Aug 5, 2014 7:23:00 PM
The names of these iconic tattoo artists can be found on tattoo shop walls across the globe, signed on sheets of their artwork, inspiring generations of tattooers. Ready to be copied onto skin or viewed solely as a piece of art itself, tattoo flash of great artists has furthered the evolution of tattooing as an art form and as a business. While custom tattooing garners the most attention these days for unique one-off works, flash offers collectors an opportunity to get a tattoo designed by someone they may not have an opportunity to meet, while providing tattooers a pre-made design to faithfully reproduce or use as a jumping off point for their own work.
Large libraries can be filled with all the books of flash that have been published; however, a collection comprised of the noted artists above and other world-class tattooers has not existed until the recent release of the gorgeous volumes TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - PART 1 and TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - Part 2.
Curated by Edgar Hoill and Matthias Reuss, these large-scale panorama books contain 168 pages of historic flash and also new works created specifically for this project by 78 tattoo artists. Printed on extra thick high quality paper, bound with a durable metal spiral, the sheets lay flat for easy flipping, and also easier removal should you wish to cut out and frame the art.
The books offer a broad spectrum of artistic styles, including lettering, realism, ancient marks and mandalas, woodblock prints, abstract graphic designs, Japanese and Chinese mythology, Neotribal, Nordic, black & grey Chicano tattoo motifs and much more. Not all pages are stylized with individual tattoo designs on one sheet; some sheets are drawn or painted as one complete work of art.
TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - PART I includes works by Horiyoshi III, Don Ed Hardy, Gau Bin, Jondix, Tim Hendricks, Brian Everett, Genko, Alex Horikitsune Reinke, Zele, Doug Hardy, Elle Festin, Tomasi Sulu'ape, Sanya Youalli, Yushi Takei, Enrique Castillo and many more. Also in this volume are flash from Ed Hardy's personal archive, including sheets by Norman "Sailor Jerry" Collins, Owen Jensen, Joe Lieber, and Bert Grimm.
TATTOO MASTERS FLASH COLLECTION - Part 2 includes works by the Leu family, Leo Zulueta, Luke Atkinson, Colin Dale, Indio Reyes, Jess Yen, Naoki, Goethe Silva, Krazy K, Olivier Julliand, Kurt Wiscombe, Chris Ayala, Andy Shou, Jean-Luc Navette, Brent McCown, Dimitri Hk, and Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura, among other greats. This volume also contains archival sheets from the Polish Tattoo Museum collection, including flash from Sailor Jerry, Ray Emms, Milton Zeis, Ted Hamilton and Leonard St. Clair.
Beyond the artwork, what makes this an important collection are the contributions by Dr. Matt Lodder, who provides a introduction on the history of flash, dating back to the birth of the Western professional tattoo industry in the late 19th century. Matt cites early examples of designs on paper specifically intended to be traced and transferred onto the skin as tattoos, including the famous C.H. Fellowes sketchbook, dating from around 1898.