The seventh in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero, Bee caves; Photographs by Zozios, Taki, fatlace.com

Video production by Machindo Productions

Horiyoshi III

Horiyoshi III (Yoshihito Nakano)

Term “Shuhari” implies stages in improvement of practical arts. I like this term. Actually it means the three stages of learning mastery: the fundamentals, breaking with tradition and parting with traditional wisdom. It has been my motto not only for my Irezumi art, also for my personality development through my life as a single man.

Since I have come to be apprenticed to Master Horiyoshi in 1971, I have trained myself, kept self-development and succeeded Horiyoshi’s name as Horiyoshi the third in 1979. Now I feel it is my duty and responsibility as Horiyoshi 3 to carry Master’s spirit and develop Horiyoshi’s art.

Shige

Shige (Shigenori Iwasaki)

by Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura
 
Shigenori Iwasaki, more commonly known as Shige, is a powerhouse of modern Japanese tattooing. Originally a Harley Davidson mechanic, this largely self taught tattooer is a household name in the tattoo world. He is one of the most documented tattooers of all time and has astounded everyone with his own brightly colored, large scale take on Japanese tattooing. Shige is one of the hardest working tattooers out there and this is well evidenced by his body of work and countless numbers of trophies from international tattoo conventions. I am very proud to have published the first monograph about Shige and as expected, we have sold out three printings to date. 
 
Tradition is a very important concept to Shige and he works very hard to insure that his work upholds the culture and history of Japan. Shige spends many long nights drawing, studying and reading to perfect his work. He still makes all his own needles and values the craft and culture of the Japanese tattoo. He is at once a huge innovator as well as a staunch traditionalist and the finished product is a sublime work of modern, traditional Japanese art.
 
Shige was very excited to have been part of the groundbreaking "Basara" show organized by renowned artist Tenmyouya Hisashi. Held in an art gallery in the busy Aoyama District in Tokyo, "Basara" was the first event of its kind. Shige represented Japanese tattooing by speaking and showing ten of his body suits in person- a very rare sight in Japan! The response was phenomenal, over 2000 people attended the four hour opening reception making this one of the biggest events held in the gallery for the last twenty years. He has also exhibited at the Asian Art Museum in San Francisco, California. Shige is scheduled to participate in a six month museum show titled Perseverance, at the Japanese American National Museum in spring of 2014. He has lectured at the Sao Paulo, Brazil convention and is scheduled to speak at the Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts in October, 2013.
 
Shige wears an almost complete bodysuit from European Maestro Filip Leu and spending three months in Switzerland with the Leu Family was a pivotal time in Shige's life. This influenced and inspired him heavily to hone his artwork and also to live and grow with his own "tattoo family." He is a devoted father and husband. Shige's wife, Chisato, has been with him through all of this and is his life and work partner. Along with their daughter Ayaka and his apprentice Tomo, they run Yellow Blaze Tattoo in Yokohama, Japan. Yellow Blaze hosts frequent high caliber guest artists and is a beacon of exceptional tattooing. Despite all his artistic and career minded accomplishments, what I like most about Shige is his integrity and loyalty. He is one of the most genuine people I have had the pleasure of meeting and I am proud to call him my friend.    

 

The sixth in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero, Death Vally, Mik Impetto & Dewew Dellay

Video production by Machindo Productions

Laura Satana

Laura Satana

I have been tattooing over 15 years. I started as many people do with great determination at a very early age and fought to make a name for myself in France. I am from Paris and have tried to develop a style that gives some respect to the west coast black and grey artists in America. It is my own style that developed from my illustration career. I began influenced by Russ Meyer movies and monster movies and the graphics of punk rock and American old school tattooing. I have been influenced by the changes in Paris and the street culture and music here. The hip-hop scene and the urban culture of Paris is in many ways similar to that of the urban culture in the ghettos of America. My tattooing now is a reflection of that. I use the fine line black and grey influence and the romantic subjects of the cholo style. My shop is in the West of Paris and I travel to California and tattoo there with my friends who are the masters of this style and bring it back to Paris and add my own twist.

Tin-Tin

Tin-Tin

Born near Paris in 1965, Tin-Tin is today one of the most well respected tattoo artists in the world, with a special gift for creating hyper-realist and Japanese-inspired tattoos. Remarkably, he is self taught, having started his tattooing career back in 1984, during military service in Berlin. Tin-tin gradually developed a distinctive style all of his own, drawing wildly-varied inspiration from illustrations and art books, rather than clichéd tattoo imagery of the era. Right from the outset, he travelled all around the world, in order to meet with and learn from the best tattooists. His early works subsequently stunned those whom saw them, such was their almost-photographic perfection. Having elevated tattooing to a new level of artistry - thereby boosting the reputation of the profession - Tin-Tin eventually co-founded the National Union of Artists Tattooists (SNAT) in 2003, and remains president of this organization today. Tin-Tin's legendary status as a tattoo artist has ensured he is not only constantly in demand with his own clients - many of whom are famous faces from the worlds of fashion, film and music - but also as a collaborator with Haute Couture brands, revered fashion photographers and for editorial and advertising commissions galore. He has appeared in minor film roles and various TV shows about tattooing, but despite his huge success  and talent, Tin-Tin is a down-to-earth guy who likes to never take himself too seriously.

 

The fifth in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero & American Spirit

Video production by Machindo Productions

Valerie Vargas

Valerie Vargas

I tattoo at Frith street tattoo, London, UK.  I had my apprenticeship under Dave Crossley in Stirling, Scotland. I wasn't tattooing long before I was given the chance to join the Frith street team and have been there for the last 5 years with Dante and the crew.

Even though I was lucky enough to study Art at college I still consider my artistic abilities as self-taught. The college part helped me more with organising myself and my work and seeing projects through to the end however!

I feel like in the last year I finally began to leave behind the type of work people thought I was known for and concentrating on the type of work I actually wanted to do. I'm doing more traditional tattoo subjects and playing around with traditionally executed work whilst adding some extra fun for myself, whether it's adding more colours than I think I should be using or adding details so as to bring new life to older flash designs. Colour pieces dominate my work but I'd love to do more black & grey cholo style tattoos, I'm pretty spoiled with work though so I can't complain! 

Ian Flower

Ian Flower

I began tattooing in 1991 and progressed to opening my shop new Skool tattoos in 1997 in Ewell village ,Surrey .I am still there at present and attempting to find a way out !

Over the years ,I have worked at Into You tattoo and Frith street in London ,whilst still maintaining my  own shop.I specialise in large scale ,traditionalist Japanese designs .I also do a bit of old school traditional work when the opportunity presents itself. 

 

The forth in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero & American Spirit

Video production by Machindo Productions

Bill Canales

Bill Canales 

My name is Bill Canales and I was born in Couhuila, México. My biological mother passed away when I was two years old. After I was adopted, I lived with my new family in El Paso, Texas.

My tattoo career started at Renegade Tattooing in 1992. Years later, after I moved to Europe, my tattoo career reached a turning point. What I found there moved my work toward the direction of my current style, which is mainly based in Asian techniques.

When I decided to come back to the United States, I moved to San Diego, California, and started working at Avalon Tattoo, a staple of the San Diego tattooing community.

In 2008, I opened Full Circle with the help of my beautiful wife, Becky, and two amazing kids, Maya and Mateo. I hope to give back to the craft that has given me so much in my life.

Thank you Marcus for this amazing opportunity to be a part of something great!

Rob Benavides

Rob Benavides 

Rob Benavides. Born and raised in San Antonio Texas. I learned to tattoo in Chicago, Illinois under the Master tutelage of the infamous Fat Joe Scapin. I relocated to Southern California in 1996. I now own and operate the world famous Flying Panther Tattoo studio in sunny San Diego, CA. I specialize in classic style western Tattooing and raising a Family of five. My aim is to preserve and perpetuate classic tattoo technique, culture and style.

 

The third in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero & American Spirit

Video production by Machindo Productions

Jason Kundell

Jason Kundell

Jason was born and raised in Southern California, but his mustache hails from an El Paso Rancher's upper lip. In 2009, he migrated north, as he left San Francisco to bring the Pacific Northwest his brand of Japanese inspired tattooing in his reincarnation of the world renown Art Work Rebels tattoo studio. Outside of tattooing Jason enjoys Jiu Jitsu, porchetta sandwiches, & Neurosis, but puts spending time with his daughter, Lula, above everything else. Jason can often be spotted towing Lula on his bike around the city on his days off.

George Campise

George Campise

My name is George Campise & I work & own War Horse Tattoo in Berkeley California. Originally from southern New Jersey, I moved to San Francisco in 1991 & started tattooing in 1993. I've had no formal instruction in art (beyond high school) except for the example set before me by the incredible gallery of artists & tattooist I've been fortunate enough to work with over the last 19 years. Through my shared experiences with these people as co-workers, at times clients & often as jackasses I feel I've been able to find my voice & develop a style which in equal measure has been influenced by the imagery of my childhood (comics, movies, skate art) and the genius I've been fortunate enough to witness. I truly cannot express enough the gratitude I have for these people & on a larger scale tattooing as a whole. Every single positive thing I have in my life, from friends to family, tattooing has provided. I hope my time as a practitioner reflects my gratitude for having been chosen for this honor.

 

The second in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

Music by Lucero & American Spirit

Video production by Machindo Productions

Tony Hundahl

Tony Hundahl

My name is Tony Hundahl. I've been tattooing professionally since 1998. Artistically I tend to focus on bold imagery with a lot of movement that is based in traditional western and Japanese styles. I try to be versatile enough to translate any idea into a tattoo that will look powerful and hold up over time.

Steve Byrne

Steve Byrne

My name is Steve Byrne. I co-own Rock Of Ages Tattoo shop in Austin, TX. I spent twelve years tattooing in England before moving to the United States in 2009. Where I am now is the perfect environment for me. The shop is a mix of demanding high end custom work and street level walk-in trade. I've been fortunate over the years to have gained a great deal of experience working alongside some of the best in the business. Regardless of traveling or being at home, my only goal is to honor tattooing by constantly learning and becoming better at what I do.

 

The first in a series of films chronicling the travels of the gypsy gentleman. A travel documentary profiling the world’s greatest tattooers and the world’s most fascinating places.

All original music by LUCERO

Video production by Kinetic Science

Virginia Elwood

Virginia Elwood

I tattoo at New York Adorned in Manhattan and apprenticed at Pumpkin Tattoo in Boston in 2001. Mostly self taught as far as art and drawing goes... but I've been fortunate to work with and learn from some amazing artists over the past ten years. I was really into black and grey realistic portraits a few years back, and still enjoy doing them, but have been trying to take a bolder more illustrative approach to them recently. My focus has shifted from the finer line tattooing I was doing a few years ago to much bolder, traditional inspired pieces. I'm happiest now when a client comes to me asking for my own artwork, or at least my interpretation of their idea. I'm so happy the Marcus asked me to be a part of his project, he has been a big influence on my tattooing, and I had a lot of fun making the film!

Thomas Hooper

Thomas Hooper

My name is Thomas Hooper. I work out of Saved Tattoo here in Brooklyn NY.

Born in Hastings East Sussex, I studied Drawing at The London Institute of Art & Design, subsequently moving from London to New York City to pursue my goals in Tattooing and Art.

Painter, illustrator, tattoo artist and an editor for Sang Bleu Magazine, mixing orthodox and unorthodox painting techniques, organic textures with computer-enhanced patterns, accidental stains with geometrical entities. This pictorial work although directly complementary to my skin-based work, sails far from the world of tattooing to explore a very medium-orientated abstraction.