Da da da dum…

Is that a severed hand or are you just happy to see me?

Tattoo by Charley Gerardin

Tattoo by Charley Gerardin

Check out Thing Gallery, where tattoo artists tattoo silicone hands for display. It started as a one-off charity event and turned into a long-standing gallery show.

1. Thing Gallery b&w tattoos2. Thing Gallery Colour Tattoos3. Thing Gallery tattoo stumps4. Thing Gallery tattooed hands 2

On February 26th, Fareed Kaviani presented an exhibition of tattooed silicone hands and sheets at Melbourne’s Neon Parlour. All profits from the sale of the tattooed silicone went to SafeSteps and WIRE, two Melbourne based organisations dedicated to providing support to women and children experiencing domestic violence.

With support from INKED magazine, Things & Ink, Melbourne Permanent, Sailor Jerry, Protat (who donated $500 to the charities), Temple Brewery, Mulbury, Daseti, and Metal Couture, the event was a unique opportunity to view the work of many world-renowned artists such as Sasha Unisex, Grace Neutral, Guy Le Tatooer, and David Cote, including national talents such as Alvaro Flores, Matt Deverson, Lauren Winzer, and Mel Wink.

Each silicone hand was individually moulded from a unique cast of Fareed’s hand. With no prior knowledge of prosthetics or experience making moulds or using silicone, the process was one of trial and a shit load of error. Initially, the idea was to make one hand and write a ‘how to’ piece for INKED magazine, however, after investing over 3 months researching materials, contacting professionals, and sitting through hours of YouTube tutorials, Fareed felt like an article would be a premature ending. Plus, he didn’t want to part with his newfound skills in silicone moulding that easily. So, naturally, he contacted over 30 international, national, and local tattooists asking if they were interested in tattooing a hand or sheet that we could sell to raise funds for two incredibly important organisations, Safesteps and WIRE. And you can’t exactly say no to that! Lo and behold, these artists refused to shy away from the challenge and instead dedicated their time and demonstrated their artistic talent to create a beautiful and curious array of tattooed extremities and sheets.

Thing Gallery Tattooable Silicone hand

Tattoo by Sam Kane

Tattoo by Sam Kane

With the exhibition complete, Fareed decided to continue Thing Gallery by commissioning artists to tattoo hands for the public to purchase through the website (www.thinggallery.com). Artists currently tattooing a Thing include:

Guy Le Tatooer guyletatooer.com
Jorge Ramirez @jorgeramireztattoo
Vond Barta @vondtattoo
Mel Wink @smel_wink
Gakkin @gakkinx
Fergus Simms @fergus_simms
Nic Tse @jynt
Oozy @oozy_tattoo
Or Kantor @om_kantor
Amy Unalome @amy_unalome_tattoo
Elric Gordon @elriccfh
William Jellman @pastilliam
Tim Tavaria @timtavaria
Matt Deverson @mattdeversontattoo
Zane Donnellan @gooneytoons_str
Onnie O’leary @onnieolearytattoo
Eugene Plotnikov @yeahgnar
Hannah Pixie @blackstabbathofficial
Russell Winter @russellxwinter
Leonie New @leonienewtattoos
Mav @maverickreevetattoo
Emmet @emmet_jace_tattoos
Adrian @edekqwerty
Blair @blair_maxine_hewitt
Sasha Masiuk @sashatattooing
Damien Thorn @damien.j.thorn
Ishi Neve @ishi_neve

Thing Gallery also provides gallery quality tattooable hands and sheets direct to the public.

Thing Gallery have an exciting new project in the works featuring Hannah Pixie Snow, VICE magazine, and a full-sized silicone head! So follow their Instagram page @thinggallery for updates.

The single hands are current exhibited pieces, for sale in their gallery.

Art of the Dead

A few months ago I posted about a show taking place in October that was looking for art from tattoo artists to put up for auction.  The purpose of the auction is to raise money for a local Toronto charity that provides free and accessible art programs to children.  Well, a large number of artist heeded the call, and I was able to get a few pictures to share with you of some of the artwork that will be on display this weekend.

The show itself is being put on by the boys from Seven Crowns Tattoo in Toronto, so if you’re in town this weekend, you should swing on by.  The show is one night only, and admission is free.

muerta

You can get the rest of the details about the show by going here.

Now, of course, if you’re going to be bidding on some art, it helps if you know what it is you’re bidding on.  Well just click the read more button to see a few samples from the many talented artists from Canada and around the world.

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Horiyoshi III, Kaname Ozuma, and the BME World Tour

Hi everyone, I know many of you have been wondering what’s been going on with all the World Tour footage, so I’d like to share some of it with you today, as well as introduce you to a pair of artists that are true masters of their art.

As you may have noticed, a few days ago I posted about a gallery showing of Horiyoshi III and Kaname Ozuma’s art at the Known Gallery in Los Angeles.  The show is a once in a lifetime opportunity to see the works of these artists in North America, as their works are normally displayed back home in Japan.

As many of you know, the world tour kicked off several months ago and the tour members have since returned.   Most of the tour was spent in Australia and New Zealand, with rescheduling occuring due to volcanic eruptions, political unrest in Thailand and Greece and ultimately a break had to happen because Rachel came down with pneumonia after recovering from a week long hospital stay in New Zealand. One she was given the OK to travel, she managed to hobble to Japan.  While there, the BME tour was fortunate enough to meet with Horiyoshi III and Kaname Ozuma.  This meeting resulted in individual interviews with both artists, but a joint interview was later filmed where they talk about their friendship as well as their inspirations for their art.  A special thank you goes out to Hiro Hara & Horiren for arranging the interview as well as filming and editing it, Kana Nozaki for translating and Will Carsola for adding the subtitles.


KNOWN GALLERY presents OZUMA KANAME & HORIYOSHI III – IREZUMI BIJIN from Known Gallery on Vimeo.

During the initial interview with Ozuma, Rachel had asked where Ozuma had shown his work. The last time Ozuma had a show in the US was back in the 70′s in San Francisco. She jokingly asked if he’d like to do a show in the states now and to her surprise,  he enthusiastically said yes! This meant she was going to bring an exhibit of Kaname Ozuma’s work to LA.  In support of his long time friend, Horiyoshi III contributed some of his work to be shown at the gallery.   The show will be running until September 18th, when sadly the art will be returning to Japan.  So if you do get a chance to go to LA, you won’t be disappointed. All of the work from Ozuma is available for sale. Ozuma has been painting tattoos on women longer than most tattooers have even been alive today. He is a traditionally trained Japanese portraiture artist and his work is absolutely stunning. He’s published several book over the past few decades. Any tattooer interested in Japanese style of tattooing may not know his name but they will definitely know his work. His books can generally be found on Ebay (as they’re fairly limited edition) although he does have a new book coming out soon. We’ll update you on the details for it when it is released.

Some people have asked if the models are all tattooed or if Ozuma uses his imagination but the answer is that it’s both and so much more. Sometimes a model comes in and she has no tattoos at all. He will then use his imagination and paint whatever he envisions on her. Sometimes she is fully tattooed (by Horiyoshi III) and he paints her as is. One of the popular things to do in Japan though is that a couple will come in and commission a painting, the man has a full suit and the woman has none, Ozuma will then paint the mans tattoos onto the woman.  As a thank you present to Rachel for curating the show, Ozuma painted a a portrait of her. He included her sleeves, hand and neck tattoos but as Rachel doesn’t have anything tattooed on her back yet, he painted a beautiful Japanese mermaid that goes from her shoulders to her back.

Ozuma

If you aren’t familiar with either artist, here’s a little background information on them.

Ozuma Kaname

Born in Niigata, Japan in 1939, Ozuma Kaname began studying traditional Japanese painting under his uncle, artist Sakai Soushi, from a young age.  Moving to Tokyo at the age of 18, he trained as an art dealer while working  at a printing company. Afterwards, he moved on to the publishing industry  where he illustrated tattoos. The majority of his work continues to be  tattoo-related along with other traditional Japanese themes; and often  serves as a source of inspiration for master tattooist Horiyoshi III, whose  clients in turn, are often depicted in Ozuma’s paintings.

Horiyoshi III

Born Yoshihito Nakano in 1946, Horiyoshi III is the second tattooist to be bestowed the honorific title—the tattooist affixation “Hori” means engrave—in a line started by his master, the legendary tattoo artist Yoshitsugu Muramatsu, or Shodai Horiyoshi of Yokohama (Muramatsu went on to dub his son Horiyoshi II, and later Nakano was named Horiyoshi III).

His images are classical Japanese woodblock print motifs such as the phoenix, dragon, snakes, tigers, samurai warriors, Buddhist gods to name a few as well as background images of waves, clouds and various flowers. Among Horiyoshi III’s published works are 36 Ghosts, 108 Heroes of the Suikoden, 100 Demons, and The Namakubi (severed heads), 100 Dragons and 58 Warriors. Horiyoshi?s artistic genius and generosity of spirit have had a defining impact on the world of tattooing, taking it to new levels in this new century.

Work is still ongoing for the rest of the tour videos, but we thought we should share with you some of the material that will be featured in the tour updates.  This particular video is unique from the rest of the videos, as this is just a recording of two old friends reminiscing.  Expect the rest of the videos to feature proper interviews.

You need to get to L.A. soon

Tomorrow night is the gala opening for The Known Gallery‘s showing of Irezumi Bijin: Works by Kaname Ozuma and Horiyoshi III

Tattoo Hollywood and Known Gallery are also hosting a once in a lifetime opportunity to view works by Kaname Ozuma and Horiyoshi III, appropriately titled:  Irezumi Bijin.  If you were at the Tattoo Hollywood convention last week you had the opportunity to get a sneak peek at the works by these brilliant artists.  Tomorrow night the show begins and will be running until Sept. 18th.  I urge you to do whatever is in your power to get to Los Angeles and see this show before it is gone for good.

ozumaknowngallery1

When:
Opening Reception: Thursday August 26th, 2010 | 8pm-11pm
Show Runs: August 26th – September 18th

Where:
Known Gallery
441 North Fairfax Avenue
Los Angeles, CA 90036

About the artists:

Kaname Ozuma

Born in Niigata, Japan in 1939, Ozuma Kaname began studying traditional Japanese painting under his uncle, artist Sakai Soushi, from a young age. Moving to Tokyo at the age of 18, he trained as an art dealer while working at a printing company. Afterwards, he moved on to the publishing industry where he illustrated tattoos. The majority of his work continues to be tattoo-related along with other traditional Japanese themes; and often serves as a source of inspiration for master tattooist Horiyoshi III, whose clients in turn, are often depicted in Ozuma’s paintings.

Horiyoshi III

Born Yoshihito Nakano in 1946, Horiyoshi III is the second tattooist to be bestowed the honorific title—the tattooist affixation “Hori” means engrave—in a line started by his master, the legendary tattoo artist Yoshitsugu Muramatsu, or Shodai Horiyoshi of Yokohama (Muramatsu went on to dub his son Horiyoshi II, and later Nakano was named Horiyoshi III).  His images are classical Japanese woodblock print motifs such as the phoenix, dragon, snakes, tigers, samurai warriors, Buddhist gods to name a few as well as background images of waves, clouds and various flowers. Among Horiyoshi III’s published works are 36 Ghosts, 108 Heroes of the Suikoden, 100 Demons, and The Namakubi (severed heads), 100 Dragons and 58 Warriors. Horiyoshi’s artistic genius and generosity of spirit have had a defining impact on the world of tattooing, taking it to new levels in this new century.

I’m definitely trying to put plans together to put myself on the road again sometime before the show ends just so I can check it out.  Who knows, maybe I’ll see you there.

Skin deep

I was going to hold off on this article until later in the week, but then I realized that I’d be depriving people of a really special treat.

So I was going through the newsfeed submissions when I found this article on an exhibit currently going on at the Wellcome Collection in London.  The exhibit is titled “Skin” and it showcases the significance different cultures have placed on skin over the centuries.  It includes images of early anatomical lessons, as well as skin samples preserved to showcase the tattoos on the donor.

A black and white photograph of a patient in a Parisian hospital is the first piece in the exhibition. Running the length of the patient’s back is a giant scar.

“This photograph sums up a lot of the underlying themes in the exhibition, first and foremost the exploration of skin as a physical and metaphorical frontier between the inside and outside of the body,” co-curator of the exhibition Lucy Shanahan told Reuters.

Pieces of tattooed human skin from the 19th century are on display beside a case devoted to the Maori tradition of tattooing.

Now I know what you’re thinking, “That’s it Rob?  An art gallery?  What kind of treat is that?”.  Well, I have a simple answer to that.  Keep reading.

Now after reading about the exhibit, I thought to myself, “Self, what can I post that would go well with a story about the historical study of skin?”.  Well, I started to look around when I heard the familiar chime of an e-mail hitting my inbox.  I switch windows to find an e-mail from Jen.  In it contained something that some of you may have seen before, but I’m guessing a lot of people haven’t.

The following is a video from a 1995 documentary on a very young Allen Falkner.  In it Alan talks about the importance of skin and flesh, and the significance he puts on working with it.  I could go on, but I’ll let Allen take it from here.

It’s interesting to look back 15 years, or 1500 years, and see just how much the modification of skin has played an important role in our cultural development.  While techniques and procedures have changed over the years, the importance we as humans put on identifying ourselves through our skin is still present.  In the video Allen has captured the essence of realizing that the skin is much more than just a simple organ covering our bodies.  The skin can serve as a doorway to both spiritual enlightenment and personal satisfaction.  Through modifications such as suspensions, one can not only learn about themselves, but also how they wish to become through whatever transformative act they choose.

If you don’t have time right at this moment to watch the video, I encourage you to come back to ModBlog when you can and watch it in its entirety.  This is our version of a historical document, one that will one day be added to a historical exhibit such as the one going on at the Wellcome Gallery now.

Tomorrow Night at Canvas LA: Shige Book Signing!


Hey now! If you’re in the Los Angeles area tomorrow night, you’re probably going to want to check this out:

This Saturday, June 27th, Canvas LA will be hosting the Los Angeles release party for Shige’s new self titled book. Although we had previously announced that Shige would be tattooing at the event, Shige has decided that he would rather honor the people who are supporting him with something far more personal and special. In honor of the event, Shige will be signing each of the purchased books with a small ORIGINAL PAINTING in the front cover. Here is a small taste of the work he’s done so far…

Each of the purchased books will be adorned with a small painting like you see above, so you dont want to miss out on your very own Shige original! We have sold a bunch of the 50 copies we have available, but we will be taking orders through Friday of this week. Whatever does not pre-sell will be available the night of the event, but we highly suggest getting your copy now to guarantee that you will be able to get your copy painted. The books are available here:

http://www.canvasla.com/webstore/index.php?product=P-3988&c=14

Hot damn. Do we even need to say it? Get thee to Canvas LA.

Endless Elsewhere


Ahoy-hoy, ModBloggers! Hope the weekend finds you well. Sorry for the late post today—Internet at the manor has been a real kick in the dick all day. Anyway! Here’s some fine portraiture work by Josh Reynolds from Cannibal Graphics in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. What can I say? I’m a sucker from Day of the Dead/pinup/Virgin Mary iconography. (Which we see all the time, believe me.)

Oh, and one more thing…

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More Fun From An Evening With Horiyoshi III


Hey, remember this past weekend, when we showed you some pictures from Canvas LA‘s sexy swingers party, An Evening with Horiyoshi III? Well, there are plenty more fun photos where those came from! Like that one up there, with teevee starRachel from BME” hanging out with Benji Madden!

After the jump, Benji finds himself in a compromising position (!) and other goodies.

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An Evening With Horiyoshi III Pre-Party: Now With Fancy Pictures!


As previously pimped on this here weblog, Canvas Los Angeles is playing host to a living exhibit of tattoo work by the great Horiyoshi III. Well, last night was a pre-party, and it went off like a goddamned rocket. Check out some more photos after the jump, and if you’re in L.A., tonight’s event ought to be a hoot.

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Coming to Canvas LA: Horiyoshi III


Hey there, Los Angeles-area tattoo community folks! Got anything going on this coming Saturday, April 25? Well, you do now. That night, from 8-11 p.m., Canvas Los Angeles will be hosting An Evening With Horiyoshi III, the largest-ever American exhibit of the Irezumi tattoo master’s work. On display will be 10 full body suits, 50 original paintings and the unveiling of the all-new Horiyoshi The Third clothing line, featuring original designs by Horiyoshi himself. And, while the artist will unfortunately be unable to attend, his son, Kazuyoshi, will be on the premises tattooing.

Canvas LA will try to accommodate as many people as possible, but due to the unique nature of the evening, tattoo artists are being given a first crack at RSVP slots. If interested in attending, please e-mail the gallery at info@canvasla.com.