OK, I guess it’s “Tattoo Week” at CVLT Nation, because I found some sick old-timey photos of our tatted up ancestors and I am going to post them. If you think about the kind of balls, and even more so ovaries, that it took to tatt up your body in the early to mid 1900s, it’s fascinating to think of the lives that these men and women led. When I look at some of these beautiful women whose bodies are covered in tattoos, I just think about the kind of societal disgust they must have had to deal with on a regular basis. Women smoking was frowned on, women leaving the house on their own was considered “asking for it,” so imagine what people thought about a woman with the Last Supper tattooed across her back. The other thing that strikes me about these tattoos is their beauty and harmony. You don’t see a lot of the weird mish-mash of tatts that you do today, these people took their body art seriously and treated their entire body as one continuous canvas, resulting in beautiful pieces that seamlessly covered their arms, torso, back and legs. This is where tatooing as a part of modern western culture began, and kind of like hip-hop, the mainstream has strayed far, far away from its roots. Check out a gorgeous gallery of vintage tattoo portraits below, ranging from the 1910s to the 1960s.
Hold on, wait a minute…I can not stop gazing at these amazing tattoos that look as realistic as a motherfucker! I found CVLT Nation’s new favorite tumblr today called REALISM TATTOOS. This page has some body art on it that will make your jaw drop. I have so much respect for tattoos when they are done right! Check out this insane gallery of realistic tattoos!
Being a child of the 70′s & 80′s raised in SoCal where I grew up, gang culture was the norm. In Venice we had local pride for days, and the way we dressed could be tied to the V-13 gang that was in our hood. Maybe this is why when I wasn’t reading skateboarding magazines, I really liked to check out TEEN ANGELS and teach myself how to write in gang lettering. It was also a trip to read the letters – keep in mind this is way before the internet so this magazine connected like-minded people across the nation. TEEN ANGELS was also full of art that I would spend hours looking at. Looking back, I can see how this publication influenced the 80′s punk scene – just look at Suicidal Tendencies’ iconography or Jaime Hernandez’s art. Today CVLT Nation salutes TEEN ANGELS for keeping it real, because they were just being themselves. Now check out our gallery of killer visuals!
Growing up in Los Angeles, gangs of all colors are something that have always been around me. It’s normal to see walls covered in graffiti that signifies the hood you are riding into. The L.A.P.D.’s worst nightmare would be for the Latin American & American gangs to unite, because then they would be outnumbered. So it’s in their best interest to keep them all fighting against each other. Out of all of the dark shit that gang life brings, and perhaps because of it, you find art. One form is the body art that many gang members are covered in. Gangsters use their tattoos to tell the story of their hoods, their dreams and the acts of violence that they have committed. Personally, when I look at gang tattoos I’m able to see both the beauty and the misery that they convey. Check out this huge gallery of gangster ink…
Dasleitbild is Daniel Meyer, tattoo artists extraordinaire from Kassel, Germany. He currently works out of Kassel’s VILL∆ DUNKELBUN†, an amazing studio by the looks of it! Meyer’s tattoos are heavy in occult symbolism and dark textures, with carefully hewn geometric shapes framing insects, third eyes and other denizens of dark culture. His shading and mandalas bring artists like Thomas Hooper to mind, but his dense style and the way his elements build on one another is very unique. He is an artist that I would definitely find a way to travel to! Check out some of his work below…
I’m a very visual person, maybe this is why I can spend hours trolling the internet for things that I like to look at, one of them being radical tattoos of all different kinds. Which brings me to our favorite tumblr right now: Inked Skins, a portal for amazing skin art. I can lose myself on this site, and now it’s your chance to as well…but also check out the gallery of tattoos we have put together!
Lango Oliveira works out of Skull & Sword Tattoo in San Francisco, CA, and while he is a very talented tattooist, the work that really blows me away are his murals. The streets of San Francisco are blessed with his vibrant artwork, adorning brick walls, trucks and doorways with bright splashes of gore and mutant blood. Looking at one of his murals, it’s almost as if the wall itself is moving, being whipped by supernatural winds or attacked by demonic forces. His murals are gateways into another universe, places of immense darkness that scream with color. The fact that you can walk around San Francisco and just happen upon one of these masterpieces is amazing! Check out a gallery of his work below, and also be sure to check out his tattoos as well!
Ien Levin is a tattooist that makes me want to pack up everything and move to Kiev, Ukraine so I can get work done by him. He is able to take something ordinary and filter it through a dark mind and come up with something totally out of this world. Ien Levin is also able to work unreal black ink magic with geometric shapes. Today CVLT Nation celebrates this tattoo master again. Check out this new gallery of his most recent work…All hail Ien Levin!
It’s time for another installment of Bad Tattoos…(Part I here)…I think with the number of people in this world inking their bodies with ridiculous and ugly shit, these installments could be infinite. Seriously, people must think it takes no artistic talent at all to permanently imbue their own or someone else’s skin with pigments – apparently, it doesn’t even take a steady hand. I am starting to think that there should be psych evaluations before a person can get a tattoo. Or at least a code of ethics for tattooists, like “no genitalia” or “no butt sluts”. But unfortunately or luckily for us today, no such ethics exist, so enjoy some more bad tattoos below…
It’s hard to exaggerate the importance of Black Flag to underground music. They pioneered a touring style that is standard for bands today, plus they basically invented hardcore, or at least set the standard for it. Their four bar logo has achieved almost Che-like status in pop culture iconography, but it manages to remain cool and underground at the same time – as Ebersole puts it: “look closely at those four rectangles and you will see a cute little waving black flag representing “ANARCHY;” the stateless state; a DIY politic. No Gods and No Masters, as they say!” I can’t tell you how many people I know or have met who have inked that logo somewhere on their body. With Barred For Life, Stewart Dean Ebersole has put together a photo documentary of how Black Flag has touched people’s lives – literally in the form of tattoos. Interspersed with photos of people he and photographer Jared Castaldi captured along their six years of travel in North America and abroad, Ebersole tells the story of being a punker of the 80′s in America, and how Black Flag figured in punk rock lore of the time. The result is rad to look at and a captivating read, and also includes in-depth interviews with Dez and Chuck. I would wager at least half of you reading this have a Black Flag tattoo on you somewhere, and you know you’re not alone! Check out some of the rad portraits below, and head over to the Barred For Life facebook page here and get your own copy here!