Dan Higgs

Tortoise-saurus Helmet

In the late 1980s/early 1990s, Charles Gatewood’s FLASH VIDEO label was responsible for  a series of documentaries focusing on subcultures that, at the time, rarely had any uncensored media attention. Charles, with his camera in tow and anthropology degree on his wall, could have easily been another predatory voyeur who set his sights on outlaw communities- bikers, S/m clubs, body modification- to return to the safety of academia or the art world with impersonal artifacts from his perceived slumming. But Gatewood was, at heart, an outlaw himself. Having collaborated on books with William Burroughs and Spider Webb, Charles had a genuine love for fringe groups he met with in his photos and Flash documentaries, which unfortunately never made it en masse into the digital age.

I’ve been archiving and cleaning up select titles from my archives- most of which aren’t really appropriate for Occult Vibrations- but this clip from his ‘Erotic Tattooing and Body Piercing Vol 5’ VHS fits perfectly. Charles, at the Meadowlands tattoo convention in the early 1990s, speaks to (then) SF resident Avery Badenhop who shows off his mind-blowing full head tattoo by Tattoo City’s Daniel Higgs, as well as work from Bill Salmon, Greg Kulz and Filip Leu.

Charles passed away on 28th April, 2016.

Video ©Charles Gatewood/Flash Video.

Higgs Helmet


I’ve been staring at a half written OV update featuring some amazing 1990s tattooing by Guy Aitchison for over a week. I log in, see that I still haven’t wrapped it up, and instead of finishing it I end up procrastinating until I’ve totally forgotten about it.

I can find the time to write about why I haven’t written that update, apparently, which is something I should probably work on.

But since I’m still in a 1990s mindset- I scanned this print of Avery’s ‘turtle-taurus helmet’ by Daniel Higgs. I can’t remember which convention this was shot at, to be honest, but it’s still a striking piece.


Higgsey Mouse- Jake Arnette

881fd50850a411e3ae740ea73095e8aa_8Daniel Higgs mashups aren’t new to OV- a few months ago we shared Ron Henry Wells doing an amazing Higgs-on-Higgs design, but this one is a little more lighthearted. Jake Arnette, the artist behind it, calls it ‘Higgsey Mouse’ and features Walt’s favorite son as the infamouse Higgs Druid. For some reason it struck me funny. If you want to follow him on Instagram: http://instagram.com/jakearnettetattooer