NYC Tattoo Convention 2001


“The decoration, so-called, of the human body by tattoo designs is, in our culture, a barbaric survival, often associated with a morbid or abnormal personality.” -Judge Aron Steuer, Grossman v. Baumgartner.

Back when I used to think that going to tattoo conventions was a fun thing to do, I always loved the NYC Convention held at the Roseland Ballroom. During the years I attended I was lucky enough to have met personalities as diverse as Sonny Barger, Linda Lovelace and Joe Coleman (who’s included in the photos here, along with 90s/2000s convention mainstay Andrew Gore) mixing it up with the tattooed masses.

These photos- scanned from 35mm prints- were from the 2001 NYC Convention. I’ve long since misplaces the artist credits for the tattoos pictured.

Rudy Inhelder


I first met Rudy in the early/mid 1990s through the UNIQUE classified ads. A self described ‘tattoo and piercing enthusiast’, Rudy and I exchanged letters and photographs over the years, sharing stories of our own tattoos and experiences. Our correspondence eventually fell off and, as is prone to happen, we lost touch with one another. I’m not sure what ever happened to him, though many of his letters are still in my collection.

Clipper Ship (center of chest) by Sailor Eddie Evans.
Dragons by Alan Oversby.

Rudy is briefly mentioned in an article by Gauntlet’s Jim Ward:

In 1996 Rudy sent me a photocopy of a profile on him from the NTA’s magazine- what follows is a transcript. He did not provide a month/year/issue number.

My interest in tattoos became activated as a youngster in 1954 when I read a critique about Hanns Ebenstein’s book “Pierced Hearts and True Love” in a local newspaper in my native Switzerland. I wrote to Hanns, who in return put me in contact with one of the most famous British artists, Rich Mingins in London. 1955 I was sent to London for further education and then met Rich in person. The same year, probably the first national convention to place in a pub in London, organized by Rich Mingins, , Les Skuse from Bristol and Jessie Knight from Aldershot. This was also the start of my photo collection.

In 1957 I emigrated to the United States and got really involved in tattooing. My first tattoos were done by sailor Eddie Evans in Camden, New Jersey and Paul Rogers who then work with him. Work by Phil Sparrow (Chicago), (then Crazy) Philadelphia Eddie Funk, Huck Spaulding (Albany, N.Y.) and Buddy Mott (Rhode Island) followed.

I then realized that very many people are interested in tattooing, but had difficulties meeting others of the same interest. Therefore, in 1963 some friends and I in New York decided to do something about it. We found it the “Tattoo Club of America “, probably the first American Tattoo club. I collected news items related tattooing and in January 1964 published the first periodical dedicated tattoos, the “Tattoo News”. As a supplement the “History of Tattooing” was added from time to time. Tattoo tidbits and instructive news items, very much in the vein of the column now written by Lal Hardy for “Tattoo international”, where the main attraction of the publication.

On 5 October, 1964 I organized probably the first tattoo convention in the U.S.A. – and if you hadn’t already guessed it, Elizabeth Weinziril was, of course, there. That was the time when a few young artist such a sailor Jerry Collins of Honolulu started to change the style of American tattoos. The beginnings were small and the magazine only mimeographed, but it was a start. Unfortunately my job became more and more demanding so that the December 1966 issue of “Tattoo News” was the last to appear. I had nothing to do with the later magazine which took over my title.

In 1970 the cutback in the defense industry in the USA for which I worked as a physicist, forced me to look around and I went to Munich, Germany to work for a German firm. In 1973 this firm sent me to England, where George Bone and Alan Oversby in London have mainly worked on me since. I have not missed a single convention of the TCCB be since its beginning and felt very honored when I was asked on several occasions to be on the jury of the beauty contests.

It is good to see that the Tattoo tradition continues, many more people get tattooed with better designs, more clubs are founded , more publications printed and more conventions held. It shall continue.

Best Intentions (2015)


British Tattooer Ash Davies has just released a mammoth new tattoo magazine called Best Intentions which can be found here.
Even if I weren’t a contributor I’d recommend that you buy a copy; this is DIY tattoo culture and supporting projects like this mean that cool stuff(tm) is going to be made by people who care about tattooing, not by people who just want to pump out a sellable product aimed at people who watch reality tv.

I’m already working on something for volume 2.


106 pages full colour tattoo magazine including interviews from –

Joseph Ari Aloi (3 Kings Tattoo NYC)
Amanda Grace Leadman (Black 13 Nashville)
Nick Mayes (North Sea Scarborough)
Burton Jean-Philippe (Purple Sun Brussels)

Articles by –

Mr Gordo Instax view of Seven Doors
Shawn Porter’s Occult Vibrations
Horimatsu portfolio
California Electric
Iron Mountain Studio Visit

Artwork and tattoos by –

Ash Davies
Bradley Tompkins
Burrito Breath
Dave Fox
Emerson Ventura
James Kiley
Marcos Attwood
Marcus Maguire
Matt Kerley
Nick Baldwin
Sam Layzell
Sam Ricketts
Shen Schubert

Cover by and includes stickers by Joseph Ari Aloi.

Screen Shot 2015-09-18 at 7.58.00 PM

Debra Cooper 1986


I recently turned in an article for a new British tattoo zine about the tattoo videotapes that were mainstays in the  advertisment section of tattoo magazines of the late 1980s and early 1990s; highbrow offerings like the more structured documentaries that Michael O. Stearns put out through his Metamorphosis II label, erotic offerings from photographer/anthropologist Charles Gatewood’s FLASH VIDEO line and the gonzo films of the legendary Royboy & Debra Cooper of the Badlands of Gary Indiana. The Royboy series especially captures a time/place in tattoo (and biker) culture that’s really unique and were always among my personal favorites.

This photo, scanned from a 3×5 print in the Occult Vibrations archives, features Debra Cooper with work by Royboy. it was taken at a Tattoo Convention in Tennessee in 1986. You can see more of Royboy and Debra by using the Royboy tag.

Paintin’ for Satan


Current Church of Satan Magus Peter H. Gilmore is a pretty fascinating guy. I’ve been following his tumblr a while for his amazingly detailed cinema reviews (his two part review of the 2015 Godzilla remake would make a PhD thesis seem like it didn’t try hard enough) and thoughts on life and generally thought he couldn’t get much cooler.

Then I saw that he was curating a show for the folks at the HOWL TATTOO Gallery down in Florida. It’s one thing to mix Satan with cinema, but when he gets his scaly mitts on tattooing it seems like it could be the perfect combination. I can’t wait to see the book!

From Gilmore’s introduction:
For The Devils Reign, our artists work in many styles to evoke the fantastic and demonic. Their renditions of the dread names from Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible serve as keys to unleash oft-hidden aspects of the human psyche. As he said himself, “There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised!.” Devilish art may mock authority, frighten the gullible, and embody complex emotions. Here you’ll find gateways for self-reflection, for opening one’s mind to unique perspectives.”

Exhibition on Display: December 5th, 2015 – January 30th, 2016
Opening Reception & Book Release: December 5th 7-11pm (18+ Only)
Gallery Hours: 11am-8pm M-Th 12-10pm Fr-Sat
Address: HOWL Gallery/Tattoo – 4160 Cleveland Ave, Fort Myers, FL 33901
Admission: Free
HOWL Gallery Facebook:
HOWL GalleryTwitter: @howlgallery
If you’re in the area you should stop by and check it out!

The full press release/artist listing follows-

Fort Myers, FL – September 3, 2015 – Church of Satan High Priest, Magus Peter H Gilmore, has curated an art exhibition and accompanying book to both debut December 5th in Fort Myers, Florida. HOWL Gallery/Tattoo will host The Devils Reign, a two month art show featuring many of the world’s best known tattoo artists, as well as illustrators, photographers, painters and sculptors. The show also includes work by members of the Church of Satan’s hierarchy. Over 60 artists were selected by Magus Gilmore for the exhibition that runs from December 5th until January 30th, 2016 at HOWL Gallery in Fort Myers, FL. The limited-edition hardcover exhibition book will be available during the opening reception and afterwards.
The Devils Reign features images depicting devils and dark gods from current and past cultures, as well as monstrous characters inspired by HP Lovecraft’s Cthulu mythos. The Satanic Bible, first published in 1969 and written by Church of Satan founder Anton Szandor LaVey, was used as inspiration for the exhibit. Artists referenced LaVey’s roster called The Infernal Names which features a list of more than 50 devilish deities compiled from world mythology, including Satan, Lilith, the Greek fertility god Pan, Dracula, Loki, and even Hindu divinities Shiva and Kali. This is the first show and published art book of its kind associated directly with the Church of Satan.
Notable artists in the exhibit include rock poster icon Derek Hess, whose work is included in the collection of The Louvre Museum in Paris and The Rock N Roll Hall of Fame. Modern day tattoo legends Tim Lehi, Jef Whitehead, Derek Noble, Dusty Neal, Curt Baer, Uncle Allan, and Timothy Hoyer all accepted invitations to participate. Well known heavy metal album illustrators such as Seldon Hunt, Shaun Beaudry, Palehorse, and Florian Bertmer also contributed artwork. Stylistically, the works range from the gothic and grotesque to art influenced by Japanese and traditional tattooing styles. A complete list of artists is available below and on the gallery’s website.
The Devils Reign hardcover book features art from the exhibition as well as additional pieces not displayed in the gallery. The book is being produced and designed by gallery co-owner and accomplished tattoo artist Andy Howl and published in association with the Church of Satan. This limited edition features a two-color metallic cover and the more than 80 full-color pages. Retail price of the book is $60. Pre-ordered copies will come signed by High Priest Gilmore and orders are now being taken on the gallery’s website.
From Gilmore’s introduction: “For The Devils Reign, our artists work in many styles to evoke the fantastic and demonic. Their renditions of the dread names from Anton LaVey’s The Satanic Bible serve as keys to unleash oft-hidden aspects of the human psyche. As he said himself, “There is a beast in man that should be exercised, not exorcised!.” Devilish art may mock authority, frighten the gullible, and embody complex emotions. Here you’ll find gateways for self-reflection, for opening one’s mind to unique perspectives.”
Curator Gilmore has also noted that, “For the first time, the legendary denizens of Hell as denoted in LaVey’s The Satanic Bible are evoked in brilliant, blasphemous detail for you to savor.
Complete list of artists in the exhibition:
AW Storm Anderson
Adam P Campbell
Alexandra Snelgrove
Andy Howl
Cameron John
Chris Reed
Christopher Lee
Clay McCay
Curt Baer
Daniel Byrd
Dave Berns
David Sinclair Smith
David Wallace
Derek Hess
Derek Noble
Dusty Neal
Dylan Garrett Smith
Eric Vernor
Florian Bertmer
Francisco D
Herb Auerbach
Jason Leach
Jef Whitehead
Jeff Srsic
Jett Vincent Bailey
Joao Werner
Josh McAlear
Josie Gallows
Kim Rice
Laney Oleniczak
Lilith Coose
Marilyn Mansfield
Markus Mayer
Matt Lackey
Michaelanthony Alton Mitchell
N! Satterfield
Pale Horse
Robert Lang
Samantha Roman
Sara Ray
Sean Bonner
Seldon Hunt
Shaun Beaudry
Shayne of the Dead
Skot Olsen
Steven Anderson
Stevie Floyd
Thomas Thorn
Tim Lehi
Timothy Hoyer
Tony Karnes
Tracey Pryor
Uncle Allan
Valentin Schwarz
William J Butler
Zac Scheinbaum
Zack Spurlock
Zoth Ommog

NYS Bill S1421-2015

Copy and paste from the petition set up by Bridget Punsalang:


New laws have been passed in NY effective December 12th that will require the used of single use prepackaged ink cups instead of the usual disposable ink caps.



To: Senator Carlucci, NYS Department of Health, Governor Cuomo, Assemblyman Zebrowski and whomever else it may concern,

This petition is regarding the wording on the new tattoo laws that were passed, bill S1421-2015. The wording regarding single use inks is complicated and may lead to completely unnecessary and expensive measures.


The standard procedure by any properly trained tattoo artist involves purchasing large bottles of inks, and pouring them into small plastic, single use, disposable “ink caps”, just enough for the procedure, which are thrown away during clean up. The original large bottle is to be stored away from the client and the work station, and therefore away from any possibility of contamination.

The way the law reads now, would not work with these proven safe, common-practice procedures. They have single use, prepackaged inks, but they are incredibly expensive and not offered by any of the better quality brands of ink (really just a couple brands), and only available in a limited palette. For many artists, switching to a lesser-quality ink, is just not an option. For permanent makeup pigments (which is very much tattooing as well) there are no brands packaged for single use. These single-use inks, are impractical and unnecessary, since standard precautions are designed to eliminate the possibility of cross-contamination.

We would like to propose that better wording would be something that specifies that pigments  are required to be poured into single use disposable receptacles aka ink caps.

Example: “single use ink” shall mean all inks are poured into disposable single use containers, and disposed of after each procedure.

The key to safe tattooing is annual education requirements, teaching artists in the industry to use universal precautions and learn the newest and best practices to prevent cross-contamination and prevent the spread of dangerous infectious diseases. This is already a requirement through federal OSHA laws, which many other states have chosen to reiterate.

Rewrite NYS BILL S1421-2015 before it goes into effect!

From petition organizer Bridget Punsalang:
Clifton Park, NY

Aug 28, 2015 — Huge progress today!! Huge! I spoke to Evan Sullivan who is the legislative director and committee director for Senator Carlucci. They are currently working with the NYS department of health to reword the new regulations as a temporary fix. They’re also going to try to hold the implementation of the new law until it can be amended in January. Myself, Kyle Machattie, and a few other tattoo artists will be in Carlucci’s office Monday morning proposing ideas for rewriting the new law. They will be trying their best to either amend the wording or even change most of the law, as the entire section 2 of the law is vague and misleading, as are major corrections needed in the definition of single use inks. I will update everyone after our appointment on Monday, as this is still very much in the works.

They realize this is a problem, and they are working on fixing it. They appreciate us bringing this too their attention, and want to make it right.

Thank you everyone for the overwhelming support, I will continue to post updates as they come in!

OVxAMS953: The Enigma versus 22 Tattoo Artists

The third and final Amsterdam Tattoo Convention 1995 clip; this one is the roughest with a little more shaky camera than I’m happy with, but ultimately a pretty fun little video. The sound has been removed due to copyrighted music in the background, so enjoy the silence.

I don’t have a complete list of the artists who tattooed Enigma- offhand I spotted:

  • Alex Binnie
  • Horiyoshi 3
  • Permanent Mark
  • Bob Vessels
  • Crazy Ace Daniels
  • Timothy Hoyer (?)

I’m sure Henk made a full list, but….