Yet another “I miss the 1990s” post.
We have things really good these days; you pick just about any major city and there’s probably a handful of quality tattooists represented. Some of them may have only been at it a few years, but they’ve gotten it down and are Instragramming the hell out of their work building a book of devoted clients. And if their work doesn’t grab you, the four other artists in the shop just might. But in my beloved 90s when magazines took forever to come out (think a three month lag time between when a tattoo was photographed and when it was printed; and that’s if it was even accepted by the editors) and you may have to travel hours just to find the right tattooists… we were lucky. Where I was living at the time (just outside of Tampa) we had it better than most. There was a boom that was the biggest I’ve ever seen in a non-military town- of tattoo shops in the early 1990s that saturated the city with solid work. We had John Hinmelstein, Skip Sampson, Chad Chesko, Wayne Bernard, Annette Larue and a handful of other stellar tattooers who made their name the old fashioned way- by doing great work, not by having the most “likes” on Social Media.
But since OV is technically social media….
I met Wayne Bernard almost 25 years ago. He was working with Himmelstein at a little tiny shop with no flash. They drew every tattoo that came in the door in the heyday of strange tattoo requests. He’s moved along since then- Currently in Southern California- but he’s still doing really solid, strong American tattooing.
Follow him on Instagram here: http://instagram.com/wayne_b
For our UK Readers:
My friend Dr. Matt Lodder is going to be giving a talk on 29th January 2015 at the wonderfully named Cock a Snook on the life and times of British tattoo artist Sutherland MacDonald- including never before seen photos of Sutherland’s work.
You can send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
“For nearly forty years crowned heads and famous people climbed the narrow staircase in Jermyn Street to visit Macdonald and to leave bearing some of the most wonderful ornaments ever placed on human skin. A well spoken, intelligent and gentle man, Sutherland Macdonald made friends of his customers, who treated him as an equal.”- George Burchett
If Cutty Bage- who’s currently tattooing at Speakeasy Tattoo Co. in the glorious State of North Carolina- were a comic book illustrator, she’d be someone you’d wish would transition over to tattooing. Killer lines, bold, graphic and incredibly nerdy subject matter and lettering that would make Todd Klein* blush- Cutty’s work is a comic nerd’s (or scifi nerd. or movie nerd) dream come through. I can’t remember how I stumbled upon her; I think it was a mutual friendship with another toy collector- but I’m sure glad I did. Pop culture blending with tattoo culture to create some fantastically geeky art.
The life of Samuel Steward has all of the makings of a feature length movie. A Professor of English at Loyola and De Paul Universities, a confidant of Gertrude Stein, the author of Bad Boys and tough tattoos and assorted pornography, a tattooist known for mentoring Ed Hardy and tattooing Hells Angels members and Occult filmmaker Kenneth Anger and a major contributor to Alfred Kinsey’s human sexuality studies Steward (who also went by the names Phil Sparrow and Phil Andros) lived a life worthy of the silver screen.
Or better yet, in comic form. Artist Eric Rivera has been illustrating stories from Sparrow’s Bad Boys & Tough Tattoos and from the sample pages I’ve seen it would be a killer full length adaptation. His style is a perfect match to the content. You can check out his work here: Eric Rivera.
If you’d like to read more about Steward’s life, Justin Spring’s Secret Historian is an amazing biography worth checking out.
It’s always a good day when I get information on a new Yellow Beak Press project in the mail.
In 2015, Yellow Beak Press will be releasing their upcoming biography Sailor Vern. Leading up to the release of the Sailor Vern book, Yellow Beak Press will be selling limited prints of selected Percy Waters blueprint sheets from Sailor Vern’s personal collection. They will be 18×24 offset printed posters on 80lb gloss paper. Every one of these sheets carry with it classic imagery from one of the greats, presented in Waters’ unique printing method. We will be releasing each sheet individually over the course of the next few months and will reveal more detailed descriptions of each as they are listed. The first in the series will be released this week! Available now in the Yellow Beak Press store. Aaron LeGore will be selling them as well on ebay and through his shop, Calamity Jane Tattoo (970)424-5065.
Stay tuned for more details about the Sailor Vern book and follow us on instagram @yellowbeakpress or check our blog for more updates!
The photos I’ve seen from the book are amazing; when the pre-order comes out I’ll get the information up.
It’s October already?
I spend the entire month ramping up my already ample horror movie intake and reveling in all of the horror and occult themed art shows and offerings the month has to offer. Austin Tattooer Clamore Wolfmeyer is going to be curating an Occult art show later on in the month (see the flier here) so it’s a good time to add his Instagram account to your feed.
I think the words ‘right up our alley’ sum this up nicely.
Tattooist Clamore Wolfmeyer is curating a group show at Mindzai Creative in Austin Texas on 17th October that’s sure to be of interest to Occult Vibrations readers. I’ve already seen previews dropping on Tumblr from the always impressive Dusty Neal and there’s sure to be more radness to come!