In Episode 4 of The Tattoo Shop, Tattoodo and Facebook Watch's break out show, we meet a few colorful characters that are epitomes of the diverse and unique crowd that makes Miami the special place that it is.
Claudia La Bianca, is The Tattoo Shop's first visitor. Although born in Sicily, Claudia has been in Miami for almost 20 years and is a self-described “Wynwood Pioneer”. A seasoned veteran of the street art culture, Claudia is a mixed media artist who does graffiti, paints murals, and creates sculptures. She says "I use my art to empower women....and that's a reminder that we are already perfect the way we are." Coming from a family of strong female artists she asks Tommy Montoya to tattoo the quote, "Little girls with dreams become women with vision."
Art Basel is in town this episode and the guys go check it out. With over 250 art galleries participating, and more than 70,000 visitors, it's a great time to see the talent around the globe in the arts industry. Parties, events, and live art creation are only a few of the interesting and exciting aspects to this time of year.
Another surprising moment is when they see “Seen”, the proclaimed Godfather of Graffiti, doing a huge mural. Painting since 1973, he's heavily featured in the 1983 graffiti documentary, Style Wars. Ami says, "I knew about Seen when I was 11." Garver agrees, "He's pretty much the biggest graffiti legend that I know."
Antony Flemming, from London, England, guest spots and tattoos his wife Belle Jorden. "Ive always had difficulty describing my style but it's based in neotraditional but with a more realistic element to it." He talks about how he's always loved animals, even as a kid, and that it shows through his artwork. Using photos of real animals as reference, he collages his embellishments over it creating a cohesive piece. His inspiration includes Japanese woodblock prints as well, which he was exposed to while at school. "A lot of tattooing uses that imagery, and I decided I wanted to tattoo myself." Instead of going to college, Antony got an apprenticeship and continues to work at the same shop he got his start in.
Although obviously more known for his incredible tattoos than anything else, Chris Garver shares more about his work with ceramics. "I think I get tired of doing the same thing all the time so trying something new is good." The different mediums help him take a break from tattooing, but it's still a cathartic act. He explains while painting a ceramic bust, "I make time to do art. For me, it's something I have to do. If I don't create something I start feeling like...tripping out, ya know? People that are obsessive about working out, if they don't work out they get all agro...thats how I am with art."
Decorated with silver chains, tattoos, skull rings, and a bad ass bandana, we meet Marvin Baynes aka "Moose", Ami James' client of the day. Although from the outside he may seem rough and tough, Moose is a veterinarian of 17 years who has a seriously big heart. "I think when you judge a book by its cover you miss the opportunity of meeting somebody that could totally be awesome. You miss the opportunity of maybe meeting someone that you can learn something from." Ami gives him a tattoo of a skull wearing an old school motorcycle helmet. They connect on saving animals and riding motorcycles, and how sometimes being tough is about having compassion and strength when others don't.
Tune in next week for another awesome set of tattoos and stories in a city you love with the artists you love even more!