Nick Bubash

Nick Bubash: Warhol

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After watching the Thom DeVita episodes of ViceTv’s groundbreaking Tattoo Age series, I decided that I should head to Pittsburgh this summer and get tattooed by the incomparable Nick Bubash. Earlier today I saw that he’s going to be having a solo show at the Warhol. This summer.

I like it when everything lines up.

From the Warhol Museum:

 The Patron Saint of White Guys That Went Tribal and Other Works, the first solo museum exhibition of work by Pittsburgh artist Nick Bubash features a recreation of the artist’s studio which focuses on a large group of found object sculptures.  These sculptures reveal a playful approach to the artist’s practices and sardonic sense of humor.  Bubash has exhibited extensively across the US since 1989, with work exhibiting a wide range of media and diverse stylistic approach.  Bubash is also a nationally recognized tattooist and is the owner of Route 60 Tattoo in McKees Rocks.

Read more at warhol.org: http://www.warhol.org/webcalendar/event.aspx?id=17145#.UZDxFRiN-m8.facebook#ixzz2TOd0p8z3

I think this is going to be one of those ‘worth the commute’ sort of things, so if you can make Pittsburgh part of your travel plans, you might just oughta!

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DeVita Popup Gallery Photos, Gallery 1

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Thom DeVita

It’s really great when an artist you respect finally gets his due. Thom DeVita has been one of the most unique American tattooers his entire career, redefining the art and including his personal aesthetic more distinctly than just about anyone that I can think of, a folk style of art that is at odds with what is considered ‘cutting edge’  or special effects tattooing.

Ed Hardy shined the spotlight on him in Tattoo Time V (which you can find as part of a reprint package here. It’s indispensable) which did a lot to expose his ‘outsider’ art to a new generation of young tattoo artists, but it was the release of the five part VICETV Tattoo Age (again: here. Watch it and come back, we’ll be waiting)  that will, when all of the cards are dealt, hopefully establish him as an artist who’s work transcends the medium. I’ve heard it said that DeVita always just called himself an artist, not a tattoo artist, and with the public finally embracing (and one might even say consuming) tattoo art as a legitimate medium I can only hope that Thom’s work will get the attention it truly deserves.

Chris Grosso, the producer of the Tattoo Age series, and Mike Rubendall of King’s Avenue Tattoo, set up a DeVita popup gallery a few weeks ago to help Thom’s art get out into the world. The walls of King’s Ave were covered with his distinctly DeVita work; mashups of acetate tattoo stencil rubbings, scrolls…  all as interesting as the fella who created them.  Dan Meyer and Bernardo Garcia snapped the following photos and I’m pleased as punch to be sharing them with y’all. Daniel Higgs, Civ, Nick Bubash are featured in the ones that are going up today, but check back soon- I’ve also got some really great shots of some of Thom’s most recent work.

Thanks to Chris and Mike for setting all this up, and of course to Thom, for everything else!

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Daniel Higgs and Thom DeVita

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Thom DeVita and Nick Bubash

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Thom DeVita and Daniel Higgs

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Recent DeVita work, King’s Avenue Tattoo

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Civ, Thom and Nick

Thom Devita- Tattoo Age

Last year I was lucky enough to have been tattooed by Scott Harrison.
After the tattoo I had plans to swing by the Vice offices to drop off a VHS copy of Frisco Skin and Tattoo Ink to Chris Grosso, the producer of the Tattoo Age series. At the time only a few of the episodes had aired and it was already shaping up to be and amazing tattoo documentary series; the perfect alternative to the cable network atrocities that were airing.

Harrison is a natural story teller, and as the tattoo continued he told me about Tattoo Age filming with him and Thom Devita. I was floored. DeVita. I had seen his work, of course, and compared to the relatively young tattooers featured so far he was a major score for the Tattoo Age folks. Scott detailed how they got Thom to talk on camera, shared a few great anecdotes and we eventually moved on.

Of course when I got to the Vice offices and met Chris, the first thing I brought up was the DeVita footage. At the time, I’m fairly sure they were editing the Corbin episodes (thus the VHS I was dropping off) and the season if thats what you want to call it was coming to a close. So… when was Thom’s arc going to air?

Chris didn’t have an answer. At the time there was no official word about season 2 so that footage could have potentially never seen the light of day. That would have been a tragedy. When I left the Vice offices I was worried. Several months later I was getting tattooed by Robert Ryan and we started talking about DeVita, and he mentioned that he had just completed an interview for Vice, for Thom’s segments.

I’ve been waiting for these episodes since last year, and I couldn’t be happier that they’re finally going to air. The first episode airs on November 21.

Update: Just got word from Juliette from Vice- The DeVita arc will be FIVE episodes long. Five. Feel the love.