Thank you to everyone who attended and helped make the show a huge success. This was the biggest show to date. Click on the link to see photos taken by Griff Wigley.
I'll be doing a small 5" x 7" painting each day for...a little while. The main purpose of this project is to sharpen my painting skills and techniques. Most of these paintings will be still-life and portraits. I'll be limiting myself to no more than one hour to work on each one, and I'll be using the "Zorn Palette," a palette limited to black, white, crimson and ochre. I'll post 'em here and probably on Facebook as well.
This January, the great state of Minnesota will require that all tattooists and body piercers be licensed by the state government. This is both a great and terrible thing.
The general purpose is to legislate the safety of all establishments engaged in these practices. All artists must be blood-borne pathogen and cross-contamination certified. This is, of course, a good thing. Cleanliness and sterilization are crucial in the tattoo environment. I myself have been certified from the beginning. Most tattoo artists are. The lowly scratcher, however, is not.
A scratcher is someone who does not know how to tattoo properly, nor are they talented artists in general. Typically they tattoo out of their kitchen or living room, thought many, many scratchers own or have owned and operated their own establishments. I personally know of a few. It is a potentially dangerous practice. The aim of the new state law is to try to eliminate, and even punish these people.
It won't work.
It will most likely make the problem worse. Just push it a little further underground. Make it more taboo, thus more desirable in some circles.
Another danger of shelling-out $1000 to get a tattooing license is that there are many holier than thou tattooists that will feel as if they are "official," so to speak. Simply obtaining a license won't mean a damn thing, really. There will be brilliant tattoo artists with no license, and horseshit tattooists with one. It can make things more complicated. Government legislating talent, so to speak. Regardless, it's the law, and I am in the process of obtaining my license. I have to. I have previously taken the right steps in this profession, and this is one I will be forced to take.
...but back to the 'holier than thou' tattooists for a moment.
This industry is full of them. It's also full of some exceptional, very talented people who are devoted to this art. However, it seems many tattooists feel as if they were blessed by the tattoo fairy and that only their opinion matters when it comes to the subject of body art. These people are idiots, of course, and none of us real artists take them seriously. They are akin to the scratcher. The holier than thou, fairy-blessed tattooist in the shop is just as bad as the scratcher in every way. An annoyance, and a danger to the beauty and integrity of the industry itself. So, scratchers and holys; do the rest of us real artists a favor and stop what you're doing. You are not artists. Tattooing does not automatically make you cool. If not for you, I wouldn't have to be paying to "prove" my professionalism. Talent speaks for itself, and as far as I'm concerned, you owe me money.
In 1973, my Dad was living in Oakland, California. Back from Vietnam and newly discharged (honorably) from the Marine Corps. It was at that time he purchased a 1956 Chevrolet 210 from a middle-aged Italian lady for $50. Two-tone green and a damaged fender. That car would later carry him back home to Minnesota, where I was born. My Dad still drove the '56 throughout the 1980s, now painted all white, with a 327 small block engine. I remember riding in it all the time when I was a kid...for awhile there, I think it was Dad's everyday car. I remember sitting in the driver's seat many times when it was parked in the driveway, steering the wheel, pretending I was driving the beast. When I was 7, I slammed my right thumb in the passenger's side door, breaking it (my thumb, not the door). A few years went by and the ol' 56 began to get neglected a bit. It wasn't driven as often. It sat parked for years...in the driveway, in a barn, it even sat in a cow pasture for a year or so. After awhile, we made the decision to get the '56 back up and running again. Repainted and tuned up. A lot of body work needed to be done. Thus began the process that took years to "complete."....
The old beast is flat black now, with semi-gloss black flames. It's still got the wicked 327 engine under the hood. It's my daily driver in the Spring, Summer and Fall. That's what these old vehicles are for. You try to keep them running, then drive the piss out of 'em. No trailer queens allowed.
I'm still working on it (with help from my Dad and my Uncle Marv). I'm often asked "when will it be finished?" God, what a terrible thought. What a shame it would be to have completed it. To have nothing else on it to fix, modify or customize.
The '56 went from California to Minnesota, from white to black, and from one generation to another.
Recently, I've been using Acrylic paint on metal. Acrylic bonds well and dries quick. I'll be working with old coolers, tool boxes, ammo cans, hub caps and other scrap metal and antique hardware. I'm currently working with a 7.62mm ammo can. I'll most likely paint a pin up girl on one side, and we'll see what will adorn the other. I'll post more of these recent projects as I finish them, so be on the lookout!
Back-Alley Rumble! Lowbrow•High-Octane 5 was held last Saturday, August 28th in the back lot adjacent to the Contented Cow Pub. The show was organized by Nick Sinclair and Myself. We had a great turnout. Hot Rods, Lowbrow Art, Satanic Surf Rock, Garage Punk Rock and a huge crowd. Check out the photo gallery!