Thursday, November 5, 2009

San Jose Wrap up

What a week! This past weekend, along with being Halloween, was the San Jose Convention of Tattoo Arts. That meant it was also the opening exhibition and book release of Bloodwork:Sleeves. (a little tattoo book I photographed). So, let's rewind to last Monday. Nate Banuelos and I got on the road early. The plan was to drive up the coast looking for surf and get to San Jose Wednesday to help Adrian Lee hang the art show. We made it to Morro Bay by early afternoon. After a friendly reminder, in the parking lot, that this was the realm of the men in grey suits,

we caught a session at the aptly named Hazards. The next morning after a quick session at the Cayucos Pier we were on our way up the 1 towards Santa Cruz. A through check (Manresa to Waddell Creek) showed nothing worth suiting up for, so it was over the hill to San Jose.

Wednesday and early Thursday was spent hanging the show and getting A.D. Gallery all ready to go. Thursday night, it was on. The exhibition went great (with the small exception of the purse snatching knucklehead.) The turn-out was heavy. Minds were blown. Good Karma provided munchies. Analog also had their 2 year anniversary party immediately afterwards where Ugly Winner and Panthelion rocked the crowd.

The Convention was a great experience. I've been to quite a few tattoo conventions over the years but Taki and Roman really take it to the next level. Along with gathering together a collection of the worlds preeminent working tattoo artists, they had on hand masters from bygone generations like Thom Devita, Goodtime Charlie, and Shanghai Kate. These are some of the folks who made tattooing what it is today. It was fascinating to get to meet these icons in person and hear their perspectives on the state of the industry. Mike Giant was also on hand doing live painting. We got to talking and he mentioned that he thought Bloodwork was the best tattoo photography he had ever seen. Coming from an artist I have so much respect and admiration for, that one comment alone could have made the entire project worthwhile.

Monday morning, after a great dinner the previous evening with an amazing group of people, Nate and I headed back over the hill to Santa Cruz. This time the surf was on. We scored peaky head high waves at Waddell which made the following 8 hour drive much more bearable. All in all it was a great trip. I learned a lot, meet some great new people, saw old friends I hadn't seen in some time, got good waves, and made cool photos. A big thank you to everyone involved. I can't wait until next year.

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