Joy Division Backpiece c/o Thomas Hooper

In random browsing I came across this stunning Joy Division tattoo, and since like most things on the Internet it was uncredited it took me some searching before I even knew if it was a real tattoo or a photoshop job, which was my first assumption because it’s just so incredibly bold. I was happy to discover that it was the work of Thomas Hooper (meditationsinatrament.com) of Saved Tattoo (savedtattoo.com) in Brooklyn.

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By the way, if you like that, check out this Joy Division cutting posted last year.

As stunning as this piece is — it’s a beautiful example of graphic design — but not really something that pushed him technically or artistically as a tattooist. His custom work is so top-notch that I thought he deserved proper coverage, so here is a small selection of some of my favorite pieces he’s created. Visit his websites for more. I know I’ve said this to death, but wow, the talent pool that’s out there in the tattoo world these days is unbelievable. I could feature a new artist every single day for the next year and only have scraped the tip of the iceberg. Glad to have discovered today’s polar bear.

Taking it to 11

In the words of the great Nigel Tufnel, “Well, it’s one louder, isn’t it?”

Judging by the amount of artillery this guy is packing, it’s pretty obvious Michael Kozlenko intended him to go to eleven.

And here’s a look at the sides of this piece:

Check out the Kipod Tattoo Studio gallery to see more photos of this epic tattoo, including some close-ups of the smaller details.

Back to 1984

When Jason Stephan’s wife asked him to tattoo her back, it was the first time he’d ever been able to complete a piece of this size on blank skin.  The couple came up with the design together, and the result is fantastic.  Here’s what Jason’s wife had to say about the design:

This piece is the culmination of feelings about many of the issues of today. Some of these issues have come up in the past, most notably in George Orwell’s book “1984″ and so this tattoo could be described as a creative visualization of that novel. The lamb/ human figures are representative of all things that are good and innocent about mankind: curiosity, naivete, kindness, tolerance, etc. The robot is symbolic of all of the forces that corrupt those “good things.” The corrupting forces could be technology, government, greed, etc. On the robot’s screen is a face reminiscent on “Big Brother” in Orwell

Jason works at Loose Screw Tattoo in Richmond, VA.

Happy Rapture Eve!

Well, with all the hoopla surrounding a small group of Christians who think the Big J is coming back tomorrow to take away the good ones and leave the rest of us scoundrels here to face the apocalypse, I felt it only fitting to go with a religious theme today.

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Even though I am by no means a Christian, I have a long standing affinity for angels, I think watching The Prophecy a few dozen times too often may have led to this. This particular angel backpiece was done by Matt Kramer of Mind’s Eye Tattoo in Emmaus, Pa.