Was it really only 2 years ago that we were sitting on the floor of the Sheraton Hotel for Troy Timpel’s Tattoo Arts Convention, close enough to photograph the sword as it slipped past Betty Bloomerz’s uvula? It was. And what a difference 2 years and the Pennsylvania Convention Center makes.
This past weekend marked Troy and his Villian Art’s 15th Annual Tattoo Arts Convention, and it was truly spectacular. With it’s thriving tattoo community, the Philly convention has become a virtual Who’s Who of tattoo artists. Philly convention regulars like Don “MF’ Juan, Permanent Mark, Myke Chambers and Chris Torres were joined by an array of reality tattoo show hotties like Meghan Massacre, Amy Nicoletta, and Sarah Miller.
Entertainment was above and beyond anything we’ve seen at the past shows. Tattoo contests were huge this year. Our favorite Clown Babe Reverend Mackenzie Moltov and her fellow babes were on hand for arials, and general sideshow awesomeness. Suspensions, burlesque and pin-ups, oh my! I did miss the Rigor Mortis Review this year, and that made me sad, but Scarlett Storm managed to walk around naked all night, and that’s never a bad thing. Somehow I also missed my favorite throw back to the days of Coney Island tattoos, Crazy Philadelphia Eddie, but that’s ok. I still have my signed copy of “Tattooing, The Life and Times of Crazy Philadelphia Eddie” from last year, in case I forget about his trials and tribulations punctuated by bouts of Syphilis.
I love the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention. I love seeing the art. I love watching the artists. I love the colors of the ink and the tools for sale. I love the glares sometimes get when we get when we photograph the artists. I love being surrounded by thousands of people who agree that every one looks hotter with ink. When I got my first tattoo, my artist said “Welcome to the Club”. Gotta say, this is the greatest membership ever!