We opened Daredevil in 1997 when tattooing was legalized in New York after a 30 year ban. Two years ago we moved from our original location on Ludlow Street to our new space on Division in Chinatown.
Can you tell us about the New York tattoo Museum you are creating? Our new space is larger and incorporates Brad’s extensive historical tattoo collection. Our new location is also just down the street from Chatham Square and the Bowery, the birthplace of modern American tattooing. We are very excited to be able to build a space that pays tribute to the early roots of modern tattooing in the same place where it all began.
How did the fundraising page start? In December we were able to buy the storefront that the shop is located in but it really wiped us out and we were anxious to finish the work needed to bring the rest of the collection into the space. We saw the fundraising campaign as a way to finish the work on the space and also to let people know about the museum and to get people involved in it. Probably the best part of the campaign was the amount of support we got from the tattoo community and really having a sense of people believing in the project and wanting it to come about.
What do you hope to achieve? These days with so many small businesses falling to high rents and being pushed out our goal has been to build a permanent home for tattoo history in New York City that is open to everyone and is a global destination for the tattoo community.
Why is the museum needed? New York City of all cities needs a tattoo museum more than any place else because of the history it gave us.
How much have you raised? The kickstarter campaign raised $36,000
What’s next? Right now we’re working on getting all the rewards out to all the people who pledged for the campaign and finishing the projects in the shop that the campaign will be paying for. The main projects are the front display case that will hold the Thomas Edison engraving pen along with other artifacts, the signage out front that can go up when the work is done on the facade of our building and getting the crushed penny machine working that we got from Lyle Tuttle.
You can see the progress of the kickstarter campaign here
Our guest blogger is Eva Jean a 31-year-old tattoo artist who works at 8 Of Swords Tattoo in Brooklyn, NYC. Our editorial assistant Rosie had noticed Eva’s Instagram post where she ranted in response to Jakub Pollág’s, a Royal College of Art graduate, who has developed the Personal Tattoo Machine. We chatted to Eva to find out more…
The reason I’m expressing my opinion on this new ‘DIY’ “tattoo kit” created by Jakub Pollág was because I was asked to. Let me preface this also by making it clear that I am not the be all-end-all of tattooing standards- BUT I have been in business for 12 years adhering to a strict set of health codes and laws.
At home tattooing kits that involve breaking your own skin or another’s, is just not satisfactory.
Regardless of provided provisions (the gloves, the sterile needle,the instruction manual included [I have not read it]). I can not sit by in passivity and say that this seems like a decent idea. There are professionals for a reason. Dentists, mechanics, salon stylists, etc. they have all attended the appropriate tutelage and exist under an umbrella of certain (professional and legal) standards.
A large portion of why tattoo parlours exist is for hygienic purposes. The few excuses that Jakub has listed as a selling point (making the tattoo meaning more personal and bringing democracy into the hands of enthusiasts) is quite sad. To me it seems that this reasoning is an offensive ploy, an attempt to further encourage the idea that this home-kit is something that should be available to the true adventurer.
Not so. Would you like to create some physical damage and potential serious harm to your own body? How about your friend? Better yet- if significant and ugly scarring isn’t enough of a risk factor for the adrenaline junky- how about we bring the light of potentially spreading infectious disease to one another? Sounds like a party now, doesn’t it? No! It does not!
Whether the tattoo-desiring individual craves something of a high detailed creative project (like the cat portrait suggested by Jakub) or a singular dot. The bottom line is this: you get what you pay for. This especially for clients to be. If you’re so concerned with making your tattoo personal and individual…put some thought into it. Do your research. Allow yourself time, do not rush into buyer’s remorse, but ensure that you will get what you want, and nothing more.
Read Eva’s original Instagram rant below:
Okay. I do not often “rant” on social media, but this particular article (featured on deezen.com) does make me raise my eyebrows big time. Okay deep breath. For a while now I have been grappling with the over popularization of tattoo-inspiration stemming off from websites much like Pinterest. I have just over 16K followers on my account here, which I am blown away by and flattered over. I would like to think that this has something to do with the fact that I sincerely do help try to push people and encourage their taste in a one of a kind, original tattoo.
That is done in a PROFESSIONAL, clean, and safe environment. That doesn’t make me an elitist or a tyrant. The attempted selling point of “bringing democracy” into the hands of tattoo-enthusiasts is pitiful and really just a far and sad reach to hopefully sway ignorant (look up the definition it’s not meant to be a slam it is a literal term) hopeful and excited individuals into believing that they have the right to poke themselves. They absolutely do. But wouldn’t you rather go to someone with 1. Years of experience who will safely and happily deliver your tattoo idea; who can make it look “jailhouse” if you so please? 2. Your original idea that is not a direct, carbon-copy of someone else’s already in existence tattoo?
Tattooers like myself are so happy to help you guys take your idea and make it into something that is not only just your own, but also you’re helping to keep a true art form and craft alive. I am worried that this public kit for sale will end up at drunk enough parties and where ever else one feels like whipping a needle out. This screams danger and cross contamination. I am maddened over this company’s audacity to speak out against tattooers in a voice which alludes to us keeping things out of the “well deserving hands of the public” You know what? Unless you study and in some states take a safety course, you’re not allowed to drive a car. So just because you are a car enthusiast you should be able to drive without a license? There is nothing wrong with a tattooer not wanting to hand over their machine to just anyone for good reason. The end.
Ladies! Ladies! Art Show, curated by Miss Elvia, Emma Griffiths and Pat Sinatra, promises to be extra special this year (it is now in its fourth year). It recognises generations of women tattooers, and a portion of the profits will go to a great cause.Art by Miss Elvia
Here’s what Miss Elvia had to say about this year’s LLAS:
This year especially we made an effort to contact a few more women who have been tattooing 20+ years, such as Vyvyn Lazonga, Debra Yarian, Jennie Peace, Debbie Lenz, Miss Roxy, Judy Parker, Bev Robinson (aka Cindy Ray), Shanghai Kate Hellenbrandt and more. Along with them, works by other well respected names in tattooing include Jill Bonny, Hanna Sandstrom, Monica Moses, Virginia Elwood, MaryJoy, Megan Kargher, Anna Waychoff, Miranda Lorberer, Sabine Gaffron, Titine Leu — and more, including new upcoming talents.
We are also very excited because this year’s art show is also a fundraiser to help Charlene Anne Gibbons — daughter of the famous Charles and Artoria Gibbons — raise money to publish the book about her parents true story. We will have many prints priced to sell, as well as originals, and other items for tattoo collectors, for example, […] original Sailor Jerry acetates, courtesy of Kate Hellenbrandt. So this is a chance to get together, meet some of the artists, view and buy tattooers’ art and support a cause!
The opening is on 11 June and takes place Forget Me Not Tattoo in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, from 7 to 11pm. It’s free and open to all. The works will be on view and for sale every weekend until mid-July. For more information visit their website.
New York art gallery, Throck Morton is showcasing a rare collection of photographs taken of Mexican artist Frida Kahlo in a variety of settings. Some show the true love that her and Diego Rivera shared in what look to be private moments captured candidly on someone’s camera. Others show Frida in the garden of her Casa Azul, where she was born, grew up and eventually lived with Diego. We also get a glimpse into the pain that Frida was experiencing on a daily basis due to her poor health and how her pets gave her great comfort and joy in what must have been a difficult life.
The exhibition will run at the Throck Morton fine art gallery in New York until September 12th
Dolly Donshey creates spectacular hats inspired by the macabre, and as her new collection is modelled by tattooed women, we had to talk to her!
You can see her latest collection on the Nolcha Fashion week catwalk in New York. Nolcha Fashion Week takes place this September and showcases independent fashion designers to a global audience. Over the past five years the award-winning event has established itself as a platform of discovery, promoting innovative fashion designers.
Tell us a little bit about your brand Monstruosité, how did it form and how has it evolved?
I learned the art of hat making in 2010 by studying under Jan Wutowski, alumni of the Melbourne School of Millinery in Australia. After I returned from my training, I started my independent millinery brand, House of Donshey. After discovering my brand aesthetic and bringing on new team members, I re-branded and that’s where Monstruosité was brought to life. Monstruosité means “monstrosity” French, and I thought that really captured the essence of my line. Every human has a monstrosity within their lives and a deep story to tell, so the name was perfect for the dark feel of our brand.
What is Nolcha fashion week and how did you become involved? Have you showcased your designs there before?
This is our first time showcasing at Nolcha and we couldn’t be more excited. We were drawn to Nolcha because of their reputation as a leading platform for independent designers.
On your site you explain that your collections tell a story, what is the story of your current collection?
Our Spring/Summer 15 collection is called “The Rise of Ostara.” Ostara, in the Pagan Religion, is the celebration of the Spring Equinox. Our collection is a journey from winter to spring that celebrates fertility and life. It is the “prettiest” collection we have ever done but also the most dramatic.
What draws you to tattoos?
I love tattoos because each one represents a part of someone’s history. Even if you got a tattoo one drunk night in Vegas, or you got a tattoo with your mother, both have importance and should be celebrated.
Why have you chosen to use tattooed models to wear your hats?
Since our brand deals so heavily with concepts and stories, tattoos are the perfect way to highlight this. When we shoot an editorial with a tattooed model, we are not only shooting the story of our work, but the model’s story silently on display as well.
Do you have any tattoos? Do they have specific meanings or are they purely aesthetic?
I have 6 tattoos, and they each have very important meaning. Most of them are in places no one can see like both upper thighs and my entire left side. I decided to place my tattoos in these obscure places because they were deeply personal and everyone’s favorite question when it comes to tattoos is, “Why did you get that?” I just hate having to explain my actions or my life story to total strangers.
To view Dolly’s stunning creations visit www.monstruosite.com
As regular Th’ink readers will know, it’s been a dream of mine for YEARS to get tattooed by Cris Cleen at Saved Tattoo. And tomorrow, I am off to NYC. My appointment is booked for next Monday and I couldn’t be more excited.
The New York Ink Fund that I got for Christmas has been smashed…
I will keep you all posted with pictures, and hopefully Cris will be a fan of Things&Ink, I will definitely be taking some issues for him.
EEEKKK – exciting.