Saturday, October 31, 2009

Awesome Tattoo Festival in London

Halloween Bonus: Zombie Pinup

Back in September I posted Little Dead Riding Hood, courtesy of Amy, who I met in Penn Station.

Amy has a new tattoo, which she generously shared:

It's a zombie pin-up girl, and appropriate for the holiday today.

Like the previous piece, this was created by T.J. Mcinnis at Mcinnis Tattoo Company in Providence, Rhode Island.

Thanks again to Amy for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Have a safe and ghoulishly fun Halloween!

Friday, October 30, 2009

Another 17 Weird and Ugly Body Modification

Choose the Right Tattoo

Matt has twenty-three (23) tattoos and he offered up this simple trio of letters:
The CTR represents the expression "Choose the Right," a common thread in the ideology of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, more commonly referred to as the Mormon church.

In essence, Matt explained, it means "follow the right path". Its akin to a mantra eschewing sinful activities frowned upon by the church like drinking alcohol, smoking cigarettes, doing drugs, and, yup, you guessed it: getting tattooed.

Matt finds great power in this tattoo because it represents an oxymoron: the letters CTR stand for a way of life that is contradicted by the fact that they have been tattooed on flesh. It would be like a Jewish person having the phrase, in Hebrew, "You shall not make gashes in your flesh for the dead, or imprint markings upon you: I am the Lord" tattooed on them. As a tattooed Mormon, this is Matt's way of addressing,and coming to terms with, the disparity between faith and his love of tattoos.

This was tattooed by a friend of his in Ogden, Utah.

Thanks to Matt for sharing his ink with us here on Tattoosday!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Shiri's Logos

"Excuse me," I called, loudly, on the 34th Street train platform, "Can I ask you about your tattoo?"

Anyone reading this who has been featured here may recognize this as my opening salvo. Most people are open to my questions. Very few dismiss me. For this I am thankful.

Shira was the woman to whom I was speaking, and she was very welcoming to my inquiries.

Here is the best of the many tattoos I saw she had:

It's a fairly intricate (and extremely well-done) replica for one of the album designs for a band named Sponge. Shiri had a matching t-shirt, but taking a picture of that would have been borderline creepy, in my opinion. Unfortunately, the only image online I could find was small:

On her left arm she had two other band designs:

The one on the right is from the group Gogol Bordello, which surprised me as I had seen a similar tattoo several weeks before (and recounted here).

The logo on the left was from a group called Spookey Ruben.

Obviously, Shiri is a big fan of all these groups. The tattoos were all inked by her brother Ron.

You can see other band-related tattoos by clicking on the appropriate tag at the bottom of the post.

Thanks to Shiri for sharing her cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

"You Gotta Go There to Come Back": Sarah Shares Three Tattoos

Sarah's half-sleeve jumped out at me in Penn Station as I was quietly bemoaning cooler weather and the dwindling of my blog backlog.

I was pleased to find Sarah more than accommodating, as she shared several perspectives of the ink tattooed on her upper right arm.

Visiting from Newcastle, Australia, her tattoos revolved around this piece at the center of her bicep:

I asked if there was any significance to these two women, but Sarah noted that they were just two pretty girls.

This fluid script is on the outside of her arm:

It states "You gotta go there to come back..." or, in her words, you have to "understand how shitty it can be, before how good it can get".

On her inner arm is the following tattoo:

Sarah says that this design of an angel on a cigarette break is based on the work of a popular London graffiti artist named "Banksy".

All of her work was done by Pat, the owner of 2012 Tattoo Studio in Newcastle.

Thanks very much to Sarah for sharing her incredible tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Hang the DJ

I met Rohan on a Brooklyn-bound A train.

He has "thirteen or fourteen" tattoos, and he offered up this one from his right arm:

The phrase "Hang the DJ" refers to lyrics sung by Morrissey when he was with The Smiths.

I was only on the train with him for two stops, so I didn't get a full explanation of the tattoo until later, when Rohan e-mailed me:
I got this tattoo for several reasons - first and foremost I love The Smiths and their music changed the way I viewed myself against the social and cultural backdrop that we're all in. I thought a jukebox with the lyrics "Hang the DJ", the refrain from the song "Panic", was ironic.

The jukebox is what allows all of us to be the DJ and in "Panic", Morrissey is singing about how the music the DJ is playing means nothing to him and his life, and I share that sentiment with most of what I hear. The tattoo is sort of an encapsulation of how I feel about rock and roll and how certain bands and certain songs can, when they're really good and really honest, mean a lot more than just entertainment value.
The tattoo was inked by Dusty Neal in Fort Wayne, Indiana. He is currently working at Donny Manco's New Republic Tattoo.

UPDATE: I exchange a few e-mails with the artist Dusty Neal after this posted and he remembered doing this tattoo very early on in his career as an artist. He wanted me to clarify this point, and to communicate that he feels that his art has developed to the point that this piece does not best represent his work as a tattooer. A look at photos of his work on MySpace here certainly showcases some amazing tattoos. Dusty encourages people to check out his current endeavors and, with all due respect to Rohan and the tattoo in this post, judge his talents based on what he has done more recently, and not early on in his career.

Thanks again to Rohan for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

As a little bonus, here is the video from "Panic" by the Smiths:

Monday, October 26, 2009

Benjamin's Amazing Viking-Geisha Sleeve by Tim Kern

Please join me as I extend a metaphor.

I approach inkblogging as if I were one of those guys that goes out on the beach with a metal detector.

You find a lot of interesting stuff and, every once in a while, you find treasure.

Earlier this month, I saw a man in front of Madison Square Garden walking south. I was headed in the opposite direction and, despite my general reluctance to post sleeves here (I wonder if I can even do them justice), I stopped and asked him to show me the amazing work on his right arm.

I should also preface this by acknowledging how awesome it is to randomly find work by a tattoo artist who is at the top of his game, and is a recognized talent in the tattoo community.

Benjamin, the guy I stopped, was visiting New York from Denmark to see his artist, Tim Kern at Tribulation Tattoo. He was in town to begin work on a new sleeve. Benjamin happily shared his first sleeve:

Benjamin summarized the theme of his arm by stating that life is about choices. The two extrmes are, you can take a life, as represented by the Viking warrior at the top of the shoulder:

This is juxtaposed by the geisha who is taking her own life through ritual suicide:

The detail of the blood-spattered hand holding the seppuku blade is fascinating in its stark grisliness:

The sleeve also includes stunning waterfall and pagoda elements on the inside of the arm:

I especially appreciate the beauty and shading of the pagoda:

The color and artistry of this entire sleeve are astonishing and we are honored that Benjamin consented to contributing this work to Tattoosday.

We thank him and the artist Tim Kern for their work!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Maggie, a Fan of Pink, Shares Some Ink

One of the pluses of working near Madison Square Garden is that concert-goers and fans are always about.

Occasionally, they can be found camped out near the artists' entrance on 33rd Street. The presence of fans milling about can often be great opportunities to spot tattoos, as in this case, previously.

Earlier this month, I chatted with some Pink fans out on the street and one of them, Maggie, shared her tattoos:

Maggie has nine tattoos in all, and these represent four of them.

She seemed surprised that I was interested, more so because there weren't typical "stories" behind the art.

The top piece is a tribute to her mother,

and the heart, the bands, and the angel wing are just elements she felt like adding.

I particularly like the free form of the heart design.

All work was done at Tattoo Heaven in Manhattan.

Thanks to Maggie for sharing her tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!
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