I don’t know about you, but I’ve pretty much had my fill of any TV series that makes tattoo its focus. I’ve checked out the most recent addition to the tattoo TV “reality” programming family – NY Ink – and found that while at the moment it’s slightly less annoying than LA Ink, the fact of the matter is that it just doesn’t deliver where a good series on tattooing should. If I watch a TV series about tattooing, I want to know about tattooing and not the fight that one tattooists is having with his girlfriend or another artist in the shop where he/she works. I want to see a focus on tattooists who are damn near legendary amongst the tatoo scene, artists who are never in the spotlight because all they care about is tattooing. I don’t care that some guy is getting a tattoo of a horse because him and his now deceased grandfather used to ride horses together. I only care about the artist, how they do their work and their thoughts on tattoo. No more, no less. Shit, I don’t even like TV.
Fortunately, there’s something new on the horizon. Over the years I’ve been an on again, off again reader of Vice Magazine. It’s always made me laugh, even though it often has a penchant for simply being contrary just for the sake of being contrary. In the last few years however, Vice has spread its wings and gone beyond the publishing world into the realm of web TV, creating VBS TV, which often has crazy good short documentaries and web series. There’s genuinely unbiased reporting going on here and they’ve covered everything from Iraqi punk bands living in a war zone to freaked out sex hotels in Tokyo. Now it seems that VBS has added a new series to its slate called Tattoo Age.
Tattoo Age follows some of the truly great tattooists in the game and talks to them about the craft that they’ve honed and continue to hone. The first episode stars heavyweights like Mike Rubendall, Dan Santoro, Freddy Corbin and one of my personal favourites, Grime.
‘”Tattoo Age” follows the likes of Freddy Corbin, Troy Denning, Dan Santoro, and Grime, and accompanies them in their creative process as well as their family lives.
The trailer, which was released on YouTube, gives explanations as to why the featured artists became as iconic as they are today. Corbin, for instance, who has been tattooing for almost 30 years, says: “It’ll be five years until you’ll be doing even halfway-good tattoos.”‘
I’m pumped for this. I believe that Vice will deliver the goods at a time when no one else seems to be able to do the tattoo industry justice in the video medium. Hell, even if it sucks it can’t be any worse than any of the other tattoo reality shows clogging up the TV airwaves.