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Archive for the ‘Skin Art’

Hollywood makeup artist to hold workshop – Beckley Register-Herald08.18.17

Hollywood makeup artist Robbie Miller is in Beckley to bring red-carpet glamour to his home state with a workshop Sunday at noon at Beckley Art Center.

Miller, who owns R/r Airbrush Makeup Artistry: http://www.airbrushmasterclass.com with his partner, 26-year-old Ramone Ibarra, is an Oak Hill native whose clients include Fayette County native Monte Durham and actors Mario Lopez and Dax Sheppard.

His airbrush makeup work has appeared on Bravo, in People magazine and Vogue Italia and at various red carpet events. He was the makeup director for Say Yes to Prom on TLC.

Miller said hes always seen makeup as an art.

I saw makeup just like a painter saw a canvas, he said. Makeup is, basically, paint with a living canvas, which is a blank face.

Our canvas is a little different, and its more personal. Were able to create our art on a person.

R/r Airbrush Makeup Artistry offers live and live online courses in the art of air-brush makeup, training beauty professionals around the world to use the Hollywood techniques on clients in their hometowns.

Miller explained that the airbrush technique involves spraying pixelated makeup onto the skin.It was developed in 1980 in Hollywood for the film and TV industry, when HD TV debuted and stars needed pixelated makeup for a smooth finish on the screen.

It looks more flawless in person and on camera, Miller said. It has an HD finish that lasts up to 24 hours, and its smudge-proof.

A lot of artists that offer airbrush makeup only do foundation, usually because they havent had the training. But with the proper training, you can create any look with airbrush that you can do with traditional.

Miller teaches airbrush techniques for eye shadow, contour, eyeliner, blush and others.

Miller said hes excited to bring airbrush makeup to southern West Virginia, where brides, tourists and others can have the same special-day look that makes Hollywood celebritiesfeel beautiful.

We see a need here, Miller said. I came back to West Virginia with a new set of eyes, and, visiting all the state parks, all the weddings that are held here and the beautiful state parks and the tourists that are getting married here, we really feel that if hairstylists and salons have this skill added to their menu of services, they can really increase their revenue.

Ibarrosaid he enjoys seeing the added boost of confidence that makeup can give to a person.

You already have confidence, and you know you have it already, but sometimes you need a boost, he said. Sometimes it may be a piece of clothes you wear, or a sweater. For others, its makeup.

He realized the power of makeupwhen he began studying beauty techniques at Millers urging, he said.

Everyone has different things that make them feel, Im ready to step out into the world, and Im confident, he said. I can see that now.

Miller has cut the price to take Sundays class from $600 to $150.

Tickets and more information are available by calling the center at 304-253-9226.

Email: jfarrish@register-herald.com; follow on Twitter @JessicaFarrish

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Traversing the digital divide in a modern world – Queens Chronicle08.17.17

A flaky croissant is a delicious one; a fleshy one, decidedly less so. And here, raised upon a Plexiglas stand in all its pink and veiny glory, it looks especially repulsive.

The artwork on display in Past Skin at MoMA PS1 in Long Island City runs the gamut from the bizarre to the surreal and transcendent. Each of the seven artists whose work is featured in the exhibit was responding to a prompt from the science historian and cyberfeminist Donna Haraways question: Why should our body end at the skin? The implications are vast for our technologically synchronized world.

In many ways, our devices are extensions of our physical bodies and our electronic communications an extension of our social lives. How has this technology changed our world? And perhaps more importantly, how has it changed us?

The sculptor Jillian Mayer has focused on the body engaged with its phone, and for the exhibition provided her Slumpies ergonomically designed for humans to check their Facebook, reply to texts or catch up on emails. Sometimes concave and occasionally perplexing, the fiberglass, acrylic and resin pieces are meant to hold weight and ease the positions required for device interface. Visitors are invited to sit on and otherwise interact with these objects, which is part of Mayers intention she believes the interaction based on the intelligence of the body is its own performance in tandem with the viewers minds interaction with a device. Mayer shows how our technological world might shape the physical objects around us.

Cui Jies paintings imagine urban landscapes as mutable as our digital world. At first glance, a work might seem to be of a standard contemporary high rise, but the structures within the painting collide with others, or are overlaid in symbols and abstract form. The work is a reaction to Cuis move to Beijing from the smaller city of Hangzhou, and her many walks throughout the city, trying to make sense of its sprawl. The paintings are built on a confluence of Social Realist painting, Chinese propaganda, and Soviet communist aesthetics as well as the artists personal interests in Modernism.

Among the most disturbing and fascinating items in the show are Hannah Levys flesh-colored Untitled works. Casting them in a convincingly human flesh-like silicone, she has melded the sterile with the organic. What is most disconcerting about Levys works is how alive they appear the veins of the croissant are blue and it seems that blood might yet flow through them and yet how dead. The flesh-molds of two gourds sitting on a stretcher-like pedestal bear resemblance to the kind of curiosities one would find preserved in small jars at the back of an anatomy classroom. In this act of display, they seem to be left out for study, but also somehow presented for spectacle.

The exhibition also features a VR room, Integrated Scape Transducer, created by the MSHR art collective, with blacklight-lit wall patterns suggesting the glowing geometrical world that exists beyond the headset. The environment is woven together by a soundscape digital voices sing out from the speakers. By wearing the headset, the visitor is able to see and move through digital gateways, which change the sonic arrangement of the room. In this way, the physical and digital worlds are merged, and the headset-wearer becomes a performer unto herself. Observant visitors may learn to read the walls as an instruction manual, or a sort of digital sheet music, for how to make the room sing.

We no longer merely use technology; we can create entire worlds within it, and even whole new identities for ourselves. But this is not a one-way street. The physical world has become transformed by the digital as well, and beyond shaping the objects around us, this new technology has also molded our minds.

Past Skin

When: Through Sun., Sept. 10

Where: MoMA PS1, 22-25 Jackson Ave., Long Island City

Entry: $10; $5 students, seniors.

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A riot of color at Wildwood Tattoo Beach Bash – Shore News Today08.17.17

WILDWOOD It was a riot of color in both hairstyles and skin art last weekend at the Wildwood Convention Center as thousands of people turned out for the eighth annual Wildwood Tattoo Beach Bash.

Inkslingersfrom around the country, including many who were participants on the tattoo reality show, Ink Masters, set up shop inside the center, with buzzing tattoo machines and promises of permanent art.

Cindi Siderio, co-owner of Rebel Image in Rio Grande and one of the organizers of the event, said they expected as many as 7,000 people to pass through the convention center doors between Friday and Sunday.

We started with 88 booths seven years ago, and now we’re at 205,” Siderio said. “Many of those booths have multiple artists.”

The tattoo convention grows each year, she said, not only with artists, but vendors of all types.

This year weve got tattooers, jewelry, artists, the Circus Rejects, and ‘Ink Master’ TV stars from both the previous and current seasons, she said.

Siderio said the convention also features daily suspension shows, in which performers insert large steel hooks through their skin and are drawn into the air with a system of pulleys.

Enigma is here, too, she said. Hell be here all weekend. Enigma is famous in the skin-art world, both for his full-body, puzzle-piece tattoo, and his sideshow acts of sword-swallowing and being a human blockhead.

The latter involves a nail and a hammer.

An escape room was featured as the sideshow entertainment. Contestants had a handful of clues and 15 minutes to figure out how to get out of a locked and boarded trailer.

Some of the 300 tattoo artists that attended included Ink Master contestants Bang, Season 9; Gian Karle, Season 8; Alli Baker, Season 2; Angel Bauta, Season 5; Ashley Velazquez, Season 7; and James Vaughn, Season 1.

Other artists include Shannon Michael; Cohwen Allen, Cohwens Ink Emporium; Emily Asylum, 717 Tattoo; Tattoo Tony Rodriguez, Under My Skin Studio and Masami Inagaki, of the Dakini Tatto Art Collective.

Representatives of Inked Magazine and 247 Ink Magazine were also at the convention and sponsored a swimsuit contest at 4 p.m., Saturday hosted by Millz Marley, a tattoo artist and model. One of the prizes was a photo spread in both magazines.

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Album Review: THY ART IS MURDER Dear Desolation – Metal Injection.net08.17.17

In the past two years alone weve seen releases from the major deathcore bands that debuted back in the early 00s. Everyone from Whitechapel to Carnifex back in 2016, to more recently with Suicide Silence and Oceano. Throughout the genre many of these bands have attempted to reinvigorate their style. Since their 2010 debut The Adversary, Thy Art Is Murder have kept a consistent tone in their sound, leading them to their fourth studio LP Dear Desolation (Nuclear Blast). While the overall structure is pretty cookie cutter, the record from the get-go is a pounding adrenaline rush.

Dear Desolation is a pure deathcore enthusiasts wet dream. Everything one can imagine from the genres defining usage of blast beats and iconic breakdowns takes place. Vocalist CJ McMahon brings forth a vocalization that feels like a time machine, the guttural energy of his voice bringing back the feeling of those old school deathcore albums. These qualities appear in abundance in the records first single Slaves Beyond Death. McMahons voice bursts out before a metallic barrage of drums and blast beats. Playing alongside a dense and churning guitar rhythm, the track shifts into a dark melody that injects some flavor, setting forth a joyful chaotic flow. The Son Of Misery reflects this style, building on varying shifts in tempo throughout the progression. You either get the assault of speedy guitar tones that give off wicked vibes, or slower elements that vibrate with auras of gloom. As one of the LPs standout tracks, Puppet Master is a straight up banger. Ripping tempos meet aggressive instrumentation that let loose a savage energy.

Structure is the weak side to Dear Desolation. The repetitive chemistry can take one out of the music, for the formula to each song becomes easy to predict. On the other hand, one of the good thing about Dear Desolation is that while the flow of each track plays out similar from the last, the music produces such a wild energy and emotion, that one cant help but get into the hectic adrenaline. The actual structure may wear on certain listeners who prefer their music to be more technical or progressive, for there are fairly few spins that take place throughout the album to introduce anything new.

Death Dealer attempts to introduce some new changes, for its the first real time where a song begins with a slower approach. The guitar shines through with a melancholy ring that drapes a shade of gloom over the track. McMahons vocals pounce through with a menacing appeal as the work progresses to its core sound of blast beats and crunchy instrumentation. Man Is The Enemy plays around with this gloom-like aura in certain sections, while The Skin Of The Serpent continues with the same consistent playing weve come to know since the beginning of the album.

From the first track of Dear Desolation you get a decent understanding of how everything is going to sound. This black and white structure holds a lot of the music back from exploring new grounds and progressing to potentially more sinister levels. Other than that, Thy Art Is Murder packs a whole lot of pounding chaos into their work. Among the deathcore bands that have continued to create since the genre began, Thy Art Is Murder leans more towards maintaining that iconic style that was so heavily popular back in the day. Even though the structure takes some chemistry out of the equation, the band still gives a solid delivery that crushes with sharp and metallic instrumentation, along with vocalization that adds some nice inflections of emotion. Dear Desolation is an entertaining work that provides a sense of excitement that will please those looking for straight forward heavy music.

Score: 7/10

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The new Star Guardian splash arts have finally been revealedand they’re awesome – Dot Esports08.15.17

Since the new lineup of Star Guardian skins were revealed last week, the League of Legends community has been patiently waiting to see the artwork for the group.

Last year’s Star Guardian skins knocked their splash arts out of the park with infusions of Sailor Moon and an awesome anime style into the League world we all know and love. They certainly set the bar high for the second set of skins coming out next patch.

Well, they’ve finally arrived on the PBE, and trust usthey do not disappoint.

Each champion’s furry star companion is featured very prominently in their splash artwork, which makes these skins even more lovable. Between the brand new character models, ability and sound effects, voiceovers, and new animations, it’s clear a lot of effort went into these skins.

Players were expecting the same level of care in the art, and it’s clearly there. The brightly colored artwork definitely does justice to the in-game models of the skins. And with the patch arriving next week already, it won’t be long before we can all get our hands on them.

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Reclaiming the lost art of cutting up a whole chicken – Washington Post08.15.17

You could go your whole life without cutting up a whole raw chicken. But if its one of your favored proteins and America eats more chicken per person than any other nation on Earth learning how to do so is a smack-your-forehead, no-brainer endeavor. Its even a little empowering.

We have gotten awfully used to the convenience of buying cut-up chicken parts, which found a place in retail markets more than five decades ago. Today, two-thirds of the chicken we consume has been dismantled by someone else, and we are paying dearly for the service. Some peg the parts rise to our penchant for lean breast meat, while others say its because we shudder at the thought of carving up a pink, fleshy body.

We are a white-meat, boneless-skinless country, says Tom Super, senior vice president of communications for the National Chicken Council, a lobbying group with such serious intentions that it has relegated poultry recipes to its allied websites. His assessment is accurate and data- driven: We go for the wings and breasts. That means more of our dark-meat and other chicken parts are shipped abroad where they are prized, rightly so, for their flavor. One out of every five pounds of commercially raised meat chickens is exported. Sustainably savvy, but sad.

[Make the recipe: BBQ Chicken Skewers]

Nobody taught you. It seems intimidating. Well, you can call up one of dozens of how-to videos online, narrated by the precise language of Martha Stewart or the folksy patter of a Kraft Foods kitcheneer. Play a few in succession, and you will find the same technique, give or take an airline breast here and an order-of- business there. The moving hands use big chefs knives or poultry shears. Step by step, one side and then the other. Still, we are not motivated. What will it take?

The cost of convenience

We would love to know the same thing, says Daniel Salatin. The average American family could save thousands if they bought whole chickens and cut em up themselves.

He is operations manager for Polyface Farms in Swoope, Va., where his family and famous firebrand farmer father, Joel Salatin, run a sustainable clean meat enterprise. They say they sell 8,000 to 12,000 pastured chickens a year, with an eight-piece package priced at $4.65 per pound a buck more per pound than their whole birds. But Polyfaces boneless, skinless chicken breast halves cost $14 per pound. That price was calculated to offset any loss of sales on less-popular parts and to achieve the same revenue that the farms whole birds generated. Still, breasts are their top seller.

We didnt start cutting up birds until the early 2000s, Salatin says. There was a kind of perfect storm, as he sees it: Older, thriftier generations were doing less cooking. Families decreased in size. People lost the art and had the money to have someone else do the cutting. Plus, they were told that lean chicken was a more healthful meat option than beef.

The almighty factor is, of course, convenience. But when that is compared with the combined benefits of menu versatility, stretching food dollars and the surprising ease of the divvying itself, though, DIY butchery deserves consideration. A home cook with a family can make three meals from one whole chicken, Salatin says. But youd have to know what youre doing.

Brian Patterson knows what hes doing. He has broken down thousands of whole chickens. Start to finish, it takes him about two minutes, working at a smooth and steady pace. Washington- area cooks know him as the Knife Skills Guy at LAcademie de Cuisine, where the former restaurant chef taught culinary cuts on onions, carrots, tomatoes and mangoes in recreational classes at the schools suburban Maryland locations. A whole chicken, typically a 2 pounder, was the pice de rsistance.

[Cornish hens, a learning tool]

When his instruction moved to the schools professional culinary program, he found that his students had no more experience cutting up whole birds than the home cooks. Teaching them that skill has almost become a mission for him. The chef is all for removing some of the distance between people and processes of modern food: It was a critter. You get to understand the structure, which is valuable for someone whos carving a roasted bird as well, Patterson says.

More of his pro-cutting logic: The bird stays fresher longer when it is whole. Super of the chicken council is not so sure about that, but he does say that the U.S. Department of Agricultures Food Safety and Inspection Service set standards for, and began sampling, raw chicken parts for pathogens such as campylobacter and salmonella only in the past few years (as of February 2016); similar standards had been in place for whole birds since 1996.

Field work

If you eliminate the stress, They Will Cut.

Thats the takeaway lesson from my hands-on experience with newsroom colleagues. Over the past four months, sessions of five mostly millennial volunteers at a time spent an hour with me after work in the WaPoFood Lab their own knives in hand, to help familiarize the process of breaking down a bird. We made sure their tools were sharp enough for the task and not too large, because when you know how to cut up a chicken into eight or 10 pieces, you dont need to hack through a single bone.

Their reasons for wanting to learn were mainly 1. conquering poultry fears in a non- intimidating situation, 2. augmenting their life skills and 3. saving on food costs. Heartening!

The anatomy of the bird, being symmetrical, gives folks an immediate opportunity to practice what they have just learned. Remove one wingette, then do it again on the other side. One leg quarter, then the other. Treasures were uncovered along the way: Chefs and informed cooks know about the birds two oysters those dime-size disks of dark meat that sit in pockets on the underside. They are a tasty treat and a test, in Pattersons universe, of carving competence. The fact that the tenderloins were attached to the breast produced an aha moment every time. (Thats where they come from?) One buoyed participant figured the new skills would help with his Thanksgiving turkey carving, and he was right.

[Graphic: How to break down a whole chicken]

Each group noted how easy the task was, and the word empowering was mentioned more than once. Some knew the non-meaty parts are good for making stock and that the skin can be fried into crisp, sinful snacks. I bought chickens from different vendors and stores along the way, which prompted discussions about variations in skin color and tone, size and presence of a giblets packet the liver, heart and/or gizzard. (Large-scale processors tend to sell those off for other uses; small-scale farmers may sell them separately or upon customer request. But lately, none of those pieces are in high consumer demand.)

The subject of whether to rinse the chicken came up often. The Food and Drug Administration says no, as splashed water can spread bacteria. I understand the impulse to wash, because birds treated with a salt-solution for packing look like they are in need of a shower. But a few minutes of verticality over the garbage can, plus a pat-down with paper towels, will make them suitable for handling.

Poultry shears work, especially when you want to spatchcock, or butterfly, a whole bird by cutting through the backbone. Chicken on the bone cooks faster that way. For cutting chicken into parts, a six-inch knife with a thin, flexible blade is preferable. But ever since I watched the famous French chef Michel Roux break down a couple of chickens using my $5 serrated paring knife, I have followed suit.

You cut through skin to expose joints, which can be bent till they pop. You can cut close to that cartilage without brute force. You also cut along some thin lines of fat, as professionals do in seam butchery. Bones lend flavor, so leaving them in will improve the taste of most cut-up parts. But once you head down this road, you can see how the meat of a chicken thigh is easily teased away from the bone with short cutting strokes, attached marginally by cartilage at the top and bottom.

Using all the parts

Americans eat an average of 91 pounds of chicken per person per year, according to the NCCs Super. Even if we embraced the DIY bird breakdown, would we know what to do with all of it? Isnt just buying the bits we eat more economical in the long run than creating waste?

Again, a little education can do wonders, and looking into the chicken habits of other cultures is a fine place to start.

As a Filipino of a certain age, I learned how to kill the chicken, bleed it and cut it up when I was growing up, says Annie Cabayan Wilderman. As an assistant manager at Capitol Hill Poultry in Eastern Market, she sees people buying more parts than whole chickens, and she cringes at the thought of all those backs and necks going to waste: There is no focus on how to mitigate it in this country.

[Make the recipes: Annies Chicken Chayote Soup (Tinola); Annies Chicken Stew (Caldereta)]

On a recent weekend afternoon, she showed me how the gizzard (a muscle from the chickens stomach) and other giblets can be cooked, separately, to eliminate impurities, and used as flavor and texture enhancers. Chicken feet were offered as well: They are the tastiest! Thats why we dont use bouillon cubes. The giblets joined wing tips and other skin-on bony bits in a pot for a thorough saute. Then she added water, fresh ginger and a touch of seasoning blend known to Filipino cooks. Within an hour of furious bubbling, simple and inexpensive ingredients yielded an impressively chicken-y broth. Chayote, green papaya, baby bok choy and fresh pepper leaves completed the soup, which is called tinola in her native country.

In her take on the light-tasting Filipino stew, the meaty parts of the chicken got a similar saute treatment, a different seasoning blend and braise. She began by using a little salt and running water no fan of the FDA no-rinse guideline to get rid of what she calls some gooey membranes between skin and flesh. Wilderman cut each bone-in breast half crosswise into four or five pieces, stretching the number of servings and keeping the pieces close to the same size, which ensured their simultaneous doneness. Small potatoes cooked separately, frozen peas, fresh carrots and a last-minute addition of bell peppers lended color and crunch.

And because boneless, skinless chicken breasts offer little flavor yet sell so well, she brought along the makings for marinated chunks to be skewered and then grill-basted with a mahogany- colored ginger-soy sauce. They could pass for dark meat any day.

Surely all that food, from one whole chicken, makes learning the art of poultry butchering all the more opportune.

Daniel Salatin of Polyface Farms will join the Free Range chat Wednesday at noon: live.washingtonpost.com.

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Check out the five new Star Guardian skins for League of Legends – Slingshot Esports08.15.17

Splash art for the new Star Guardian skins featuringAhri, Ezreal, Miss Fortune, Soraka, and Syndra have all been added to the League of Legends Public Beta Environment.

The new batch of skins wasannounced Tuesdayand follows the original fiveStar Guardian skins for, Lux, Lulu, Poppy, Janna, and Jinx. Since the announcement, a video trailer for the release in Japan, a new game mode called Invasion, and figurines of the first five Star Guardians have all followed, feeding into the Start Guardian frenzy.

The Star Guardian skins have been someof the gamesmost celebrated and elaborateconcepts. Along with new particle effects, custom recalls, and sound effects, the previous Star Guardian expansion also had a fully animated 3D music video in both English and Japanese. There was also an online quiz that players could take, which unlocked a summoner icon upon completion. The skins are heavily influenced by the designs of Japans magical girl genre of anime, and the original ideawasa skin for only the champion Lux.

The new skins follow the skin lines trend of unique sound effects, visual flairs, particle effects, and custom recall animations.The Syndra, Soraka, Miss Fortune, and Ezreal skins will all cost1,350 Riot Points each (about $10),and Star Guardian Ahri will be 1,820 RP ($15). This is a trend that was mirrored with the previous release of the Star Guardian skins, as Star Guardian Jinx was the only skin that cost 1,820 RP.

As the most expensive of the bunch, Star Guardian Ahri will receive all of the new effects but also new voice lines, a unique recall animation and voice line interactions with certain champions. Check out all the skins below:

Star GuardianAhri

Star Guardian Ezreal

Star GuardianMiss Fortune

Star GuardianSoraka

Star GuardianSyndra

Photos courtesy of Riot Games

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This Artist Gets Around Instagram’s Nudity Guidelines by Painting Her Nipples – SELF08.15.17

Claudia Sahuquillo is a Barcelona-based artist who relies on a rather unconventional canvas: the human body. Sahuquillo has been celebrating the beauty of the human form through art for about a year now, and she’s been sharing her work on Instagram (@claudisahuquillo)where she’s amassed nearly 52,000 followers.

Sahuquillo began her work in 2016 by painting on her own skin. She then expanded her project to include other models, or “canvases,” whose skin she painted on. At first, she painted predetermined designs onto each model’s body. But she quickly shifted to a more improvisational approachallowing her interactions with each model to shape the final form each painting took.

“It’s not like I’m painting on paper or on canvasI’m painting on people. So the results depend on them,” Sahuquillo told Vice in an interview last year. “They lose their fear, and that’s the most beautiful part of the project I think.” Sahuquillo added that she loves to watch the progression from the beginning to the end of each piece, as people become increasingly comfortable “letting their bodies become an art piece and be part of the creative process.”

Sahuquillo’s work soon served as a commentary on Instagram’s censorship guidelines, though she didn’t intend for it to be one. As she uploaded her work to the social media site, she quickly realized photos of female nipples would be flagged by Instagram and taken downunless they were covered in paint. “It’s weird because I can’t post a photo of a nipple but I can post a photo of a nipple if it’s painted,” she said.

Sahuquillo’s method for skirting Instagram’s censorship guidelines is not only beautiful, but it also offers a sharp critique of the arbitrary standards that deem certain kinds of female nudity acceptable and others unacceptable.

See some of Sahuquillo’s stunning work below.

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You might also like: 9 Weird Nipple Things That Are Totally Normal

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Chicanx Tattoos: From Prison Badges to Venerated Latinx Culture – KCET08.15.17

Something happened when Miami Ink premiered on TLC in July 2005: tattoos became one of the biggest, if subtle, media fixations weve ever had, quickly becoming ubiquitous in ad campaigns, runway shows, fashion spreads, TV and movie characters in short, everywhere.

Twenty-five years ago, you rarely found ink on people who werent prison inmates, bikers, gang-members or sailors. Now all of a sudden they were popping up on models, celebrities, bankers, office workers and executives. Tattoos have spread to every socio-economic walk of life. In fact, as of 2016, over 36 percent of Americans 18-25 had at least one tattoo on their bodies.

Freddy Negretetattooing | Courtesy of the Artist

The most popular tattoos (or at least elements of them) were Chicanx-style. Despite adorning the flesh of some of the richest white people in the world, the technique behind those black and gray shaded portraits and photorealistic images was actually forged in SoCal prisons by Latinx inmates using homemade tattoo guns made out of cassette player motors. Known back in the day as prison tattoos (the industry now respectfully refers to them as black and grays), theyve definitely come a long way from the barrios of Southern California, proudly inked on celebrities like Justin Bieber, Johnny Depp, David Beckham, Adam Levine, Travis Barker, and too many to even name. For the third year running, Los Angeles is playing host to Antonio Pelayos Tatuaje, a one-night only festival celebrating Latinx tattoo culture that draws an average of4,000 attendees each year.

Watch Shizu Saldamando, whose works are in theNational Portrait Gallery, ink her works on skin in ArtboundSeason 2’s second episode.

Once upon a time, before he became the veritable father of mainstream Latinx tattoo art, Freddy Negrete sat in a cell at L.A.s Central Juvenile Hall, doing what he always did: drawing. Its a skill he picked up from his father and uncle, who were also self-taught artists. Prison artists, specifically. It was 1968, and before the decade was over, Negrete would be in and out of every sort of juvenile detention program in Southern California, where, mostly, theres nothing to do but wait. Or draw. You spend a lot of time drawing, Negrete explained.

In particular, he was drawing black and gray sketches inspired by the Chicano art movement that surrounded him in his community, depicting three-dot crosses, Old English lettering, saints, sombreros and images ubiquitous in lowrider culture. Those kinds of visuals were half of the Latinx tattoo style. The other half was the use of thin lines and black and gray shading to create photorealistic images something that no other school of tattooing was doing at the time. Back in those days, there were the mainstream, thick lined and cartoonish tattoos that hardly anyone was getting, and the thin-line black and gray Chicano tattoos that everyone in Negretes community seemed to have. You would even see peoples grandparents with tattoos, he says. It was accepted back then, but not as much as it is now.

Its in that cell in L.A.s Central Juvenile Hall that Negrete came face to face with a real Chicano gangster, only a little older than him, and covered with more tattoos than most cons twice his age.

Freddy Negrete | Courtesy of the artist

This cellmate taught Negrete how to create a pen by sticking a needle into the melted end of a toothbrush and using mascara as ink, and Negrete was hooked, poking his his first tattoo onto his arm as soon as he could. Already a skilled artist, Negrete spent every moment in jail practicing his tattooing technique on his fellow inmates. As the saying goes, it only takes 10,000 hours of practice to become a master at something, and Negrete didnt have much to do but draw tattoos. It was illegal back then too, but most of the guards, they just turned their back on that, Negrete explained. As long as we didnt kill each other.

There was actually a network inside the prison system of tattoo artists, and they all shared tips and designs (what they called patterns) with each other through the pen pal program, building followings but also propagating techniques and knowledge. Among the juvies, Negrete quickly built fame around his skill. One of his most recognized drawings was of a charra girl in Daisy Dukes. He also did his own take of the famous comedy and tragedy masks playing off the old tune Smile Now, Cry Later. Someone in Susanville Prison developed the first homemade tattoo gun using the motor of a cassette tape, and when Negrete made his own, it completely changed his game.

Negrete had spent his entire life up to that point doing drawings on paper, but took naturally to working with an ink needle. Many of his fellow tattoo artists in the prison system, however, had never spent much time on drawing or design prior to picking up a tattoo gun for the first time. I met so many amazing artists in that time, Negrete reflected. And for many of them, skin had been the first medium they had ever worked on.

After he got out of the joint, Negrete set up shop in his own apartment and quickly turned tattooing into a full-time career, thanks to the incredible demand for prison tattoos. His work caught the attention of Good Time Charlie, the owner of a tattoo shop in East L.A. of the same name. Charlie was trying to corner the prison-tattoo market as well. It wasnt long before Jack Huero Rudy, one of Charlies most popular tattoo artists, set up a meeting with Negrete. When he walked into the shop one of the first things he saw was the charra girl with Daisy Dukes that he drew, hanging on their wall. He explained it was his design, and the staff didnt believe him until he pulled the original drawing out of his portfolio book.

Freddy Negrete Tattooing | Courtesy of the Artist

What seemed like something that would have gotten Negrete hired on the spot led nowhere. Good Time Charlie had no interest in hiring a cholo gangster. That is, until he turned Christian, and sold his tattoo shop to Ed Hardy. Rudy made the introduction, and Hardy gave Negrete his first job in a studio.

As Good Time Charlie got busier and busier, it wasnt long before people started seeing Negrete and Rudys work (and work inspired by it) across the nation even the world. It was the dawn of MTV, and suddenly there were world-famous rock stars in music videos covered in black and gray ink. And there were millions of people who wanted to be like them.

Including the next generation of artists that would rise to fame in the next decade most notably among them, Gwen Stefani of No Doubt fame, with her arched eyeliner and chola-style tattoos. Stefani had (and continues to have) a pretty big cultural impact. By the turn of the Millennium, tattoos were practically mainstream, with Inked Magazine rolling out in 2004 and Miami Ink taking to the airwaves the very next year to premiere the first wave of tattoo artist celebrities: Ami James, Chris Nunez and Kat Von D to name a few. By the time Rihanna, Miley Cyrus, Lil Wayne and others started getting inked on a regular basis, tattoos, especially the black and gray photorealistic variety of Chicano heritage had gone global, barely recognizable (at least to the masses) as the creative heart of Chicano culture.

Flash forward nearly two decades to Antonio Pelayo, who, without realizing it was solving a problem. By then, he created an event to celebrate Latinx tattoo culture and raise awareness of the art form’s roots: Tatuaje Tattoo Festival. The annual event began its run in 2015, and has at least doubled in size since.

Pelayo has always had two careers running concurrently. On one track, hes an insanely talented illustrator that draws, very similar to the Chicanx tattoo style. The other career track is as a producer creating events that celebrate various aspects of Latinx art and culture.

How he became an event producer happened by accident, but it was always a natural evolution. Born in Glendale, CA, he spent much of his childhood in Mexico, leading Jehovahs Witnesses congregations of several hundred people at the young age of 13 and 14. When he returned to the States, he automatically found himself falling into leadership roles in every facet of his life.

Early on in his career, he spent a lot of time hustling to get his work shown in different venues around LA, mostly bars, with the occasional more traditional art spaces. I had a lot of people asking me for advice about how their kids could get into art, he said. Realizing he could help, he started referring friends to the venues he had exhibited at so they could show their work, which only brought more artists into this life. The network got so big that eventually realized he could branch out on his own and produce his own art showcase.

To this day, the biggest one he produces is El Velorio, a Dia de Los Muertos event that, among other things, showcases hundreds of Latinx artists from Southern California. Freddy Negrete was the first tattoo artist to approach Pelayo about showcasing his works on paper and canvas. And when Pelayo said yes, Negrete brought more into the fold.

Tatuaje Festival | Courtesy of Antonio Pelayo

Tatuaje Festival | Courtesy of Antonio Pelayo

Pelayo admits he was not very involved or even aware of tattoo culture until ten years ago, when he got his first tattoo. Like many Americans, he became more aware of this around the time Miami Ink rose to prominence. Since then, hes gotten two tattoos on his forearms, and allowed his girlfriend, a tattoo artist herself, to practice her skills on his legs (she did a great job). The black and white illustration technique hes mastered on paper also lends itself well to Chicano-style tattoo, so his designs have been used on skin on more than few occasions.

His most epic tattoo, however, is one of his smallest. When his son was just two years old, he drew a smiley face, and Pelayo left it up on the refrigerator for nearly two decades since. To commemorate his sons first professional art showcase, Pelayo got that drawing tattooed it on his hand. When people ask me about this one, Pelayo says, it actually makes some of them cry.

AntonioPelayo| Courtesy of Antonio Pelayo

As Pelayo became more and more familiar with the history of Chicanx tattoos, he realized there was something here that could power an entire separate event. And that became the basis for Tatuaje. 2017 is the third year of the event, and its going to be bigger than ever, with Danny Trejo returning as host, and Los Lobos, a Grammy-award winning band and one of the biggest in the Latinx music world, is the headlining act.

With Tatuaje, Pelayo might not be raising awareness of Chicano tattoo art, either but rather tapping into an interest thats always been there. El Velorio is still his biggest annual event, but Pelayo notes, The first year I did El Velorio, I only had 500 attendees. The first year I did Tatuaje, I had 2,000.

Since its inception in 2015, Negrete has been curating the art portion of Tatuaje, personally selecting hundreds of professional tattoo artists to exhibit their works on paper and canvas, many of them for the first time ever. Ive seen a lot of good artwork, says Negrete. Most tattoo artists are really into their tattooing [even though they have so much talent in other areas.] Its good for them to show their work like this. Johnny Quintana, one of the most famous Chicanx tattoo artists in LA, has actually flourished as a painter since first exhibiting with Pelayos events.

Its been a long cycle, but the evolution of Chicanx tattoo art seems to have finally come full circle. After going mainstream and becoming a visual style and technique used all over the world, Chicanx tattoos have now returned to and become a pillar of the community that originally spawned it.

Chicanx tattoos, and tattoos in general, will never go fully, fully mainstream though. It always has an element of darkness to it, says Negrete. It will always have the fire of something underground and special, because it hurts.

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Chicanx Tattoos: From Prison Badges to Venerated Latinx Culture – KCET

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Finding your Way Home at WayHome Music + Arts Festival [Event Recap] – EARMILK (blog)08.15.17

As the sun begins to set on the Burl’s Creek event grounds on Thursday, July 27th, festival attendees and campsites have begun to take over the make-shift campground for the weekend as part of the WayHome Music + Arts Festival experience. What has been deemed “Canada’s Bonnaroo”, WayHome is a three-day music festival which occurs every summer in Ore-Medonte, Ontario (an hour outside of Toronto). The festival prides itself on its diverse lineup, as well as its arts-oriented decoration and installations and this year was no exception. With Flume, Imagine Dragons & Frank Ocean as headliners, attendees were in for a treat this year in terms of musical acts, and with Perrier, TOPSHOP, MEC and Coors Light as festival sponsors, you knew on-site activations would be poppin’.

We took in all the sights and sounds at WayHome this year and experienced a Canadian festival unlike any other. From seeing Ryan Hemsworth inside the Perrier Greenhouse to a hot air balloon ride courtesy of Coors Light and from eating hot dogs covered in cheese sauce and fried jalapenos (thanks Kung Fu Dawg) and lounging in a hammock with free shaved-ice in hand from MEC, we truly found our “way home” that weekend.

Below are our musical act highlights over the entire weekend.

Vancouver-based nu-disco and funk producer Pat Lok kicked off day one of WayHome on a dancier note with the debut of his new live performance set up. He seamlessly played two keyboards and a drum kit while songs from his debut album Hold On Let Go accompanied. Pat gave the energetic early risers at the WayAway stage the perfect start to their busy weekend. Keep an eye out with our sit down interview with Pat Look within the next few days.

It’s the live set that just gets better Flume closed out the main stage of WayHome in a huge way. Adding to the preexisting Skin live set, the electronic producer featured tracks from Skin Companion EP I & II, as well as “Hyperreal” and his co-produced track “Yeah Right” for Vince Staples. Flume included additional visuals to his already stimulating set up.

A performance 10 years in the making well, for me anyways. I have been a fan of Justice since my high school days and FINALLY being able to see them was the cherry on top of everything. The French duo closed out the WayBright stage on the first night of the festival and could not be topped the rest of the weekend. Performing with their new live set up, the set was a mash up of Woman-era Justice with the Cross & Audio Visual Disco eras and featured intense lighting that almost made my brain explode. Well worth the wait.

If you’re still sleeping on THEY. what the heck are you doing? This was my second time seeing the Los Angeles boys, but first time as an avid listener. The duo performed the set I had seen a couple months prior, but brought a whole new energy to WayHome. Opening with their ZHU collaboration and smash hit “Working For It”, Dante and Drew flew through their tracks without skipping a beat or slowing down and, of course, had a ton of fun with it.

To the confusion of festival go-ers and the man himself, Schoolboy Q was the only rap artist to play the festival’s main stage, but it didn’t stop him from having one of the best performances of the weekend. The crowds I experienced at WayHome were “distracted” throughout 80% of the sets I saw, however this behaviour hit pause as soon as he hit the stage. Schoolboy had the crowd jumping and screaming with performances of “Collard Greens” and “Man of the Year”, as well as performing Kendrick Lamar’s “HUMBLE”.

Probably one of the most talented young electronic acts out nowadays Louis the Child brought some serious vibes to the WayAway stage late-afternoon for day two of WayHome. The boys danced and climbed (Robbie literally climbed the stage’s scaffolding) throughout their short one hour set, which featured favourites “Fire”, “Love is Alive”, “Weekend” and “It’s Strange”. The large crowd of young attendees ate every second of it and so did I.

Despite having technical difficulties, Hundred Waters gave an eerie-yet-ethereal performance in the late afternoon on the final day of WayHome. The group did half of their set acoustically and lead vocalist Nicole Miglis performed a stunning rendition of “Show Me Love”, which featured only her on the piano and vocals. Attendees were truly treated by being able to experience a half-acoustic, half-electronic performance from these musical pros.

Porter’s performance was just what the last day needed. Energy was definitely lacking in the final hours of the festival and with multiple performances still left in the evening, attendees needed a boost. Porter has been touring with the Worlds Live set up for just over three years now and has tweaked it multiple times along the way. The WayHome crowd was treated to the most up-to-date version, featuring Madeon-collab “Shelter” and a slew of new edits, which was stuffed into a one hour set packed with insane visuals. This was considered my official end to the festival (sorry Frank).

I also witnessed the goddess that is Solange, who had the second best performance of the weekend, as the sun set on day two. Sitting in the grass with her soulful voice washing over me as I gazed in awe of her very art-inspired performance was an unexpected yet welcomed surprise. Frank Ocean officially closed out WayHome 2017 with a beautiful and innovative yet kind of boring performance. Frank seemed a little distracted during his set as he changed his mind on songs multiple times and even forgot the lyrics to “Forrest Gump” (but redeemed himself quickly thanks to audience participation), but nonetheless, it was a cool performance to witness.

Connect with WayHome: Official website | Facebook | Twitter

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Finding your Way Home at WayHome Music + Arts Festival [Event Recap] – EARMILK (blog)

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