Changing industry ethics?

When you first look at these tattoos, maybe the first thing you say to yourself is, “wow, I didn’t know tattoos could shift that much with age!”


But then you realize that the chestpiece is on well known tattoo artist Toni Moore (of Broad Street Studio in Bath) by Tim Kern, and the neck piece is a knock off by Marcel Daatz at Extremetattoo in Munich. I know, not a line-for-line copy, but close enough that if you didn’t look at the pieces side-by-side you could easily assume they’re the same tattoo.s I often have more permissive feelings about copying than many of my friends in the industry, because it’s my opinion that tattooing has always been an artform that is built on appropriation, but this example of tattoo plaigiarism really upset me.

The reason this piece upset me so much is that Marcel Daatz appears to be a talented and capable tattoo artist. There is no need or excuse for him to be knocking off his peers’ work and claiming it as his own. It makes me very sad, and it’s an unfortunate comment on how many of the traditional tattoo culture ethics have been lost as this industry ages. I’m used to crap artists aping the pros. But for talented artists to rip each other off? To have so little respect for each other, for themselves, for the industry? It’s really heartbreaking.

What do you think? Where is the line? Is this an example of a professional backstabbing a peer? Or am I overreacting, and it’s been changed enough, and is instead an example of someone simply drawing inspiration from a well-known tattoo and getting “their own version”?


…and I can’t wait to see Adam West’s old ass in spandex! Oh wait, wrong batman……..doh!


Anyhow, this client of Matt K’s (from One Shot Studio in  Edgewater, MD) apparently has an affinity for the OG Batman (before even the “with nipples” Michael Keaton Batman) Adam West and the “same bat time, same bat channel” tv program he starred in many moons before he became the mayor of  Quahog, RI on Family Guy.

What’s better then a colectomy? A trip to Reno, no doubt!

Rob and I both have made a few post about “beauty over harm” where someone took their self inflicted scars and either reworked them or covered them with a more artistic form of body modification. Yet, there is a whole other category of beauty over harm and that is those people who’s scars were not self inflicted. Often times we see women who have had nipple removal or full mastectomies due to breast cancer enhance there new altered appearance with tattooing. Sometimes it’s cosmetic tattooing to try and recreate what once was there, other times it’s artistic tattooing which takes the body part in a totally different direction than nature ever intended. Either way, it’s empowering to the wearer and something I whole heartedly support and encourage.

Below is a different example of that sort of mod, a tattoo over a colectomy scar.


What lies beyond the gates to “the biggest little city in the world”?, I am sure we can all guess, but I’ll put the full picture beyond a click through with the submitters description.


This is a tattoo of the Reno Arch done over the scar of my colectomy (colostomy surgery). It was done by Brandon Collins at Nightmare Tattoo in Reno, Nevada. The scar is about halfway up the R through halfway up the E. It is so awesome to have this instead of the scar to look at and I would like to share it with others interested in redoing scars, so I am submitting it to your blog.


Take that Batman, The Penguin is taking over!

I know, I know I failed to provide you guys with the much anticipated follow up to the first installation of The Cadaver Chronicles . For that, I am extremely sorry. For some odd reason BME’s wordpress site sometime’s chooses to deny me access for a few days. Then it, out of nowhere, will forgive me for whatever transgressions I may have imposed upon it, and it lets me back in. I decided to putt Cliff’s piece up Friday, and just get back on schedule with that.

However, since I managed to log in, why not post something and if I am going to post something why not some penguins? Really, after that whole March of the Penguins movie, and Bob Saget’s spoof of it, who doesn’t love these waddling little creatures?



I am sure some of the modblog readers are already picking these pieces apart and condemning me for even posting this quality of tattooing to Modblog. However, sometimes there is more to a tattoo then just the finished piece, sometimes who did the piece makes up for a lack of technical prowess.  For a look at the “man” responsible for these pieces, keep on keeping on….

Oh you coy fox you. I can’t get anything buy you can I? You noticed right off the bat that the word “man” was in quotes, and you quickly figured out it wasn’t a man at all that did these pieces. But if not a man, then what?

Well, what better to do a tattoo of a penguin than a penguin person?


No! Not that penguin!

THIS penguin, my buddy Penguin Boy!


With no arms, and two left hands I think Penguin Boy did a pretty killer job on these pieces, what do you guys think?

Tattoo Temple (Part 1)

Occasionally there are times where just one ModBlog post isn’t enough to share something remarkable.  This is the first of two posts today that will be showing off the works from Joey Pang, and the rest of the artists at Tattoo Temple in Hong Kong.

Recently Joey uploaded a number of works to various galleries on, and pretty much all of them are beautiful in their own way.  Since 2006 Joey has owned and operated Tattoo Temple in Hong Kong, and has been putting out some fantastic work.  This first post will be focusing on her color and black/grey work.


In a blog from two years ago, Joey had this to say about her philosophy when it comes to tattooing.

To me, tattoos are ‘new clothing’ for a naked body.  Tattoos are not there to just cover your dull skin tone or trim your body’s contours with visual tricks. They can also express your personality, your thoughts and the world inside you. It is a presentation of the practical realm as well as the abstract mind.  As the designer and tailor of this new ‘piece of clothing’ I have to thoroughly understand my models – so they are able to express themselves with the creation of perfectly fitting ‘new clothes’.  Only the model and I truly understand these ‘new clothes’ as they are highly personal creations. However, if this ‘outfit’ can evoke emotion and admiration in other viewers – this in itself serves a higher purpose. Then these ‘new clothes’ may be categorized as a work of art. My happiest moment is being able to share this with the world.

Art facilitates the movement of abstract concepts in to reality. In most cases, the medium for art is simply inorganic matter. Only tattoos are exhibited on a living body – a permanent display to the world.  Every medium allows for art to be portrayed in a unique way. Yet, the human body is perhaps the single most distinctive medium of all. This art can only be carried when someone is ready to go through pain and have their blood shed.  The physical body underneath the tattooed skin continues with its daily functions – its mandatory life cycle. The person then carries this art-skin out and into the wider world. This person is a living, moving exhibition. The art-skin makes its way across the world, from country to country.  This breathtaking interaction between ink and the dynamic human body gives life to this art. The art piece changes, grows, ages, dies and is eventually buried with the body.  For someone who genuinely appreciates the power of this art, in death, the tattoo should not remain a subject of the mortal body.  To separate this tattooed skin from the body allows the tattoo to then be seen in its original form – as a Work of Art – a collectible that could be held for auction.

Keep on reading if you’d like to see more works by Joey, which include some color and freehand work, as well as a large greyscale backpiece.




In the case of the last image, it was done entirely freehand, and extends across the woman’s back.

Normally I would direct you to a specific gallery, but with Tattoo Temple uploading so many images over the past few days, your best bet would just be to take a look at the newest additions to all of the tattoo galleries, as their work isn’t limited to just one category.

These are just a few of my favourite things!

This tattoo really speaks to me.  I have to say it gave me a little chuckle when I came across it.  I’ve been sewing for just over a year now and it’s one of my favourite things to do.  A sad, little known fact about me, lately I’ve been making myself guacamole every Friday night.  So this tattoo, combining sewing notions and avacados just makes me smile.  I can only assume these two things hold a similar allure for Tea_Leaves, who submitted the photo.  The ink was done by Justin Buduo out of Piercing Emporium in Worcester, Mass.

Tall tales

One of my favorite features on BME’s main site is the experience section. People contribute stories of their experiences with their own modifications, which are then reviewed by a panel of community members. If your story is really well written, then it may get featured. I’ve selected some recently featured experiences for your reading enjoyment.

A little taste of #2:

“I’ve come to tattooing perhaps way too early in life. In the years between my 14th and 18th birthdays I acquired between 10-12 (depending on how you look at it) tattoos with my parent’s approval. At that time I took tattoos to be a fashion statement rather then the form of personal express I now view them as many years later. Impulsive as a teen I made a few bad tattooing mistakes (Actually I just made a lot of mistakes in general). But one tattoo in particular was an experience that has affected me throughout my adult life.”

To submit your own experience and get a free account on BME, click here!

Canvas Los Angeles

Last week I was out in Los Angeles, working on remodeling the Gallery with my partner Todd. We’ve done a lot in the very short year that Canvas has been open, but we’ve definitely stayed true to what we’ve tried to do. With that said, I’m starting to wonder if maybe Vimby is just following me around. They seem to e-mail me at all the right times and happened to show up on opening night for our one year anniversary show. If you look closely, you can see me hiding from the camera!

Special thanks to Todd Burnes, Russel Victorioso and Shawn Barber for helping put together an amazing Visionaries II. Hopefully we have another great year of helping tattooers showcase their art, as well as growing as fine artists. Check out more work from the Visionaries II show after the jump or click here.

Michele Wortman

Michele Wortman

Kim Saigh

Kim Saigh

Jeff Gogue

Jeff Gogue

Jason D'Aquino

Jason D’Aquino