Dealing with the modified – 5th in a series

justin Body Modification, Dallas, monkey, Ravings, Tattoo 2 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?

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