Monday, December 12, 2011

Vickie's Pin-Up Has Blood Money

In what must have looked odd to passers-by, I interviewed Vickie in Penn Station the day after Halloween. I'm guessing that she and her friend had attended costume parties the night before. What interested me most was Vickie's ink. She "lost count" of how many tattoos she has, and she offered up this wonderful piece on her upper left arm:


This tattoo, whose name is "Trixie," was designed and inked by Tatu Baby, who works out of Chico's Marked 4 Life, in Miami.

She also wanted to point out that, in Trixie's right hand, she's holding blood money:


Thanks to Vickie for sharing Trixie with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

In Memory of Tama

Yesterday, my DVR finally managed to catch an episode of "Tattooed in Detroit," on Animal Planet.

Marisa over at Needles and Sins talked about the show here.

In a bit of a coincidence, shortly after watching the hour-long episode, which featured several memorial tattoos for owners' pets, I learned, via Facebook, that my nephew Ikaika, was getting more ink on Saturday.
Back in April 2010, I was back home in Hawai'i and I got a chance to take pictures of his tattoos, along with my other nieces and nephews. His post originally appeared on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ here, and since all the planets seemed to align (maybe it was the lunar eclipse), I thought I'd share his new tattoo with http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.


This is a portrait of Ikaika's pit bull Tama, who lived with him for 12 years.

The tattoo was done by James Cacal at Tattoo Krew Empire in Waipahu, Hawai'i.

A big mahalo to my nephew for sharing Tama's portrait with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, December 10, 2011

A Trio of Tattoos from Devin

I met Devin walking down Third Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, back in September.

He had a lot of ink, so I just grabbed a shot of his left leg:


He broke these three pieces down for me, explaining that the butterfly on the top is an old Sailor Jerry flash piece that was his friend Shawn first tattoo as an apprentice at Ron & Dave's Tattooing on Staten Island.


His friend Shawn's second tattoo as an apprentice was the skull at the bottom:


In the middle of these two pieces is a piece of art that Devin attributed to artwork from the first album by a Staten Island band called The Cable Car Theory:


Thanks to Devin for sharing these three tattoos with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Seth's Phoenix

Yesterday's post featured a sleeve from a guy named Phoenix. Today we have a sleeve that centers around a phoenix.

Anyone who's spent any time in New York City could tell you that bike messengers have a lot of great ink. Not all, of course, but quite a few. Fixtures in the city streets, especially in warmer months, if they're not zipping by on their bikes, you can often catch a glimpse of something cool. However, I've featured very few of these folks, just because they're usually in such a hurry, it's hard to catch them.

Fortunately, I spotted Seth securing his bicycle under Madison Square Garden late one afternoon back in September, and I had a chance to compliment his sleeve, at the center of which is this phoenix:


Sleeves are often challenging to portray on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, as they generally require multiple shots and several takes, preferably in a controlled environment, like, say, a tattoo studio. But I always try to do my best to capture more than just the central element.


Seth credits his work to Jacob Redmond, when he was at Oddball Studios in Portland, Oregon. Redmond has since moved to Atlas Tattoo, also in Portland.

Thanks to Seth for sharing his phoenix with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Phoenix's Sleeve is Out of This World

Back on August, I met a man named Phoenix in Penn Station who shared the sleeve on his right arm.

The work starts near his shoulder, with a traditional-style pin-up girl straddling a rocket in an outer space motif:


The cat perched on the rocket in front of the woman represents Phoenix's love of animals.


The centerpiece of the sleeve, however, is lower on the arm and represents his love of astrology:



From a practical purpose, he had his natal astrological chart wrapping around his limb. In theory, he told me, anyone who knows astrology could come up and read his arm and gain insight into his astrological makeup.


Phoenix was born with the Sun in Aries rising in Leo and with his moon in Gemini.

This work was done by Lou at Third Eye Tattoo in Park Slope, Brooklyn, about six years ago. Lou's handiwork has been featured many times over the years here on the site and can be seen here.

Thanks to Phoenix for sharing his spectacular sleeve with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

A Tattoo in Memory of Erin's Mom

I always feel privileged when I meet someone who is willing to share a tattoo that carries deep personal significance. Back in October, I met Erin while she was waiting for her train during the late afternoon in Penn Station.

Last fall, Erin told me, her mother passed away. When her mom’s next birthday approached, Erin and her sister planned a fitting tribute. A year ago today, they got this tattoo on their left biceps:


This design incorporates a heart, a triquetra (Celtic trinity knot) and something unique – their mother’s handwriting ("Love you always, Mom), including the x’s and o’s representing hugs and kisses.

This is a shining example of the type of memorial that has led to an increase in the popularity of tattoos. The inner left biceps is an ideal location due to its proximity to the heart.

Erin credits Brian Marsman at Powerhouse Tattoo Company in Montclair, new Jersey, with this piece. A piece by Brian also appeared here on the site a couple months ago.

Thanks to Erin for sharing this very personal tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/. On behalf of our readers, I wish her happy memories on this anniversary of her mother’s birth.


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.


If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Allison's Tattoo Has Cutting Edge Style

Last week in Penn Station, I ran into Allison, a hair stylist at Revolver Salon's Upper West Side location. She was sporting this tattoo on her inner left forearm:


This is one of four tattoos she has, and she credits this piece to Greg at Electric City Tattoo Emporium in Great Falls, Montana.

Allison explains:
"I was in beauty school and I've always wanted to be a hair stylist. Whenever I get a tattoo it's always been a poignant time in my life, so I wanted to commemorate the fact that I was actually pursuing my dream ... I got it with a bunch of friends that I went to school with, and we all got a pair of shears (not the same ones) ... I designed it and the tattoo artist mate it even better."
Thanks to Allison for sharing her cool "tat-tools" of the trade with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!

This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Amy's Feathers from Hawai'i (updated)

We're tying up some loose ends from earlier this year, and figured we'd share this cool tattoo:


This piece, on the back of a woman named Amy's leg, came to us in March via e-mail from the island of Hawai'i. Amy was a student of my mother's at the University of Hawai'i, Hilo campus. Mom snapped this photo, with Amy's blessing, for http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

We don't have any further detail on the tattoo, like the name of the artist, and the origin of the design. There are peacock feathers, and I'm guessing eagle feathers, but I can't identify the other plumage with certainty. Nonetheless, we thought it was worth sharing, and clearing out our "in" box.

Amy credits Delshay at K-Town Tattoo & Body Piercing in Kona, Hawai'i with this tattoo. She added:


"I came up with the concept. Delshay put it all together for me. It's my bouquet of feathers.

The feathers range from peacock, bustard, macaw, flamingo, blue jay, pheasant and myna.

The story is mine."

Here's another photo from the artist's tumblr page: 




Mahalo to Amy for sharing this tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/! And thanks to Mom for sending it our way!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Paul Shares Some Ink by Vincent Castiglia

I met Paul last month in Penn Station and he shared this tattoo on his upper right arm:


He didn't give me an explanation of the piece, but he did credit renowned artist Vincent Castiglia from Omega Tattoo.

In case you didn't know, Castiglia is a Brroklyn-born artist who, according to his Wikipedia entry, is "internationally acclaimed for his figurative paintings with metaphysical and often nightmarish subject matters".


Thanks to Paul for sharing this work by such an important artist!



This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Two Gun Salute

This is an orphan post - one of those that had a ton of potential, but just didn't come to full fruition.

A little over four months ago, the family and I had just seen my older daughter Jolee perform in a summer theater production in Park Slope, Brooklyn.

It was a hot night, so we wandered up Union Street and stopped at Uncle Louie G's Italian Ices and Ice Cream. Our server, whose name I never got, was totally game for sharing her tattoos with us:


Fortunately, it wasn't too busy, so I was able to get a picture and a close-up of what she called her "guns on her guns":


Alas, out of nowhere, a line formed and it was clear, as we finished our ices, waiting to resume our discussion, that their business was peaking for the evening.

I passed her my card and asked her to e-mail me, but I never heard back. I stopped by a couple of times in the ensuing months, and she was never on duty.

As today is December 1, I'm officially conceding my hope of getting more information on these cool tattoos.

Thanks to our lovely ice dispenser for sharing her guns with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Niki Returns with a New Tattoo by Dr. Lakra

I think I'm within the statute of limitations for Thanksgiving, so let me say I am also thankful for past contributors sending me photos of new work that they want to share with the http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ community.

Take Niki, for example, who I met in the summer of 2010, and whose tattoo appeared here. Out of the blue she recently sent me this e-mail:

"about a year ago, you featured my beautiful cat memorial tattoo (by John Reardon, who was at Saved Tattoo at the time). i follow your blog regularly.  you always feature beautiful work with interesting stories attached. i just got a crazy new tattoo that i thought i'd send along, in case you think it's worthy of sharing.  it was done by the incredible dr. lakra in oaxaca, mexico."

That's pretty darn cool, if I do say so myself. Skulls are common tattoo themes, so it is exciting to see a spin on that idea, and what better way to honor getting inked by a famous Mexican artist than by getting a skull with a tattered lucha libre mask?
Thanks to Niki for staying in touch and sharing her new tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!

You can see more art by Dr. Lakra here in his Google photostream.

This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ Book Review - Science Ink

If you’re still recovering from a day of camping out and fighting the crowds for Black Friday holiday gifts, might I suggest one more item for your list?



Science Ink: Tattoos of the Science Obsessed was recently published by Sterling Press and it rates as one of the finer titles on tattoos that I have seen in while. Science Ink is written by Carl Zimmer, a science writer with great credentials and whose blog rates a spot on my blogroll shortlist.

I have been a fan of Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium since 2008, even warranting a mention in a stand-alone post here.

I was excited to hear last year that he was compiling a book on the subject of scientific tattoos, as, unlike a lot of the work in London Tattoos (my last review, which appeared here), the ink is drenched in meaning.



As a storyteller and a writer, I’ll admit to favoring tattoos that have stories and/or specific meaning behind them. Not that I don’t appreciate a fine work of  body art that is beautiful for beauty’s sake. I just find myself more intellectually stimulated by tattoos that pack a narrative punch. This is also why I dig literary tattoos.



All that being said, Zimmer should be commended for compiling a whole slew of scientific ink, and organizing it in such a thoughtful and pleasing way. Chapters are divided up by category (Physics, Chemistry, Astronomy, Earth Sciences, etc.) with photos of the contributors work, along with a paragraph or two devoted to explaining the accompanying pieces. These are not tattoos that resulted from walking in to a shop and picking flash off the wall. Not that there’s anything wrong with that. Rather, we’re treated to tattoos that were clearly thought out and executed with the purpose of connecting to the individuals passion for their intellectual stimuli.


Tattoo purists may look at this book and cringe at the quality of some of the tattoos depicted. But the quality is not the point, and there is a lot of fine work, nonetheless. With a few exceptions, we are not seeing work contributed by tattoo aficionados. Instead, we get a glimpse of tattoos from people that you don’t normally associate with ink: scientists, doctors, university professors, and anthropologists. For that reason, Science Ink succeeds in drawing in the reader to the individual narrative behind the tattoo. What makes someone who is uninked take the leap and go under the needle?

Ultimately, it is the answer to that question that propels the mini-narratives forward and make Science Ink such a compelling read. Above and beyond the appreciation of tattoos, the book speaks to a larger audience, those who are steeped in the sciences and those who don’t consider themselves part of a “tattoo culture”. Ultimately, not everyone who is science-minded gets a tattoo related to their field, but a mathematician may understand someone’s desire to get an interesting equation inked on their forearm more than they would, say, getting a flaming skull or a scattering of cherry blossoms.

The biggest fault I find with Science Ink is not an original one. Marisa over at Needles and Sins voiced the disappointment in her review, as well, that the artists who created the body art are rarely named by the contributors. I always ask http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ contributors to disclose their artists’ names to give credit where credit is due. Occasionally I  meet people who do not recall the names of their artists, but that tends to be a smaller percentage. Zimmer includes a thumbnail “visual index” of contributors. It would be nice, if there is ever a Science Ink II, to include an index of artists, as well. As a saving grace, Zimmer does credit the artists on his website here, but I only discovered that by accident.** I’d imagine, however, that to the bulk of the reading audience, the tattooist’s identity  is not as important and may seem extraneous, but for many it is nice to see credit where credit is due.

All in all, however, Zimmer hits the ball out of the park with a wonderful tattoo-themed product that I fully endorse and recommend.

With the holidays just around the corner, this would make a great gift for the science obsessed person in your life!

**After this posted, Carl Zimmer e-mailed me:
"Thanks! I agree that the artists should get credit. My designer and I put together a list, but a change in schedule prevented the publisher from putting it into the book. We'll be sure to get it into the next printing".
This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.



If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Thanksgiving Re-Post: Have a Happy and Safe Holiday!

This Thanksgiving, I am thankful for many things, especially my lovely wife and two amazing daughters. You, the readers out there in the world, are also people for whom I am thankful. Mahalo, as they say in my childhood home, for visiting often.

I am also thankful for the month of November, which always seems to be a slowdown month for me and http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/. My posting pace slows significantly, despite still carrying a backlog of posts from the summer. Consider them my tattoo acorns that I'm saving for those cold days ahead when a tattoo sighting in New York generally means someone has removed their gloves or scarf!

Stay tuned in the weeks ahead for a flurry of book reviews, just in time for the holiday shopping season and, in the mean time, enjoy this post from last Thanksgiving, slightly edited, which appeared here.

Have a safe and happy Thanksgiving!

In honor of the holiday, I am sharing this, my newest tattoo, located above my knee on my right thigh:




This was done at Hand of Glory in Brooklyn yesterday as part of the shop's $75 Thanksgiving Tattoo Special ...


For those of you just tuning in, check the pre-post here, which includes all the Thanksgiving flash designed for the occasion. I asked readers to vote on which tattoo to get, and this one sneaked out a narrow victory over the traditional Native American profile.


I like this design because it combines a lot of traditional tattoo elements and delivers an image with a sociopolitical subtext. We have the traditional American flag and handshake designs, but the added element of crossed fingers serves as a reminder that, despite apparent good intentions, there was subsequently a historical betrayal of that initial good will.


But that's just one perspective, of course, and the Thanksgiving holiday focuses on the positive in our society. The mere existence of the tattoo reminds me to be thankful, which I alluded to in my original post.


I was fortunate enough to have BJ as my artist again. He had inked my Friday the 13th tattoo last August, and I appreciate that he works quickly and concisely.


BJ at Work
It was nice, also, that this design was one of his contributions to the flash sheet, as he was kind enough to embellish slightly on the original design, and it always seems better when an artist is tattooing his or her own design. As for the idea behind it, he was trying to represent graphically a broken treaty. I'm extremely pleased with the end result.
...

I want to thank all of the readers who voted for designs, and for everyone who reads and supports the site.


And thanks again to ... BJ at Hand of Glory, and to my family, at home in Brooklyn and across the U.S., for their support


This entry is ©2010, 2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.



If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Mark's Dueling Sugar Skulls

On a Sunday back in July, I met Mark on the subway. He chose to share these tattoos among the many he has:



Full disclosure: it was this encounter that taught me an important lesson - my voice recorder doesn't do well on the subway.

I was able to ascertain that these companion pieces were inked with specific meanings. The blue tattoo on the right arm has the subtext of a break-up. Juxtaposed with that is the red piece which represents the rise of artistic expression.

These nearly-mirror image tattoos were credited to Shaun Carroll at Hod Rod Tattoo in Blackburg, Virginia.


Thanks to Mark for sharing these tattoos with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Gabby and Carter, Forever in eBaum's World

At the end of August, I spotted a couple near the entrance to Penn Station on Seventh Avenue. The woman had a bunch of tattoos, the man did not appear to have any. When I interviewed them, it turned out that the guy did have a tattoo on his arm - one that corresponded to a piece in the center of his companion's chest. Here's a peek:


Our chat was a little bit rambling, but here are the highlights:

Me: What are your guys' names?

Woman: Gabby. Carter.

Me: Gabby and Carter?

Carter: Yes.

Gabby: Forever.

Me: Forever? How long you guys been together?

Gabby: Like, two years.

Me: So, what is that, it's a heart and a...

Gabby and Carter: It's eBaum's World.

Gabby: It's a website.


Carter: It's been around forever ... like YouTube.


Me: So that's just like the logo? The heart?

Carter: And the little globe, I got that.

Gabby: I did that tattoo on him.

Me: You tattooed that on him? Then who did yours?

Gabby: My friend, Nick. We're not friends anymore...

Me: Well, the two of them go together, that's cool.

Carter works for eBaum's world, which can best be described as a site for videos, like YouTube, but with more of a CollegeHumor.com slant. It's not just videos, but jokes, blogs, photos and games.

Thanks to Gabby and Carter for sharing these companion tattoos with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Al Shares Two for http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, Including a Rare Sole Tattoo

Back in August I received an email from Al, one of the thousands of people that commutes in and out of Penn Station on a daily basis.

As a reader of http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, Al recognized that a lot of my inkspotting occurred in this major transit hub and he had recently thought he saw me there. Of course, this was quite feasible, as I generally pass through Penn during my lunch hour, as well as before and after work.

He also sent me some photos and, as occasionally happens, the e-mail from Al got buried in the deluge known as my inbox.

But we are excavating it here to share some of Al's ink. I'll let him do the heavy lifting....

"... I often read your blog and I especially love the stories you include about how you ran in to each person or convinced them to show you their tattoos or whatever it was.  Also the fact that you include the artist info (when you can) is amazing!  So thanks, and keep up the good work!

... [Included are] pictures of two of my tattoos that are especially fun for me, and in their own ways, unique.  The first at the top of my back, and it's an image of a jaw harp done as if it were an old-school traditional piece.


If you haven't heard of a jaw harp (also called Jew's harp, trump, mouth harp, etc...) check it out!  It's a very simple instrument that has a place in indigenous cultures all around the world...and it's one of the most ridiculous and fun instruments I've ever played.  I especially love that it's considered something of a "low class" instrument in most cultures.  Sort of the underdog of the musical world!  This piece was done by Michael Hastings at the Boston Tattoo Company in Somerville, MA.

The second one is less of a serious tattoo and more of a product of "hey, you know what would be funny?"  A tattoo artist friend of mine and I were joking around, and I convinced him to tattoo the bottom of my foot, more or less to see what would happen.


Anyone will tell you that getting a tattoo down there is a bad idea, but how exactly would it work out?  Well, the first picture you see is on it's second or third day of life -- already blown out in areas and starting to fade. One month later, and you can see it's already nearly half gone.


It was a fun tattoo experiment, and it earns me major badass points everywhere I go :-)"
Thanks to Al for sharing these tattoos with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I can contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Petra's Tattoo with Teeth

A couple weeks back, I was coming out of my office at 7 Penn Plaza when a woman named Petra walked by with this tattoo on her foot:




When I stopped her and introduced myself, she was happy to share it with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

Petra explained that this is the skull of a Velociraptor. When I asked why this particular design for a tattoo, she elaborated:
"Velociraptor is my spirit dinosaur. They're small and quick and very vicious and I identify with that as a person ... I really like dinosaurs. When I was a kid, I wanted to be a rock-climbing paleontologist, so I knew it was something that I'd like, you know, for the rest of the time I have my skin on."
This is Petra's first tattoo, and she got it inked by Cheyenne Sawyer at Atlas Tattoo in Portland, Oregon.

Thanks to Petra for sharing this cool tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Brian's Literary Chest Tattoo

The weather here in New York has been turning autumnal and visible tattoos have been disappearing from the streets, but fear not, Readers, we still have material to get us through the end of the year, thanks to a backlog of photos from the summer!

Case in  point is this tattoo from Brian:




I met Brian at a drugstore in Bay Ridge, back in the beginning of August. He told me he had just started working as an apprentice at A-List Industry Tattoos, a few blocks away.

At the time, Brian had seven tattoos, including this chest piece, which is comprised of two parts.

The top section reads "Incomplete - Imperfect" and is an allusion to lines from Chuck Palahniuk's novel Fight Club:
"May I never be complete.  May I never be content.  May I never be perfect.  Deliver me, Tyler, from being perfect and complete."
Brian credited this piece to Paul Ilardi, the owner at Monster Tattoos on Staten Island.

The bottom section of the tattoo features a banner that reads "Death steals everything but out stories."

Brian explained that he took this to mean that "what outlives us is the memories we have, the stories we have".

It's actually the final line in a short poem by Jim Harrison:

Larson's Holstein Bull


Death waits inside us for a door to open.
Death is patient as a dead cat.
Death is a doorknob made of flesh.
Death is that angelic farm girl
gored by the bull on her way home
from school, crossing the pasture
for a shortcut. In the seventh grade
she couldn't read or write. She wasn't a virgin.
She was "simpleminded," we all said.
It was May, a time of lilacs and shooting stars.
She's lived in my memory for sixty years.
Death steals everything except our stories..
Brian credited this part of the tattoo to Cesar at Bullseye Tattoos, also on Staten Island.

Thanks to Brian for sharing his ink with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!




This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, with the exception of  "Larson's Holstein Bull" by Jim Harrison from In Search of Small Gods. © Copper Canyon Press, 2009.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

The http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ Book Review - London Tattoos


Let's eliminate the suspense - London Tattoos is a lovely book, and one of the best tattoo titles I have seen in recent years. I recommend it highly and strongly encourage http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ readers to check it out.

The book is beautifully photographed by Alex MacNaughton. The concept is simple: each subject stands in a full shot at the beginning of their section. There is a paragraph or two composed by the host, describing, in various degrees of detail, their tattoo journeys. A list of tattooist credits follow as footnotes, and then we are treated to several more (at the very least) more detailed shots of the body sections featuring the person's ink.


There is a fine distinction here, that between a close-up of a tattoo, and a close-up of the tapestry on which the tattoo is marked. Its a fine line of art that McNaughton executes brillianty. We catch glimpses of work, we see sections in great detail, but we are rarely confronted by an image that is a sterile full-frame of tattoo.


I just love the way that this photo narrative unfolds. Especially remarkable are the subjects who appear mostly, if not fully, covered. A turn of the page strips layers off of the individuals and we are treated to the artistic treasures that lie beneath. It dazzles the imagination, the unveiling of a person who appears uninked, only to reveal a breath-taking display of coverage that illuminates that this person spent hours upon hours under the needle.

It is brilliantly executed and I recommend it fully, all 304 pages with 700 color illustrations. Alex MacNaughton is also the author of London Street Art, London Street Art 2 and London Street Art Anthology. I encourage http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ readers to buy London Tattoos - the holidays are just around the corner - and, at the very least, visit MacNaughton's website here to get a bigger taste of the work inside this wonderful book.




This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/. Photographs are ©2011 Alex MacNaughton.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Lauren and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Tattoo

Today's tattoo is perfect for a Monday.

Last month in Penn Station, I met Lauren, who had a familiar-looking face on her upper right arm:


I couldn't quite put my finger on why I recognized the art, until she clarified for me that it was based on an illustration from a wonderful children's book by Judith Viorst called Alexander and the Terrible, Horrible, No Good, Very Bad Day.


The phrase in the banner, "Some days are like that," is a line from the story.

When I asked Lauren why she got this tattoo, she elaborated:
"I have a very good friend who has If You're Afraid of the Dark, Remember the Night Rainbow on his arm and I was like, 'Ah, children's book! Great idea!' So I went to my mom and said, 'What was my favorite children's book?' and she's like, 'Well, Alexander or The Lupine Lady [from Miss Rumphius].' And I thought 'I don't want pastel colors. I want black and grey and I liked the artwork much better.' So I went with this."
This was Lauren's first tattoo and it was inked by Christian Beckman at Saints and Sinners in Baltimore. He modified Alexander's shirt, adding the skull, but it's still certifiably Alexander.

Thanks to Lauren for sharing this awesome tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!





This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.


If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Friday, November 4, 2011

Ryan's Religious Verse

I met Ryan at the end of September outside of Madison Square Garden, approaching him to ask about this tattoo on his upper right arm:


He explained that Philippians 4:13 was his confirmation verse. He added, "I went with the hands and everything because I already have a cross on my back."

Philippians 4:13 reads "I can do all things in him that strengtheneth me." (American Standard Version)

The chain in the hands connects to this part of the tattoo on the bicep:


Ryan commented that "I put only God can judge me because I've been going through some legal difficulties." It's a reminder that, when all is said and done, the ultimate judge is, in the belief of many, above and beyond the world in which we live.

Ryan credits Joe Bawden from Skin Alternative in Hillside, New Jersey, with this tattoo.

Thanks to Ryan for sharing his ink with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

An Epipleptic Bicycle

Being as it is still Halloween week, perhaps a little Edward Gorey is appropriate?

This tattoo was shared by Megan, when I spotted her in Penn Station at the beginning of October:


Clicking on the Gorey tag at the bottom of the post will confirm what you may have already expected - the work of Edward Gorey is quite popular as body art.

This piece is one of six tattoos Megan has, and is based on Gorey's book The Epipleptic Bicycle. That's Embley and Yewbert, hitting each other with mallets. She told me she got this because "I love Edward Gorey and it's one of my favorite books and this is the opening sequence."

This was inked by Fatty at Fatty's Custom Tattooz in Washington, D.C.

In researching I stumbled upon this story, of a woman with a similar tattoo.

Thanks to Megan for sharing her Gorey tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/!


This entry is ©2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Repost: Michael's Mariachis

Well, it has been a repost sort of week, and as it is All Soul's Day, a.k.a. The Day of the Dead, this only seemed fitting. It's from my college friend, Michael, and it appeared here originally on December 30, 2008. Enjoy!


In reconnecting with old college friends through Facebook, my old friend Michael who I haven't seen in almost twenty years sent me an amazing tattoo he has on his right arm.

He sent me before and after shots so we can see the transformation from outline to spectacularly colorful body art. First, the before shots.....



The detail and the line work is exemplary and breath-taking. As someone with a guitar inked on my arm, I can appreciate the intricacies of a finely-drawn instrument. The detail on the mariachi's jacket cuff is incredible.



And now, for some color:




Michael explains the basic premise of this tattoo:
In a sense, this piece is a "memorial" tattoo, although I hate to call it that. Since I grew up in the Southwest, Day of the Dead was a regular thing, so I've always been drawn to that type of imagery, plus I like the meaning -- honoring the dead, and reminding us to live life to the fullest. I picked the mariachis partly because I am so into music, and partly because of the celebratory aspect of mariachis.
Like many intricate tattoos with multiple elements, every part has significance. The tulips, for example, that are growing at the mariachi's feet, "are an actual heirloom varietal that I have in the garden" [and] are for my wife -- tulips are her favorite flower".



And the angel at the top of the piece (and the top of the post)?


Michael informs us that "the angel is for my mother, who is no longer with us. The angel holds a purple iris (my mother's favorite flower), and looks down over the whole scene."

This amazing piece was inked by Susan Behney-Doyle who works out of Jinx Proof Tattoo in Washington, D.C. Mexican folk art is one of her specialties (see a gallery of her work here) and Michael says he "gave her a few reference pieces to look at, but she basically drew it after a consultation". He continues, "we made just a couple tweaks after I saw the drawing, but it's a one-of-a-kind custom piece".

The whole tattoo was crafted back in 2006 over a five-month, seven-session period. Michael notes that one of those sessions was devoted solely to shading the guitar. A closer look at the instrument reveals an incredible complexity of brown variations that truly makes the guitar jump off the skin.

Thanks again to Michael for sharing this amazing tattoo with us here on http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/ - twice!


This entry is ©2008, 2011 http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.

If you are reading this on another web site other than http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/, without attribution, please note that it has been copied without the author's permission and is in violation of copyright laws. Please feel free to visit http://http://tattoosmonday.blogspot.com/.blogspot.com and read our original content. Please let me know if you saw this elsewhere so I contact the webmaster of the offending site and advise them of this violation in their Terms of Use Agreement.

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