Tattoo artists trade needles for paintbrushes
Published: Wednesday, August 31, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, August 31, 2011 19:08
Art is a universal medium of expression. It can range from an intricately designed tattoo to artwork on the bottom of skateboards, which was the type of artwork showcased at the Chrome Lotus Tattoo and Art Gallery event Sunday, Aug. 28, from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m., called "No Grip Allowed!"
The art show was put together by Tara Renee, the Colonial Drive shop owner. Renee started out as a piercer in her hometown in Orange County, Calif. and has been tattooing for about six years.
For more photos, view the gallery here.
"I wanted to do something youthful and something fun since summer was coming to a close and school was just beginning," Renee said. "I thought the skateboards would be a fun gimmick to attract a wide variety of people because I wanted the event to be family friendly, too."
Chrome Lotus usually tries to host art events once a month to showcase the other talents of their tattoo artists.
This event showcased more than 25 hand-painted skateboards by in-house tattoo artists, and the subjects varied from Hello Kitty to Mario to Vlad the Impaler.
Some of the staff was out front grilling burgers, passing out beers and blasting metal through some amplifiers to announce the festivities.
The effort to make an event like this usually takes the teamwork of the entire staff and the kindness of some of Renee's close friends, who volunteer their time and talents to help. Faithful patrons and curious passersby stopped by the shop to admire the work.
"I heard they were having an event and wanted to come check out the artwork and show my support since this is the place I got my tattoo and nose pierced," senior art history major Tracey Cole said.
The gallery also featured some original prints by Kristal Serrano. The theme in Serrano's boards depicted faceless female figures dealing with the effects felt from society's obsession with body image and boy problems.
Eddy Arg has been a tattoo artist at the Chrome Lotus for about six months, but has been tattooing for 13 years. His skateboards reflected his tattoo style of new school and realism. The subjects on Arg's boards ranged from themes of the well-known phrase "hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil" to vibrant mermaids.
"I painted some in acrylic, but most in oil paints," Arg said. "It didn't take me too long to create, it came easy for me."
Each artist has their own style and message that becomes apparent after studying the wall of boards. Iulian Maceac's boards displayed a haunting, intricate style with characters like Frankenstein, Freddy Krueger and Jason Voorhees painted in oils.
"I like horror movies, which you can see is reflected in my paintings," said Maceac, who has a degree in art and has been a tattoo artists for six years.
The Chrome Lotus specializes in traditional, new school, tribal, fantasy and Asian design tattoos, and they offer student discounts with an ID.