From Sept. 9 to 11th Place Bonaventure was literally abuzz with activity. Unlike other conventions and exhibits which have taken place at this venue this weekend the buzz in question came as the result of legions of dedicated tattoo artists hard at work their machines. The 14th Annual Art Tattoo Show Montreal featured over 250 artists from Canada and around the world as well as a wide array of vendors selling tattoo related merchandise. The show also included live music, tattoo competitions, and art exhibits. Whether you consider yourself to be a diehard tattoo aficionado, novice, or just curious onlooker the Art Tattoo show had something for everyone.
Tattooing has been around for thousands of years and yet innovations in style, technique, and the growing popularity of various body modification practices have all succeeded in putting a fresh spin on the art form. No where is this more evident than when browsing around the booths each highlighting the individual artistry and distinct style of each tattooist.
Among the talented artists attending this years show included Paul Wolk from Toronto’s Victory Tattoo whose been working in the industry for eight to ten years. Another Canadian artist, Richard Andrews, came to the Montreal trade show all the way from Honor Bound Tattoos in Calgary, Alberta.
Art Tattoo Show Montreal also featured a long list of artists from various parts of Canada, the U.S., and around the world. Canadian artists taking part this year included Karine Tremblay from the whimsically named Kitsch Tatouage in St. Thomas Joliette, Quebec, King Len from Halifax, N.S., Alex Duquette from Blue Bloods Tattoo in Ottawa, Emily Shoichet from Victoria B.C., and the intricate Asian work painstakingly rendered by Monkey King owner and artist Jeff Tam from Vancouver.
International artists at the show included Dan Banas from Liverpool, U.K, Sergey Shanko from Russia, France’s Guy Le Tatooer, Miss Juliet from Italy, Dusty from Hong Kong, and
Javier Gaona from InfieroTattoo in Mexico to name just a few.
Aside from the camera shy folks at Book Mistresses the majority of artists and vendors in attendance were very approachable and more than happy to show off their designs, prints, and other assorted wares. The staff at Moonglow jewelry, for example, were quick to demonstrate to customers how, after choosing a particularly significant day, they could determine what phase the moon was in at that specific time and then create a beautiful pendant designed to have special meaning for the individual.
The popularity of TV shows such as Ink Master and Tattoo Nightmares as well as the continued consumer interest in a wide variety of tattoo styles ranging from Polynesian to traditional old school, tribal, and Asian designs as well as more modern options such as trash polka and biomechanical proves that body art has never been more popular. Although the practise of tattooing dates back a very long time it’s clear that a new generation, influenced by tatted up musicians, actors, and athletes, are seeing to it that body art isn’t relagated to niche market status but rather has become mainstream.