"When I called Inflictions to speak civilly with Brandon Swartz concerning the matter I was mocked and laughed at by the employees of Inflictions who stated that I would just humiliate myself as the public would find my actions frivolous. Later in the night I received a call from a tattoo artist of mine concerning the welfare of his friend... Brandon personally requested that this man contact me concerning the matters. This was followed by a call from Brandon Swartz who indeed confirmed that he was aware the tattoo had previously been tattooed on flesh. The patron had brought in a photo of me wearing my tattoo, [and] the rip off was produced from it. Swartz acknowledged that he knew who [Tim Kern] had tattooed the original piece while trying to flatter me by stating that Tim is such a better artist than he — maybe because Tim is able to draw his own tattoos?"
"When I spoke with Brandon Swartz I ultimately decided that I would put the matters to rest if I received an email (not phone or address) contact of the man depicted in the photograph as well as a written apology from Swartz. Swartz then claimed that I was asking for TOO MUCH."
"Brandon Swartz threatened me stating that 'All artists would hate me'. This, though not true, would not bother me as all of my artists are good friends and men of respect, none of them are scratchers like Brandon Swartz."
"Swartz also claimed that Steve Potts (Owner of both Inflictions shops and Swartz's boss) is good friends with Paul Booth (Tim Kern's boss), and this matter could jeopardize Tim Kern's job. It is common knowledge that Paul Booth himself has had a tattoo of his own illegally reproduced on the skull of another man, I highly doubt that Paul Booth would ever side with the Artist who illegally reproduced the image. In fact I would think that Paul Booth would want to see some precedent set in these matters."
As a side note, it’s been pointed out that Brandon Swartz doesn’t understand cross contamination issues since he’s not using any barrier film on his machine or clip cord on the photos of him tattooing. So not only is he a thief, but he’s also potentially endangering the lives of his clients…
We also recently covered tattoo theft by King of Kings in the Europe, a shop with a bad reputation for stealing other artists work, claiming it as their own, and then stalling on even removing the photos from their website — as recently also noted in Needled. Anyway, ModBlog writer Rebekah drops Han a line to see what he had to say:
A lady in Canada is very distraught after having seen a photo of her tattoo on your web site. She is upset because you didn’t tattoo her; Cory Ferguson did. There is no doubt that the tattoos are identical. Cory’s art came first, which makes yours the copy… which you seem to be passing off as your own original work.
I’m curious as to your side… I’d love to know what your excuse is.
As I’m sure will come as no surprise, his reply contained only two words:
From: King of Kings Tattoo
Well, at least this is creating a useful list of shops to avoid.