To get a sense of whether tattoos are considered “art” outside the INKED world, I did what any modern man would do: I posted the question on Yahoo! Ask. I typed in Are tattoos 'art'? and Yahoo! told me that was too short. So I entered Are tattoos 'art work'?
I absolutely love INKED. You guys do a great job, and I hope it continues for a long time into the future. I'm writing from Baghdad, Iraq. I was able to pick up the latest issue of INKED before our PX closes. Things here are closing down quick with the draw down but my job has been deemed essential so I'm here to shut off the lights when we finally leave Iraq.
Name: Torrey Felber Occupation: waitress Hometown: San Diego, CA “My first tattoo is a picture of the logo from the Australian band I Killed the Prom Queen on the outside of my left arm. Their music motivated me to fight for my dreams, and it changed my life.
After Matt Higgins from the Jets front office tweeted a picture of head coach Rex Ryan’s new leg tattoo, Deadspin ran the headline “Rex Ryan’s New Tattoo is Really Awful.” Unfair, we say. It's a cool Polynesian-inspired piece he got in Hawaii that reportedly symbolizes “believe in yourself.” We’ve seen our share of bad tattoos, but this seems more like a case of ageism.
It doesn't take a translator to tell that this tequila was once reserved for the family. Aged for three years, it has an oaky flavor and dark color that is common among bourbons. It’s a truly remarkable tequila that is unlike any other—don't you dare put It In a margarita.
FROZEN GHOST VODKA
Warm vodka is gross; Frozen Ghost Vodka is refreshing. It is made from Canadian spring water and is distilled six times. If you have a “sighting” of this small distribution spirit at your liquor store, capture It, and then mix with peppermint schnapps to make a “Spine Tingle.”
MARTIN MILLER'S GIN
As the gin market became saturated with flavored gins of all kinds, this spirit took an opposite approach, focusing on the juniper. The gin was specifically designed for use in cocktails; Its flavor is bold enough that it won’t get overwhelmed no matter your mixer. Bring It, tonic water.
When you’re wandering around a liquor superstore, picking a new bottle is tougher than finding Waldo. What’s inside matters most, but the label can give you a taste of what’s coming. Think of it like this: Any company that believes enough in its product will put some money into the label.
Whose work is black and white and painted all over? Aaron Martin, a.k.a. Angry Woebots.
The first time Aaron Martin painted his iconic angry panda bear, it was by accident. In 2003, the Hawaiiborn artist was asked to paint live at a slam poetry event. Martin planned on creating a pissed-off grizzly from images he’d been studying online.
Fish tanks are sweet, but jellyfish tanks ($259; jellyfishart.com) are super sweet. The unique blobs of eye candy will add sophistication and tranquility to your pad. Time to flush your Sea-Monkeys.
WeSC and the leader of Wu-Tang, RZA, put out the Chambers head-phones ($250, wesc.com). Dre got his Beats and now an equally legendary producer fires back. We're with the Shaolin monk.
Knight Rider Covenant Ring
The Knight Rider Covenant Ring ($570, knightrider.com) is sterling silver and, short of wearing the American flag pants from Napoleon Dynamite, one of the boldest ways to show your patriotism.
Head Stash pillowcase
You like sleeping on a cloud? We do. And so do the people at The Personal Stash, if their Head Stash pillowcase ($55, ibudyou.com) is any indication. Buy one in your choice of strain: Sour Diesel (pictured), Strawberry Kush, or Tangerine Dream.
The Misfits' skull is still one of our favorite pieces of horror iconography. What would Danzig do? He would cut the sleeves off this shirt ($21; hottopic.com) and look tough wearing it.
Subject: Brandon "Hollywood Sines" Stout Spotted: Carroll Park, Brooklyn, NY Where he gets inked: Fernando Lions at Flyrite Tattoo in Brooklyn did my favorite tattoo, a classicstyle Polo bear smoking a joint on my right forearm.
The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses
Most of us try our best to avoid death. We buckle our seat belts, take our vitamins, and avoid sketchy alleyways at night. We’ve romanticized the notion of defying Death, confronting the reaper, and besting him in a winner-take-all game of battleship. But despite our best efforts, accepting death’s inevitability and acknowledging its power is a form of transcendence, allowing us to stick our toe into the abyss without taking the plunge. Nowhere else is this done more powerfully and beautifully than in the bone shrines featured in Paul Koudounaris’s The Empire of Death: A Cultural History of Ossuaries and Charnel Houses. Within its finely illustrated 244 pages, Koudounaris unearths walls of meticulously stacked femurs and rows and columns of skulls surrounding mummified monks and skeletons in gilded armor inside these ancient homages to the great equalizer. The Empire of Death is a tour through the catacombs of 18 countries over the span of thousands of years. Whether the purpose of these skeletal hallows is to remember the departed, embrace the inevitable, ponder the unknown, or send a message to potential marauders, they stand as a reminder of death— and our unending fascination with it.
It's So Easy: And Other Lies
In It's So Easy: And Other Lies, Duff McKagan relates his rise to rock superstardom, descent into addiction, and eventual martialarts-college-and-fatherhoodfueled redemption. It’s a wellcrafted, introspective, and brutally honest autobiography loaded with wild road stories and an abundance of big name dropping throughout his time with Guns N’ Roses, Velvet Revolver, and Loaded to his unlikely new career as the founder of a financial management firm for musicians.
Coming to Blu-ray and DVD is one of the better comic book adaptations of the year. Director Joe Johnston (The Rocketeer, Jurassic Park IlI) did the star-spangled hero justice, and Chris Evans knocked the role out of the park. The look and overall feel of the film were perfect, and Hugo Weaving totally nailed the villainous Red Skull (major kudos to the costume designers and makeup artists who stayed true to the comics). We’re now a step closer to The Avengers. Make sure you stick around for a postcredits teaser that will surely get the Marvel geeks amped up.
Visionary director Tarsem Singh (The Cell, The Fall) brings us this fantasy epic in which King Hyperion (Mickey Rourke) and his bloodthirsty army are ravaging Greece in search of a legendary weapon that has the power to unleash the Titans. Ancient law forbids the gods to intervene, so Zeus recruits a warrior (Henry Cavill) to stop Hyperion from releasing the Titans, who are hell-bent on ending the reign of the gods. The flick looks wicked, and it’s also our first chance to see Cavill as a lead badass before he dawns the cape in the upcoming Man of Steel.
A VERY HAROLD AND KUMAR 3D CHRISTMAS
Stoner duo Harold (John Cho) and Kumar (Kal Penn) are back in this new 3D romp that takes place six years after their White Castle adventure. The two have moved on and replaced each other with newfound friends, but as they are gearing up for holiday festivities, a mysterious package leads to the two crossing paths again. Then Kumar accidentally burns down Harold’s father-in-law’s prize Christmas tree, and of course, the two embark on a journey to replace it and run into deep bong water at every turn, just like old times!
Clint Eastwood (Invictus, Gran Torino) directs this biopic that explores the public and private life of J. Edgar Hoover (Leonardo DiCaprio), one of the more controversial and enigmatic figures of the 20th century. The movie sure has lots of complex ground to cover, but it will be particularly interesting to see it tackle some of the more taboo subjects, like Hoover’s sexuality. Eastwood is the perfect director for this material, and the cast is stellar. Aside from DiCaprio, Naomi Watts, Josh Lucas, Judi Dench, and Armie Hammer also star. Smells like Oscar bait
PLATFORM: XBOX 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PC, IOS You can't dispute the drawing power of first-person shooter juggernaut Call of Duty, but this year the hype has been high on its biggest competitor. Armed with an impressive new graphics engine, a gritty documentary-style single-player campaign, and massive 64-player skirmishes on PC (24 for console owners), Battlefield 3 is gunning for the title of top shooter. To take down the king, developer Dice has shored up its attack on all fronts, with an improved destruction engine that can make six-story buildings crumble, a new animation system that makes soldiers move with a sense of weight and momentum, and the most powerful audio experience in war games. The multiplayer preserves the teamwork-centric model but adds a new progression system that rewards regular players and a promised steady diet of new maps. Play If You Like: Generation Kill, The Hurt Locker, large-scale warfare
UNCHARTED 3: DRAKE’S DECEPTION
With Indiana Jones in a nursing home, Uncharted’s hero, Nathan Drake, is our new favorite adventurer with a passion for archaeological treasures. No games deliver Hollywood-style thrills better than this series, which continually sets a new high bar with its sharp storytelling and jaw-dropping action sequences that will leave you gasping for breath while narrowly surviving near-death sequences. For his latest adventure, Drake teams up with longtime treasure-hunting sidekick Sully to uncover the fabled Atlantis of the Sands before a shadow organization with ties to the occult does. To make it through this globe-trotting adventure alive Drake must charm, shoot, and improvise his way through a series of increasingly hostile encounters. Play If You Like: Raiders of the Lost Ark, Tomb Raider, National Treasure —M.B.
PLATFORMS: XBOX 360, PLAYSTATION 3, PLAYSTATION 2, PSP, WII, PC While LeBron, Kobe, and Dirk’s lawyers duke it out with team owners during the NBA lockout, hard-court legends like Wilt Chamberlain, Magic Johnson, and Larry Bird pick up the slack in NBA 2K12. The new NBA’s Greatest mode gives you control of the best players in league history. As you move through the generations of games, the presentation changes accordingly from the grainy, black-and-white footage of Bill Russell’s Celtics to the oversaturated Technicolor look of Dr. J’s 76ers, and eventually to the high definition of today’s high-flying broadcasts. Contemporary stars are also ready to go. Season or no, NBA 2K12 is an alley-oop worth slamming down. Play If You Like: retro basketball, Best of All Time debates, Magic & Bird: A Courtship of Rivals —M.B.
WUGAZI “Slow Like That” If you’ve ever wondered what would happen if you mashed up Fugazi and Wu-Tang Clan, here’s your answer. NICK 13 “All Alone” Nick 13, the frontman of Tiger Army, shows he’s as musically versatile as he is inked. ASTRONAUTALIS “Dimitri Mendeleev” Think you don’t like hip-hop?
It's travel season. Make sure your dopp kit is ready.
XTREME 3 FITSTYLE REFRESH
These disposable razors ($12, drugstores) do a job fitting of your home blade, thanks to three flexible blades and skin conditioning strips. Pack one, chuck it at the end of your trip.
Bringing separate bottles of face wash, soap, and shampoo? Hell no. Pack this wash ($9, 3floz.com) that works on hair, face, and body and comes in a TSA-approved size.
A cure-all for everything—chapped lips, sunburn, dry skin, insert any other skin affliction here—this salve ($10, airrepairskincare.com) is the definition of multipurpose.
Throw a packet of this dry mouthwash ($16 for 24, supersmile.com) in your wallet or pocket and add H2O for an instant breath refresher anytime you can't get to your toothbrush.
There’s no way around it: Traveling is a pain in the ass. While you can't control things like endless delays, invasions of your privacy by TSA agents, and asinine gas prices, you can save yourself a headache by simplifying the thing you do have control over: your packing.
Tattooer Skip Sampson keys you in on what to do in the Tampa Bay area post-Guavaween.
Tampa’s Guavaween is one of the most amazing Halloween spectacles thrown by any city. After the Latin-style fest comes the Day of the Dead, and if you stick around town a little longer, there’s no better tour guide than tattoo artist Skip Sampson.
Oh, this is rich. First—so you don't do that thing where you mispronounce Versace vur-sase—the Ciel, from the French word for sky, is pronounced C-L. Second, this is a land cigarette boat with 425 horsepower and a twin-turbocharged 3.6-liter V6 augmented with a hybrid system utilizing lithium-ion batteries to propel all 16-plus feet of it. The frame is long, sleek, and has great smooth lines (Caddy thinking outside of boxy). The interior is Spartan regal: four hand-stitched leather bucket seats, 300-year-old olive wood, and a speedometer as big as a desktop fan. The deftest touch, however, is the set of suicide doors. Good for riding around Hollywood with three of your friends.
Ford Motor Company
FORD 1934 MODEL 40 SPECIAL SPEEDSTER
This is not a reissue, but in fact the 77-year-old play toy of Edsel Bryant Ford. Over the decades the keys have changed hands (once in 1958 for a paltry $603) but after a complete original restoration by RM Auto Restoration in Ontario, Canada, it’s now back in the hands of the Fords. The Model 40 Speedster was a one-off that Ford commissioned when he was pondering his company’s foray into sports cars, to the chagrin of his father. It's still low, fast, and rakish, and can now be seen at the The Edsel & Eleanor Ford House in Michigan. “My grandfather was an early believer that everyday objects— including automobiles—could be seen as works of art,” said Edsel Ford II. “While he wasn't a designer in the traditional sense, his eye for styling and influence was apparent as he initiated and built the design department at Ford Motor Company.”
Ford Motor Company
What looks like The Thing’s personal sports car is a forward-thinking concept by design student Da Feng. The body is made up of 250 “flakes” that constrict and shift to manipulate the airflow for heat dissipation and handling. “When traveling at speed, the car will contract to its closed position to help control airflow, and when under breaking or turning the flakes will spring open to dynamically adjust down force,” Feng explained. “Most would think inspiration came from the Transformers movies; however, it actually came from Pixar’s Cars. I loved the movement of the characters and how they leaned into the corners, and wanted to translate that into a realistic vehicle.”
Null & Void, a collaborative creative studio for branding, is not easy to find. Their name is not listed on the intercom of their downtown New York City building, and the door to their office has the nameplate of a different company entirely.
“When I design I want to be the talk of the room,” Taylor Reeve says. “I want my designs and products to always start up conversations, get you noticed, make you stand out.” If that’s her goal, then the imaginative So-Cal designer who has worked for Quiksilver (look for her outerwear line this winter), Bell Helmets, Dragon Alliance (sunglasses and goggles), and Skullcandy has succeeded.
A musician’s life is a nomadic one, and few know this fact as well as Chuck Ragan. Whether he is touring with punk band Hot Water Music or in support of his solo work, Ragan rarely stays in one place for very long. His third solo album, Covering Ground, is a direct product of Ragan’s vagabond lifestyle.
Model, video vixen, and girlfriend of Wiz Khalifa, Amber Rose is a stunner. And with more than 800,000 followers on Twitter, she has more going on than being the callipygian ideal. We asked followers of @InkedMag and @DaRealAmberRose-whom she affectionately calls "Rosebuds"to ask Amber anything.
When and what was your first tattoo? -@ bbystar13 I was 15 and I got paw prints on my upper thigh. It was kind of a fad in Philly and all the girls had them. Do you plan on getting another tattoo? What would it be of? -@bbystar13 I want to get two full sleeves eventually, but I just don't know what I want yet.
Thirteen years of growth, hardship, and hard rock culminate in Thrice's new album, Major/Minor.
Thrice isn't the type of band that cultivates drama. Since forming in southern California in 1998, they haven't had any member changes, nor have they been spotted on TMZ sucking face with internet celebrities or abusing hotel rooms (unless you count hogging Wi-Fi bandwidth to play World of Warcraft).
On the first episode of NY Ink Tim Hendricks noted that not many fashion models find themselves under the gun as often as Alysha Nett. Being cast as a model for a campaign is tough enough (Do you have the right body shape? Is your hair the right length?) but being able to make a living as a heavily tattooed model is even tougher—and Alysha is doing it.
Big air is getting big ratings, and the Dew Tour is doing gangbusters on the road. But that wasn’t always the case: Since there are more players on one NFL team than there are elite skateboarders-and the best typically roll around California-for a while, if you didn’t live on the West Coast, you were out of luck.
Our favorite fine artists have something very important in common: ink. Here, they display their studies of the tattooed and take artistic license with the INKED logo.
JANICE URNSTEIN WEISSMAN
Caia Koopman’s cast of sexy tattooed lowbrow characters pose among recurring icons like painted skulls, multicolored roses, peacock feathers, lovebirds, and heart lockets. A California native with a BFA from UC Santa Cruz, Koopman’s pop surrealist paintings have been shown from Culver City, CA, to Bayonne, France.
ZOMBIE BOY, MUSE TO THIERRY MUGLER AND LADY GAGA, MARRIES EXTREME INK AND HIGH FASHION.
Tattooing oneself from head to toe to look like a rotting corpse is not the traditional route to stardom, but it has somehow worked out for Rick Genest, a.k.a. Zombie Boy. “My first tattoo was an outline of a skull and crossbones right here on my shoulder when I was 16,” Genest says, pulling up the sleeve of his black T-shirt.
The first thing you might notice about Michelle Myles is that she is a woman. When Myles is written about, she is often referred to as a “female tattoo artist,” but you should judge the artist by the piece, not the gender. “I never wanted to tattoo like a chick,” she says.
Paul Booth's Last Rites Tattoo Theatre looks one part horror film prop closet and one part haunted hayride. Nightmarish imagery overruns the ominous dungeon-like interior space, where dark walls serve as backdrops to eerie artwork, a single black chair sits atop a foreboding empty stage, and ghoulish figures emanate from walls.
What do you try to accomplish when you pick up the tattoo machine? First off, I want to make an image that will last, that will look good in 50 years. Secondly, I want to make the customer happy. Even if I'm not thrilled on the tattoo, they should love it.
NAME: Nikki Nelson GENERAL MANAGER AT: The Gallery Custom Tattoo Studio, Ottawa, Ontario I HANDLE EVERYTHING from the phones, supplies, and taxes to making sure everyone who walks through the door feels important and knows it is our honor to decorate them permanently.
To brighten up your wall, Sailor Jerry and INKED traveled around the States—Gasser Lounge in Redondo Beach, Johnny's Saloon in Huntington Beach, The Royal House in Las Vegas, and Tattooed Mom in Philadelphia—in search of the prettiest tattooed women for our wall calendar.
New York City's Meatpacking District didn't know what hit them. We threw our September issue party in a neighborhood known for popped collars and scenesters thanks to the new Gunbar, which welcomes hip inkers to throw down Jägermeister shots.
Jes Ashby came to tattooing by way of expressionist painting. “There are several versions of abstract that I can do, the more aggressive and the more black, the better," she says. “I reach for natural and raw movement and balance. I want forms and shapes that make the eye wonder."