Robert Ryan

Mirror Cave #11: Transcendental Sound Vibration with Robert Ryan.


Dan Higgs Baphomet tattooed by Robert Ryan.

Do only good.
The latest episode of Scott Harrison’s MIRROR CAVE podcast features a 30 minute chat with Electric Tattoo’s Robert Ryan. The episode’s focus is on Robert’s connection with Eastern religion, experiences with Ayahuasca and his first visit to India; while not directly connected with tattooing it’s a great insight into his aesthetic output.

You can find it on ITUNES:


Inborn Absolute (pre-order available)

Robert Ryan’s “The Inborn Absolute” is available for pre-order.

From the publisher:

Coming in at just under 160 pages, this 12.25” by 10.75” cloth hardcover contains over 70 pages of full-color paintings; 30 pages pulled from his personal sketchbooks; and essays and interviews with art and music luminaries Genesis P Orridge, Freddy Corbin, and Andrew Berardini, all discussing the esoteric origins and subject matter of Ryan’s incomparable body of work. With early roots as a musician and painter, Robert Ryan’s work reveals a deep mastery of the American tattooing tradition while creating a mystical and fantastic world full of unique takes on Eastern religious iconography.

The Inborn Absolute


This monograph delves into the career of celebrated artist Robert Ryan. From his early roots as a musician and painter, he discovered tattooing and quickly became one of the preeminent artists in that realm. His work reveals a deep mastery of the American tattooing tradition while creating a mystical and fantastic world full of unique takes on Eastern religious iconography. The book covers two decades of stunning paintings & tattoos, interviews with art and music luminaries about his work and subject matter, detailing Ryan’s personal journey and progression as an artist.

Set for an August 9th release from Featherproof Books, THE INBORN ABSOLUTE is going to be one of 2016’s must-have books. Right now there’s a pre-order via and when alternate ordering becomes available I’ll include it here.

You can see more of Robert’s work on tumblr and instagram.


Prepare the way of the Lord



Kind of a self serving post, but then again that’s what blogging is all about, right?
I was able to get back up to Asbury Park recently to start another tattoo from the incredibly talented Robert Ryan at Electric Tattoo. After my appointment with him last May, which saw me getting the whole top of my thigh done in one crazy seven hour sitting, I decided to break this one up into a more traditional ‘outlines, shading, color’ appointment structure.

We managed all of this (and some outlining on my butt. Butt tattoo hurt much more than you’d think) in just a little over two hours and will be taking October off, so hopefully November will see session 2.

I grew up Baptist, so the head of John the Baptist (as an oracle of Divine Prophecy) has been an idea I’ve been tossing around for more than a few years now. Robert was the perfect artist to do it; someone who took the symbolism I brought him and added his own to create the perfect tattoo. If you folks saw the thumbnails I send him… you’d see just how impressive a task that is. I’ll update again when we get into the next round.

For more Robert Ryan tattoos:

Thom DeVita Part 1: Tattoo Age

All tattooing is folk art.  has finally begun airing the Thom DeVita arc of their ‘Tattoo Age’ series, with episode 1 currently streaming.
You can check it out here.

The first episode features Ed Hardy, Nick Bubash, Clayton Patterson, Scott Harrison, Angelo Scotto, John Wyatt, Robert Ryan, Bubba Reeves and of course Thom. If you use the Freddy Corbin arc of season 1 as a yardstick for quality, it’s really hard to imaging it getting any better. But seeing the enthusiasm that other people have for Thom and his work wins you over. Harrison’s face lights up when he talks about his ‘bad’ DeVita tattoos. These episodes- five in total- will end up being a once in a lifetime view into the life of an iconic artist.

Check it out.

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.

Harmonize and Higgs

First and foremost, a sincere thanks to the folks who’ve contributed to my birthday giftcard bonanza. I really appreciate it. Austin will be the first city I visit, so anyone local… I’ll be seeing you soon!

My NYC Birthday trip is already looking like an amazing time; I was scheduled in NYC on Tuesday night, but after seeing the announcement from Robert about Harmonize Most High and Daniel Higgs playing at Zebulon in Brooklyn, I decided to come to town a day early. I’ve seen Higgs play live in various incarnations (Lungfish, solo, Defekts) but till now haven’t had the opportunity to see Robert perform. It promises to be a really good time; as always, if you see me tug on my shirt tail and say hi.

Information is as follows:
Harmonize Most High and Daniel Higgs
Monday 30th July
258 wythe St

Hope to see you there!