The Return of Victor's Ink

    One of my favorite posts last year was my encounter with Victor, whose tattoos were numerous and wonderfully eclectic. The post was one of the first "tatalogs," as I call them, when a subject shares a multitude of their ink.

    So, when I had just finished speaking with Austin about his sleeve, and saw a familiar face (and ink) hanging out in front of Fuse at the corner of 32nd and 7th, I ambled on over to say hi to Victor.

    He had new tattoos, of course, and I soon had my camera out, adding to the tatalog.

    I contacted him later to get the scoop on the work. Although he told me about it on the street, I didn't write any of it down, as I was too busy taking pictures. We've added five more pieces to the record here, and I'll let Victor narrate the rest:

    The Divine Tattoo [just above his left wrist] was done by my cousin Ed Bonacore in the poconos. He is the only tattoo artist I really go to know. I trust him, he does good work. He works at this amazing shop in the Poconos called FUNHOUSE TATTOOING. The vibe there is cool from the colorful horror movie atmosphere, to all the artists and the friendly shop girl.

    Anyway, I got the JOHN WATERS signature tattooed on [on my outer left forearm] last summer the day after I had met him with my best friend RUBY LAROCCA.

    She got the same thing. She got him to sign his name to her arm as well! We make films and John Waters is one of our biggest influences so to have his mark on us for life is a reminder to keep making dangerous art.

    I got the John Waters done at RED ROCKET TATTOO in NYC, I had to get it quick and fast so the autograph didn't fade. The artist's name slips my mind, but he was making a guest spot at that shop and he was originally from Texas. Red Rocket is one of the best shops in Manhattan.

    So anyway, I got the autograph super big on my forearm, because in his movie Cecil B. Demented, all the characters get the favorite director tattooed on their arm. I though it would be pretty cool, to do that in real life, from the director that created that idea.

    Back to Divine. Then I got the Divine tattoo because, how can't you love Divine. One of the greatest actors ever. I saw Pink Flamingos as a youngster, and I remember my parents talking about how this tranny was eating poop at the end of the film, and how they were all gagging watching the film! That got me really interested to say the least. And after Female Trouble, I know I would love anything these people collaborated on. I unfortunately cannot dig up Divine and get him to sign my arm, so [I] did a little portrait of him. He was a true artist, actor, performer, comedian, and I respect that.

    Mink Stole, is also from the original DreamLand gang, and is in almost every John Waters film. She is amazing in Desperate Living, and when I met her, she was so sweet, so I figured with John Waters already inked into my arm, I would start the John Waters tribute arm. I met her at a horror convention in Baltimore, and one of the vendors was a tattoo artist, so I got the autograph, then got it tattooed and was able to show Mink by the next day. She was in shock.

    The Taxi Driver tattoo [on my inner left wrist] was again done by my cousin Ed Bonacore...I have loved that movie forever, and think Travis Bickle [Robert De Niro's character] is the ultimate Anti-Hero. Its like an oil painting version of the shot at the end after he has killed all the pimps and scumbags in the brothel.

    The quote on [the left side of] my ribs was also done by my cousin Eddie, but this is before he was in a shop.

    It was done at this house after I had smoked a fat blunt and [was] high as a kite. It hurt a lot, my most painful tattoo. The side of the ribs hurts a lot because there no skin there, and every time the needle hits your skin, your ribs vibrate. It took 3 different sessions to do that tattoo. The quote is from a band called HUNCHBACK, that just split up. And it's from a song called "RED IS THE COLOR OF MY TRUE LOVES HAIR." When I saw the song live for the first time, I was convinced this would be my new favorite band. And I can honestly say, this is the best song ever performed live. It blew me away. And the lettering that was used is the font from THE WARRIORS. Another one of my favorite films!
    So, there you have it, folks. Another block of Victor's tattoos! I can't wait to run into him again to see what's new!

    Thanks once again to Victor for his generosity and sharing his ink with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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A.J.'s Floral Ink

    I ran into A.J. earlier this month, walking aling Seventh Avenue near 34th Street.

    She has seven tattoos, and shared this lovely black and gray floral piece on her upper right arm:

    She had been debating on whether to add color or not, but is pretty happy with the way this tattoo looks.

    This tattoo was created by Junior at Adrenaline Rush Tattoo in Newark, New Jersey.

    Thanks to A.J. for sharing this lovely tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Oscar's Quartet of Tattoos

    Born in Costa Rica, a one-time resident of Canada, and now a denizen of the Bronx, Oscar has traveled all over the world.

    He expressed his passion for mountain biking to me as we talked in the Amtrak section of Penn Station.

    This made sense to me as I had noticed his bike-themed tattoo on his left calf:

    The wheel is specific to a mountain bike he owns, and it is connected around the back of his leg by a bicycle chain:

    The detail is quite good, almost three-dimensional, and the tribal flourishes up and down the leg add volume to the piece.

    This was his first tattoo, inked on his birthday, after many years of thinking about tattoos. He waited until he was ready, so that he could get something with deep meaning for him.

    Since then, he has added three other tattoos, all created by Richard at Jent's Tattooing in Yonkers.

    He graciously shared those as well. First is a tribal raven:

    Oscar spoke of the raven's relationship with God. In the folklore, Raven helps the gods to raise the moon and the stars. He also is known as the prankster, who is always trying to catch the Sun.

    In addition, there is a tattoo of Shiva, who Oscar acknowledges as a deity who "destroys ignorance and builds knowledge":

    Finally, Oscar wears a Third Eye on his right bicep, which carries its traditional meaning:

    Many thanks to Oscar for sharing his amazing tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Gotta have it

    Allan worked on a british client until midnight yesterday, so by the time we made it to the book launch party, it was closed, probably had been for a while.
    It's the story of our lives, always missing out on the fun stuff because of work.
    What can i say, Allan loves tattooing and we both love happy clients.
    But the trip down to the gallery wasn't a complete waste, we had a nice walk and talk with Wookie and Louise, and look what we found when we got there!

    A giant poster of the handsome Uncle Allan!
    We didn't wanna steal this one, but we totally need to get our hands on one of those
    Yes, we brought the dog along, he's still too sick to be home alone

    I hope we'll get to see the book soon, we keep hearing good stuff about it from people who have seen it.Source URL:
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Gregory's Defenders of the Faith Tattoo

Cute overload

    Allan did this tattoo yesterday of Mathildas guinea pig.
    I know it's up on his blog too, but i decided it was cute enough to post twice!

    This is what the best guinea pig ever (or so we're told) really looks like
    Oh, and i was sitting around googling squirrels (i had a reason, i don't just google random animals... ok, maybe i do that too...) when i came across these guys on Cute Overload!
    Source URL:
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Merci Celebrates Female Empowerment with a Classic Image

    I spotted Merci in Penn Station with this familiar icon on her calf:

    The tattoo is based on this famous poster from World War II:

    This image is identified with the character of Rosie the Riveter, and was introduced by Westinghouse to rally the home fires in support of the troops abroad. The image has transformed, through time, to take on a greater meaning, that of female empowerment.

    This tattoo, one of three that Merci has, was created by Chris Dilworth at Tough Luck Tattoo in Lewes, Delaware.

    Thanks to Merci for sharing her amazing tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Tattoos I Know: Avital's Ink

    It seems odd and yet is not beyond comprehension that, at the last two bat mitzvahs I have attended, I came home with tattoo pictures.

    The first time (documented here) was a pleasant surprise. On Saturday, August 8, however, I had no expectations, as it was my daughter's bat mitzvah.

    However, much to my amazement, I noticed that one of my sister's closest friends, Avital, has two small tattoos. I was more surprised, considering that Avital is a cantor, and that whereas tattooed Jews are not as rare as they used to be, an inked cantor is still an unusual sight.

    Granted, her two tattoos don't jump out at you. The om on her right ankle:

    and the slender "b+" on her right wrist

    are discreet enough to be overlooked by a discriminating eye, and yet these two small tattoos are large with meaning.

    Avital gave me a synopsis the day I took the photos, summing up that the "b+" was a personal message to herself to always "be positive," and that it is her blood type, but she has since offered up a lengthier, more thorough explanation, which I'll share here:

    " [The b+], though it is very small (1/2") represents many important parts of my life: past, present and future. When my college friend, Erica died in December from Leukemia, I was devastated. Throughout her illness, she managed to have good spirits and enjoy time with her friends and family. Her battle against cancer put life in perspective for me. I have struggled with depression most of my adult life, and when she died, I made the conscious decision to turn my life around, completely. The morning after her death, my father was diagnosed with Glioblastoma, an aggressive brain cancer. Double whammy. My sister and I had both been contemplating a tattoo for several years, but Jewish guilt always managed to turn me away. After several hours in the ER with our father, we ventured down to Kingdom [Tattoos] and got our matching b+ tattoos. It's incredible how much strength I find from this little symbol on my wrist.

    And Avital added:

    "And the B in the b+ tattoo is a flat. in music. since I'm a musician. I can't believe I forgot that part! flats are most commonly associated with minor, "sad" keys. so, there is a bit of sadness in the tattoo. too."

    As for the om, she elaborates:

    "One of the major changes I made in my life after E died was a regular Yoga practice. An unfortunate encounter with a sharp blade left a 1" scar on my inner right ankle. After about 3 months of drawing an OM over the scar with a sharpie (so tedious!) I decided to make it permanent. The OM, like my b+, centers me, calms me, and reminds me of the simpler, more important things in life."

    Much thanks to Avital for sharing her tattoos and the powerful stories behind them here with us on Tattoosday.Source URL:
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Danish Tattooing by Jon Nordstrøm (with partial Uncle A nudity)

    If you follow the other blog you may remember this post i did a while back about this tattoo book Allan was gonna be in.
    So there's this book, Danish Tattooing, and Allan's in it.
    Ok, seriously, here's what it's all about (official press release from the publisher):

    "Danish Tattooing by Jon Nordstrøm

    New book offers unique insight into a colourful tradition from 1895 onwards and portrays the strong, Danish characters behind body art.
    ”Danish Tattooing” traces the visual development from 1895 up to the present day, with the Golden Age of the 1960s particularly rich on fascinating tales from a rough scene. The book is full of anecdotes and historical photographs of larger-than-life characters and tattooing hotspots: the raw Nyhavn, where sailors and drunk Swedes got their tattoos, and the even rougher Istedgade, which developed into a new tattooing hub in the 1980s. Actually, Copenhagen was the heart and soul of tattooing in Scandinavia until the mid-seventies.
    The book returns to the present by portraying 14 working tattoo artists, along with their distinctive artwork – from classic designs to the latest graffiti and hip-hop styles. This is the new generation that will trace the next chapters in the history of Danish tattooing.
    The book is in both Danish and English and will be released by Nordstroms Forlag on August 29. In connection with the release, pictures from the book will be exhibited at the KPH-Volume gallery, 80-82 Enghavevej, Copenhagen SV. Open: Saturday, August 29 to Monday, August 31.
    The book will be available in Danish bookstores, at most tattoo conventions or through Gentleman’s Tattoo Flash."

    The sweet cover
    The handsomest man in the whole land
    It's full of awesome machine goodness...
    ... Danish tattoo history...
    ... and rare flash
    Oh, and me and Lucifer are in it too (i look stupid, but Lucifer is a natural!)

    If you're in Copenhagen you should go check out the exhibition this weekend.
    If you're not from around here, you can still pick up the book at a convention or through the good people at Gentleman’s Tattoo Flash.
    As the press release says, it's in both Danish and English, so in addition to looking at the pretty pictures you'll be able to read it too.
    Enjoy!Source URL:
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Ben Commemorates the Cat and the Tree

    Ben recalls wandering off one day when he was four years old. He was up in Wells, Maine with his family and no one knew where he'd gone.

    Fortunately for Ben, someone did know: the family cat. A la Lassie, the feline led his parents straight to Ben, who was sitting under a tree, munching on blueberries.

    To this day, Ben regards this as a crucial moment in his life when he was saved by the cat.

    He collaborated with Brendan Rowe at Pins and Needles Tattoo in Portland, Maine to come up with a commemorative tattoo to honor this animal:

    Brendan is now working out of Unbreakable Tattoo is Studio City, California.

    The tree nearby on his left forearm, was inked, in part, to complement the cat:

    It is, however, also a nod to Gustav Klimt's "Tree of Life".
    Not an imitation, but a variation.

    Thanks to Ben for sharing these tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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They're very wise, you know

    Newest addition to our collection of crap: the business card owl!
    And while we're on the subject of owls, Lewis did this the other day
    Also in the news; our wounded mascot is back at work, but it'll be a while before he back to being his usual charming and mobile self
    Source URL:
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E.P. NEWS >>>>

Liza's Inuit Owl

    Liza had been researching a design she wanted for her next tattoo and had found the one she wanted.

    On Christmas Eve, she walked in to Halo Tattoo in Syracuse, New York and met Chris Chisholm who, as you'd imagine, didn't have a full schedule on December 24, and he inked this wonderful tattoo on her upper right arm:

    This is, of course, an owl, whose design origins come from the Inuit culture.

    Owls are symbolic as guardians and are therefore highly popular tattoo designs. Owls have appeared previously on Tattoosday here. But if you really like owls, check out our friends over at

    Work from Halo has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

    Thanks to Liza for sharing her amazing owl tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!
    Source URL:
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Tuck's Bridget

    I met Tuck near Borders on Penn Plaza and she talked to me about this unusual tattoo on her right shoulder:

    The piece was tattooed by Didi, a Brazilian tattoo artist working out of Angelic Hell Tattoo World in London.

    Tuck didn't know the source of the artwork, but did work with the artist to modify the design to fit her body.

    The changes were subtle, having the tattooed girl she refers to as Bridget standing, as opposed to crouching. They also altered the movement within the piece.

    This is one of five tattoos that Tuck has, not counting additional stars and characters that are also part of her body's canvas.

    Thanks to Tuck for sharing "Bridget" with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Two Feathers, Their Story Still Untold

    Several weeks ago, near the corner of 86th Street and 5th Avenue in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn, I passed a couple sitting at a bus stop.

    The woman had some words inked on her left arm and, as I paused to consider talking to her, I noticed a colorful tattoo peeking out from under the man's left shirt sleeve.

    I told them about Tattoosday and the woman indicated that she had tattoos as well, but she would have to take her clothes off in order for someone to see them. I was intrigued as she implied that she had a relatively large piece that covered a significant part of her body.

    However, the man was accommodating and pulled up his sleeve to reveal this bright, colorful tattoo:

    And that, my friends, is where this story sadly ends. I had been watching the B63 bus slowly approaching from several blocks away and, no sooner had I snapped the photos, the bus crossed 86th Street and pulled up to the stop.

    I handed him a flier and asked him to please e-mail me so I could finish interviewing him. But he never did. Oh well. If only I had been carrying a Metrocard, I could have boarded the B63 with them and talked with them briefly on the bus.

    At least we have the photo of the cool tattoo to appreciate and hopefully, some day, our paths will cross again.

    The moral of the story: shoot first and ask questions later. Also, always carry a metrocard!Source URL:
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Nick's Rocking Leg Tattoos (Van Halen and Aerosmith)

    At the end of July, while searching for Green Day tattoos, I met, perhaps, the ultimate Van Halen fan.

    Nick was hanging out at the side of Madison Square Garden, talking with a friend, and I spotted several rock-themed tattoos on his legs.

    Nick has seven tattoos and let me photograph three of them. His outer right calf has this Eddie Van Halen piece:

    This was done by a visiting artist at one of the Tattoo Lou's locations on Long Island. Work from Tattoo Lou's has appeared on Tattoosday previously here.

    The better of the two Van Halen pieces (in my opinion), on his inner right calf, is this one, inked by Thom at Tattoo Frenzy, in Lindenhurst, New York.

    The detail on the guitar is incredible:

    Nick says, with certainty, that he has seen Van Halen in concert 394 times (as of July 2009).

    He also shared this other tattoo, from his left leg:

    This piece is based on the cover art from Aerosmith's Just Push Play album:

    Thanks to Nick for sharing his rocking tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!Source URL:
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Jordan's Lush Tattoo Takes Him Back in Time

1/2 Done But Complete

    It was a Hellraiser Pinhead tattoo that first prompted me to approach Travis, but that was not what I ended up discussing with him.

    Rather, he offered up this interesting piece on his left leg:

    The design depicts a man trying to break through bars, to force his way out of prison.

    If something looks off about this, it is because it does not appear as it was originally envisioned by Travis or the artist.

    The artist was Travis' brother-in-law, but something unexpected happened halfway through the process.

    Travis' sister got divorced, and the brother-in-law tattoo artist was no longer in their life.

    Initially, he wanted to find another artist to finish the piece but, as time passed, he decided that he liked it that way, that the initial tattoo's meaning became charged with additional symbolism.

    Thanks to Travis for sharing this cool tattoo with us here at Tattoosday!Source URL:
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