Tattoo News - December 2011
As you may know I just returned from a body art festival in Caracas, Venezuela. It was a truly amazing experience. Besides being one of the best staged and organized events I've attended, the caliber of the participating artists and their presentations was outstanding. I met a number of truly wonderful people-- both the local staff & organizers and visiting artists-- and had a fantastic time. Although usually my newsletter is devoted largely to Polynesian culture and tattoo, good tattoo links are few and far between. Hence this newsletter will be focused largely on the Caracas event and body arts in general.
The official festival site of IARTES (the organization that coordinated the event) is http://www.iartes.gob.ve/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=21&Itemid=24
Mokomae, a tattooist, body painter and dancer with the group Kari Kari from Rapa Nui and I represented Polynesia. Myself with a photo exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art and a powerpoint presentation on the historical aspects of Polynesian tattoo. Mokomae did a demonstration of tattooing with traditional tools, a Takona (body painting) demonstration and powerpoint presentation as well as a fantastic dance performance. A sample video of Rapa Nui dance is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q9862nJcGl0&feature=related A nice video with excellent images from the island is at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qf8XmKygXw4&NR=1 One of the most impressive events that occurs on the island as part of Tapati, the annual cultural festival, is Haka Pei- an unbelievable race down a steep grade on a banana stalk wearing virtually nothing but body paint. Talk about extreme sports! See http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z2395gyWjw8&feature=related
Among the participating body painters was Mike Shane, a great new friend who now wears a permanent body marking. Mike's work is at http://www.bodypainting.at/ and on Facebook. Birgit Mortl also had some impressive works in the festival. Her work can be seen both on Facebook and at http://designfactor.at/cms/about-me/ They are both part of an amazing group of body artists in Austria- http://www.creachiefs.com You can see more of the work of Bella Volen (one of my favorites) at http://www.bella-volen.com/fine-art-body-painting.html
Diana Gamboa also participated with her innovative origami-inspired wearable art, which you can view on YouTube:
John Vargas did demonstrations of his realistic body art. You can see examples at http://www.trendhunter.com/trends/body-painting-as-art-the-work-of-john-vargas
Another impressive site with numerous blog links of body painters is at http://paintingbodypainting.blogspot.com/2009_12_01_archive.html Craig Tracy's work is impressive and online at http://www.craigtracy.com/gallery.html
There's a good video on a slightly different style of body painting at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r2WW8DNMbTM and a fantastic parade video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMW-h-a4SQ8&NR=1
Hairdressing as a performance art was demonstrated by Osadia. AMAZING! See http://osadiaonline.com/ Click on the video as it's great fun to watch!
We were also treated to two performances by the Art Color Ballet. You can watch video clips at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aTF45pGnvH0 and see still images at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F8OKQL3rZNI&feature=related
Tron fans would have enjoyed watching Vospertron, a performance group from Aotearoa (New Zealand). On You Tube, see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gl9M8FdDCtc or search Vospertron.
There was a truly impressive and very unique suspension at the Caracas event- Hilary Hastings from Portland, Oregon is an opera singer who performs while suspended. Jason Pfohl from Oaxaca added tremendously to the act. I wish they had videos online, as it was by far the most creative & artistic suspension I've seen!
On the subject of body art, there's another annual event and a museum worth mentioning-- The World of Wearable Art. In New Zealand there's an annual wearable art competition with has grown from a very small home-based event to a huge festival featuring participants that come from all over the globe. The winners are often purchased and housed in a permanent museum, see http://www.worldofwearableart.com/ There's also a good video summary of the event at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M8ASfACiZyQ and at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EKaGdsDWYOQ&feature=related
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Unfortunately the course we had proposed at Windward Community College was not approved in time to be offered in the spring semester. Hopefully it will be offered in the fall. And as a result, I will be back in California tattooing somewhat sooner than planned and am quite available on O'ahu.
Dec. through mid-Feb: Home on O'ahu and available to tattoo.
Late Feb - March: Sydney and Auckland (still tentative)
Late March - mid-April: Home on O'ahu
mid-April - early June: San Francisco, LA and Oceanside
Late June - early July: Home on O'ahu
Mid-July - late August: San Francisco, LA and Oceanside
If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, you can reach me at (808) 734-8677 or e-mail , although I far prefer the phone for initial contacts as there is a lot to discuss & I talk far faster than I type. I am available while on O'ahu or while in California. On the mainland, it is necessary to sign up in advance. My deadline to sign up for the next CA trip is March 1st for guaranteed appointments, although there are already quite a few folks with deposits in and I do give priority in scheduling according to the date of deposits. Also, by signing up early it allows us more time to create a custom design for you. See www.ThePolynesianTattoo.com for details. If you are a new client, reading the FAQ as well as the SCHEDULE link will be beneficial.