Friday, December 31, 2010

2011.....


ITS GONNA B A GREAT YEAR....

MY BEST FRIEND



2011 WILL BE ONE MORE BLESSED YEAR WITH MY WIFE AND KIDS...THE GREATEST

Out With the Old.....

As we wind down 2010, and look ahead to 2011, I wanted to take care of one of my several loose ends from the past year.

Back in July, I met a guy named John on the D train. He had tattooed arms and we chatted a bit. He said he'd send me photos and he did a few weeks later.

I never posted the photos because the resolution was low, and when I tried to increase the size, they blurred. I was going to include these in the Christmas housecleaning post, but the work is just too good.

So hear you have them, small photos, but recognizably amazing:




I mean, what is there to say? This work is quite excellent. The koi, the tiger, the sailing ship, sugar skull, nautical stars - it's all quite a body of work!

The artist is Nacho, who appeared once before on the blog here. You can check out Nacho's work here. in New York, he tattoos out of Studio Enigma on Avenue U.

Thanks to John for sharing these amazing tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

And thanks to all of our fans and contributors for making 2010 a successful year of inkspotting!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

A Bright Spot in December: A Phoenix and a Pin-Up

As one would expect, inkspotting is tough during December. Here we are at the end of the month, and I have only interviewed three people since the 1st. There were a few times over the summer when I interviewed three contributors during my lunch hour!

The last person whose work I photographed was Megan, who I found upstairs at the Penn Plaza Borders store.

Megan has seventeen tattoos, but it was this one that caught my eye:


This is a phoenix, of course, but fewer people may recognize it as Fawkes, the phoenix of Professor Albus Dumbledore, in Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix.


The artwork is based on the illustration by Jason Cockcroft on the cover of the UK edition of the aforementioned book.


The tattooist Jamie Nichols at Gargoyle Tattoo in Aberdeen, Washington, completed this piece in about eight hours over two sittings.

Megan also has this pinup on her upper left arm:


The use of negative space for the bombs is pretty cool.

Marcus was the artist at Gargoyle that Megan credited for creating this piece..

Thanks to Megan for taking the time to speak to me about her cool tattoos!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Two-for-Tattoosday, Brazilian-Style

Sometimes, due to a) a language barrier and b) the passage of time, we're not always able to give you the most in-depth story about our subjects' tattoos.

Such is the case with Celso and Reginaldo, who I met back in September outside of Madison Square Garden.

Both gentlemen were visiting from São Paolo, Brazil and one of Celso's tattoos caught my eye:


That was on his right arm. He also had this one on his left arm:


Celso's friend Reginaldo pulled his shirt off so I could get the full view of his koi tattoo:


Celso credited Artur at True Love Tattoo in São Paolo for inking his dragon and his mermaid.

Artur also was the artists who did Reginaldo's koi.

Thanks to Celso and Reginaldo for sharing their tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas House Cleaning

Regular readers of Tattoosday will notice that, although I generally follow a chronological order when I share tattoos I have encountered.

However, certain pieces, for various and sundry reasons, have been bypassed, and haven't made it to the blog, until now.

I was originally going to post a dozen to represent the Twelve Days of Christmas, but I settled for eight. For the nights of Chanukah, perhaps?

Without intending to offend anyone for not receiving a post all to themselves, I have lumped these tattoos, spanning from late August to late October, in one post.

These are the neglected tattoo pictures that are just a little off, some not through the fault of the contributor, but for reasons beyond their control.

The quality of the photo may not be ideal, or the host and I faced a language barrier that prevented a good back story from emerging, or I didn't find the story behind the tattoo especially compelling. And then
there's what is likely one of the poorest tattoos I have seen, but the story behind it is somewhat compelling.

So, without further ado, here is a Christmas cleaning, eight posts rolled together into one gigantic one.

~~~

First up, we have Esteban, who shared his sleeve when I met him in September, at Fairway in Red Hook:

Alas, I was still using a borrowed camera, and several shots were over-exposed and/or blurry, but I was able to salvage this one:



The artwork is pre-Colombian in its inspiration, and is part of a larger tropical motif.

Next up we have Dave, who I met in Penn Station. He has over 25 tattoos and selected this one to share:


The phrase "Uniting the Strong" is the title of a song from Victim in Pain, the second album from the band Agnostic Front. This is a friendship tattoo that stresses unity and the host's nod to the hardcore punk scene.

Dave credits Jelena at Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, New York with this piece.

~~~

Next we have Orlando, a Fine Arts student at FIT, where I met him outside while walking toward 23rd Street on my lunch break, also in September.

This ship tattoo is an homage to his father, who served in the navy for thirty years. He wanted a "classic look" in the Sailor Jerry style.


Orlando confirmed for me that his dad loves the tattoo.

It was inked at Crazy Fantasy Tattoo in Manhattan by an artist named Antonio.

Orlando has seven tattoos in all, and shared this one, as well, inked at Dare Devil Tattoo on the Lower East Side.

The quote, "This my excavation and today is Kumran" is from a song called "re: Stacks" by Bon Iver.

Orlando explained that he interprets this quote as a reminder that "every day has the ability to make you or break you. It just depends on what you do with it." Other interpretations are here.

For the record, I did email Orlando to ask for an opportunity to get clearer pictures, but I did not hear back from him.

~~~

I met Farkas in Union Square back in October. He had this wolf on his right arm:


He explained that his name means "wolf" in Hungarian, and that one of his friends in Hungary did this tattoo for him.

~~~

A couple days after meeting Farkas, I met an Israeli named Ran on 34th Street across from Macy*s. He shared this iguana on his right leg:



It's a pretty nice tattoo, but he hasn't sent me any further details about it.

~~~

A couple weeks later, I was in the West Village before a concert, and met Carlos, a manager at the Qdoba Mexican Grill where we were having a quick bite before the show. He shared this intricate tattoo on his right arm:



He and friend collaborated on this tattoo together. He told me that, when he was little, he did jigsaw puzzles with his mother a lot. The tattoo reminds him of those fun times growing up.

~~~

The following week, I ran into Iancu in Penn Station, and he shared this piece on his upper left arm:


Iancu told me he came to the artist, Rico, formerly of Rising Dragon in Manhattan, who was initially unwilling to do the tattoo. However, he convinced him to do it. It's basically a Guns N' Roses tribute although, he
noted, the guns were added about a year and a half after the original design was inked.

~~~

And finally, I must first say that  it is very rare that I ever criticize the quality of a tattoo.

Even if it is inferior to the work of much better artists, I always like to believe there are some redeeming qualities in a tattoo.

Which is why I struggled with this next tattoo, which I photographer back in August, and which I have included in this odds and ends post in December.

I approached a guy named Danny who had a lot of interestingly-tattooed words and such on his arms.

However, he offered to remove his shirt in Penn Station so I could photograph this:



Um, yeah.

If this was done by an experienced artist, I would likely not have posted it. Despite its obvious flaws, it is compelling, in my opinion, because Danny told me, like all his tattoos (15 or 16, he told me), this one was
self-inked. Now, I can see tattooing one's arm or leg, but I cannot even fathom how challenging it would be to self-tattoo your chest. He estimated this took one and a half hours to do.

The message is "Diamonds Aren't Forever," or, in  Danny's words, "don't take what you have for granted".

~~~

So there you have it, a Spring Cleaning for Christmas.

I do sincerely thank the individuals who shared their tattoos in this entry. Happy Holidays, y'all!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Home Sweet Home for the Holidays

The saying is, "you can't take it with you," but there is a way to carry your home with you when you move somewhere else.

Take, Adam, for example, who I stopped on Seventh Avenue between 29th and 30th Streets.

He currently resides in Pittsburgh, but he has lived in Miami and New York City.

His tattoos are a work in progress and he has had about eight hours done so far.

Adam says he has lived all over the United States and he wants, ideally, to tattoo a "piece of everywhere I've lived".

Check this out:



The Statue of Liberty clearly represents New York, and the palm trees recall Miami. All the bridges and a few of the buildings are Pittsburgh landmarks, like PPG Place


and the Highmark Building.


The "Home Sweet Home" sentiment is anchored by the multiple locations, echoing the idea that home is where the heart is.

Adam's work is done by Michael Patrick at Jester's Court Tattoos in Pittsburgh.

Thanks to Adam for sharing his wonderful sleeve with us here on Tattoosday!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

SIMPLICITY




AN INSIDE JOB...

Two, No, Three from Lisa Marie

I ran into Lisa Marie in my local grocery store a few months back and she was happy to share a couple of cool tattoos:


That is, for those who don't know, the symbol of Coney Island's Steeplechase Park.


She got this because she loves Coney Island, one of the most iconic spots in Brooklyn. Lisa Marie later sent me a shot of the tattoo when it was brand-spanking new:



This was inked by Michael Kaves at Brooklyn Made Tattoo.

On her left forearm, Lisa Marie had this whimsical tattoo:


That is a famous golden ticket from her favorite movie, 1971's Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, the film version of  Roald Dahl's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.

That tattoo was done by JR Maloney at Vanguard Tattoo in Nyack, New York.

Lisa Marie also sent along a couple of extra photos that she had documenting Mr. Kaves inking another of her tattoos, a cupcake:



Thanks again to Lisa Marie for sharing these cool tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Luis Shares Two Lotería Cards

I met Luis in Borders, Penn Plaza, last month and asked him about his tattoos. He has more than fifteen altogether, and three are based on Lotería cards, which are used as part of a Mexican bingo game, as well as in fortune-telling.

He shared two of these cards with me and explained that, as a first generation Mexican-American, these Lotería cards remind him of growing up.

The first one he explained is number 21, La Mano:


Luis explained that he relates to this card because "la mano" is Spanish for hand, and  he is a builder/electrician/carpenter by trade. He considers himself a "designer of ideas," and because he works with his hands, this is an appropriate card to have as a tattoo.

The second one he let me photograph is number 27, El corazón:


This card is appropriate, according to Luis, because "El corazón" means the heart and, Luis said, smiling, "I've got a big one".

There are a lot of different artistic representations of these cards out on the web, which tells me that they serve as inspiration for a lot of people.

Image courtesy of "The Lucky W" Amulet Archive by Cat Yronwode
Luis had these tattoos done by a tattoo artist named Fish, who was visiting Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn, but generally works out of Th'ink Tank Tattoo in Denver. Work from Th'ink Tank appeared here once before.

Thanks to Luis for sharing these two Lotería cards with us here on Tattoosday!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Marisa's Polychrome Calves

I met Marisa walking down 40th Street in Manhattan late one October afternoon. She had just crossed Broadway when I spotted her and asked her about her tattoos. Namely, these two gracing the back of her calves:


These tattoos are based on the work of artist John R. Neill, who illustrated L. Frank Baum's Wizard of Oz books. The female figure in both designs is Polychrome, the Rainbow's daughter.

Both legs were tattooed at Rock Star Tattoos in Honolulu. Conor did the left calf:


and Kazan did the right:


Marisa has 11 tattoos in all. Incidentally, having heard she grew up in Hawai'i, I played the small-world game with her and discovered we both had the same history teacher, two decades apart, when he taught at different schools.

Like many people who have Oz tattoos, Marisa loved the books and was inspired by the magic in them, vividly illustrated.

Thanks to Marisa for stopping on the street and consenting to share her wonderful tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pentagram Sleeve

Pentagram Tatto, Sleeve Tattoo
Image name: Pentagram Sleeve
Comments: Following the client's wishes, this sleeve involves a pentagram around the shoulder with geometrical patterns for the rest of the arm.

African-inspired Sleeve

Arm Tattoo, Primitive Tattoo
Image name: African-inspired Sleeve
Comments: This is a detail from a sleeve and shoulder piece that is African inspired.

Blackwork forearm

Sleeve Tattoo
Image name: Blackwork forearm
Comments: The freshly done forearm tattoo is influenced by ancient Celtic motifs. It is also a cover-up of a older tattoo on the inside of the arm.

Chris's Tattoos Motivate and Inspire

I met Chris earlier this month in Penn Station and he shared his 3/4-sleeve. He is the owner/operator of the Muscle Maker Grill at 92 Eighth Avenue in Chelsea.

His sleeve is a collage of designs that motivate and inspire him, with a skull design thrown in, to boot.


He has the phrase "Live Now. Shoot for the Stars" inked on his biceps. This motto is a nod to his ambition as a business owner.


The three pawprints tattooed below the elbow, on the left side of the photo, above, represent his three dogs (2 Cocker Spaniels and a mutt).


The cross and the prayer, "Lord, Protect Me" are based on his Catholic faith.


In all, Chris figures he's had about 10 hours of work done.

He also gave me permission to share this photo from his Facebook page:

Photo Courtesy of Christopher Almazan
I had hoped to show a better shot of the peacock that is on his back, with feathers that come up over his shoulder, but could not get a clear enough picture. The shot above gives a great idea, however, of his tattoos.

All work is credited to Rick Schreck at the House of 1000 Tattoos in Middlesex, New Jersey. A piece from Rick appeared earlier this Fall on the site here.

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

Visit the Muscle Maker Grill website here.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Darya's Bi-Coastal Peacock and Cherry Blossoms

I met Darya coming out of the subway in Bay Ridge and asked if I could take a picture of her tattoo. She kindly allowed me to do so and share it here with everyone on Tattoosday:


Darya explained that she always wanted a peacock tattoo, and she has fourteen tattoos in all (not all peacocks). Joe Maggs at Brooklyn Ink tattooed the peacock.


The cherry blossoms, symbols of regeneration, were added by Illya at Studio City Tattoos in California.

Thanks to Darya for sharing her tattoos from both coasts here on Tattoosday!

Saturday, December 18, 2010

BULL ORIGINAL




A GLIMPSE OF JAPANS PREMIERE CUSTOM BIKE SHOP....MY HOST YONE HAS PUT IT TOGETHER JUST RIGHT