Friday Night Tattoos

As an avid reader (gazer?) of ModBlog, I was pretty psyched to see my first suspension cage. I was promised an actual suspension in another hour or so, but there were no takers, and hence, a disappointing lack of pictures here (though at ModBlog you can get your fill of suspensions in much more scenic locations).

This year we were only able to spend a few Friday night hours at the 11th Annual Tattoo Convention at the Roseland Ballroom, NYC. The convention took place from May 16th to 17th, Friday-Sunday, Friday being by far the tamer night. The hall was not particularly crowded and the Best Tattoo of the Day competition had only six competitors. A whole series of competitions was held over the weekend, with the more interesting (such as the Best Overall Tattooed Person contest) held on Sunday.

Despite the low attendance Friday night, the artists were all present and most of them hard at work, needles abuzz. d42 made her rounds in search of a master whose portfolio was in line with the design she wanted for her upcoming epic backpiece starring the Shinto goddess Amaterasu. She was woefully limited to NYC studios, although, once again, the attendees hailed from all over the world: Germany, China, Holland, Japan, etc. After a few hours of browsing, she finally settled on Rising Dragon.

My favorite tattoo artist of the night was Vincent Castiglia of Omega Tattoo whose black and white otherworldy creatures melded their teeth and tendons and blind staring eyes with the flesh of their wearers. His art will actually be hosted at the HR Giger Museum Gallery, Switzerland, in November. Castiglia was also the author of a great Bruce Campbell tattoo featured at last year’s convention.

Representing the body modification side of things was Brian Decker of Pure Body Arts, the man to whom I entrusted all my microdermals. I expanded on my chest piercing and this time videoed the process for your enjoyment. It’s a little bloody, so beware if you’re squeamish.

Brian placed a microdermal to the right and to the left of an already existing central piercing. The video is of the left one. If you look to the right upper corner you can catch d42’s hand, which I am squeezing to pieces. (Video by Dazvsemir)

After our fill of eye-candy we hung around for a near consultation on a finally rejected free-style tattoo by Keibunsha Tattoo of Japan who for the first time in my experience spent all evening without anyone to shove ink-dipped sharpened sticks into. Then we checked out the Best Tattoo of the Day contest the smiley winner of which was this man:

Here is a closeup of the tat with beautifully accented colors in an otherwise black and white skull that makes me think of New Orleans voodoo and works well with the already existing skulls going down his left leg:

Here are a few more shots of the competitors:

And here are the fascinated judges:

We attempted to end the night by visiting the tiny sideshow that all these years was hidden in the basement, by the bathrooms, but the dude in a fez holding a two-headed duckling was too busy advertizing to man his station of freaks.

As usual, the convention was awesome. My new microdermals are healing nicely and d42 finally found the tattoo parlor of her possible dreams. Sucked that we weren’t there for the rest of it, but there is always next year.

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