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Dealing with the modified – 6th in a series

May 25th, 2010 No comments

Dear plainskinâ„¢ stranger,

I’m glad you have the courage to talk to people you don’t know in just about any locale or circumstance, and I’m glad you appreciate the artwork that adorns my skin, but please, please oh please, don’t waste my time telling me about the “bad ass” tattoo that you are going to get or that your cousin or your cousin’s step-mother’s boyfriend’s parole officer has. I couldn’t give less than a rat’s ass.

Don’t get me wrong, I talk about potential tattoos and the tattoos of individuals’ relatives all the time, but those are people that I know. Much as back in article number two, while you are not touching me, I also don’t need to know your genealogy.

You would honestly be surprised at how often this actually happens. It even can be predicted by some telltale gestures and facial expressions as the person is moving towards me screwing up their courage to regale me with fantasies of giant tribal pieces “not like that other crap you see,” and un-ironic armbands of barbed wire. In fact, I would dare to say that the conversation almost always starts with: “Those are some pretty [insert modifier here] tattoos. Are you an artist?” Then they launch into the usual drivel.

I can only think of one instance where this conversation was ever fruitful: a plainskinâ„¢ stranger was telling me about what her boyfriend was going to get while I was waiting for a drink at some bar, and, before I could entirely glaze over, she got to the point and asked me where I got a couple of my pieces because she really liked the strong colors. That one was borderline.

Just remember, by attempting to keep my attention with your story that I don’t care about, you leave the door wide open for ridicule and mocking. Generally I’m a nice guy and will put up with a bit of that crap, but, every so often, I have one of my days where I’ll move straight into mocking mode. Because you engaged me in a conversation I would rather not be having, it is your fault that I’m making fun of your and/or your family. I realize that this truth will do nothing to quell the immediate anger you will feel towards me, but didn’t your mother tell you to not talk to strangers as a kid? There, lesson learned.

There is one and only one exception to this rule: if you are bringing me food and/or alcohol, I’ll listen to your stupid story. That’s right, my time can be bought. I do, however, reserve the right to waive this exception because while I may be a whore, I am not a cheap whore. For reference, I tend to enjoy pints of English and Irish ale and good Irish whiskeys.

Think before you speak, I may indeed bite.

justin.

I’ve got to be honest, this one came after a lengthy conversation with squeezle over some tasty breakfast tacos, but it really should have been the second in this series rather than the sixth. I’ll claim the fail on that one.

Dealing with the modified – 5th in a series

May 6th, 2010 No comments

If you are here because of this article then I’m glad you visited. This is the fifth “article” in this series and you could probably stand to read the other four. You are probably what I refer to as my “target market” when it comes to little thing like being in contact with the modified (especially in Dallas).

First, and foremost, kudos to Teresa Dennis for getting out there and kicking off a new shoppe in town. Now that I’ve said that, I’m really wondering why she went with her own concept instead of franchising a Hart & Huntington shop here in Dallas. What, Dallas is just too cool for H&H to put out a shingle? I really doubt that. I expect Ms. Dennis to make a metric craptonne of money from her endeavor with almost zero repeat business. Why, you ask? The answer is simple. Hers is the land of ankle tattoos and tramp stamps. More kanji will make it’s way out of Subkulture Klothing and Ink than is in the Japanese Constitution. Part of me wants to grab my camera and just wait to be a paid contributor to Hanzi Smatter after what I expect to come out of this Uptown “experiement.”

This leads me to the fifth, and horribly late, lesson in our series: trend kills art.

I used to be a huge fan of the works of Don Ed Hardy. Hardy took a degree in printmaking and a relationship with Sailor Jerry Collins and managed to pull together an iconic catalog of style and form that helped to define “old school” tatoo art.

Then 2004 rolled around and the douche that killed the Von Dutch name decided to destroy yet another American icon. Yes, that would be Christian Audigier. It’s not coincidence that squeezle and I dressed as douchebags for Halloween in 2009 by decking ourselves out head-to-toe in budget Ed Hardy/Christian Audigier clothing.

Even Andy Warhol couldn’t mass produce that much cultural pap to be slurped up the the “undesirable elite” to be worn at exclusive clubs and events that would probably rather not have me in attendance. Hell, Andy is probably touching himself lewdly in the grave at the mere thought of having his work reach the ontological and improbable (near impossible) pinnacle that Hardy, err, Audigier has done: killing an American artform.

Sure, I’m more than willing to recognize that I have a severe degree of bitterness in this regard. For years and years I’ve wanted nothing more than a gigantic “Aloha” monkey tattooed on my torso (if you don’t know what it is, look it up). Squeezle has pretty much forbidden me from getting this, but it has been our little back and forth for the last decade. Now, sadly, it’s a cliche. I still want the little guy, but getting it now would be akin to getting the McDonalds arches put on me and declared subversive art. For that I am pissed. Of course, it’s only a matter of time before Mark Ryden and Simone Legno (tokidoki for those not in the know) works become as prevalent, but I can, at the very least, still enjoy these gentlemen as pre-co-opted artists.

Above all, I want you, gentle reader, to know that this drivel is my personal opinion. Blogs are like assholes, everyone knows someone who has a stinky one. Sure, my bidet is on the fritz these days, but I still keep ordering the red curry and hoping for the best.

I honestly hope Ms. Dennis makes a good go at her “Subkulture” effort. I don’t imagine I’ll know any of the artists or clients of the joint, and I expect it to do as well as any of the trendy “boutiques” in Uptown, but I hope she learns a lot out of the exercise. Normally I’d throw in a nasty remark here about the potential for a Kat Von D guest spot at Subkulture, but I think that’s just a little too soon for Dallas’ fragile psyche.

Just a parting thought, though, what’s the over/under for the “buy the shirt, get the same tattoo for 75% off” sale at Subkulture?