Currently reading : Art Tattoo Montreal 2014
During the first weekend of September, tattoo artists and collectors from all over the world returned the historic Windsor Station in downtown Montreal for the twelfth installment of the convention known formally as Art Tattoo Montreal. As usual, well before the convention opened to the public there was a lineup into the street – albeit this year, many attendees were subjected to waiting outside in a downpour of fall rain. Nevertheless, the rain did not put a damper on the event, and the former railway station quickly filled with eager visitors upon opening, staying that way for the next three days.
While the convention hosted a number of artists returning from the previous year, there was also a variety of less familiar faces, including, but certainly not limited to, Henning Jorgensen, Nick Collela, Norm, and Zac Scheinbaum. Unlike previous years, the convention also included two guest lectures by Chuck Eldridge, owner and operator of the Tattoo Archive in Winston Salem, North Carolina. While many tattoo conventions focus on showcasing some of the best contemporary tattooing, rarely do they include free educational seminars on the history of tattooing. Eldridge’s lectures on historic tattoo storefronts and former Toronto tattooer “Beachcomber Bill”, otherwise known as Ken Cotterell, provided a refreshing and much welcomed addition to the convention’s milieu from someone well versed in the history of tattooing.
It is hard to represent, in both words and images, the sensorial experience one feels when attending a tattoo convention. The constant buzzing of tattoo machines, the smell of antiseptic, the slow shuffling of bodies down narrow aisles, and the constant bombardment of imagery via tattooed skin, artist banners, portfolios, and merchandise, are just a few of the reoccurring encounters one has with his or her senses. The text and photographs contained in this post represent only a small fraction of the annual event, which truly has to be experienced in the flesh, whether or not one is being tattooed. That the convention is so well attended for so many years in a row testifies to its success. Yet, what is perhaps one of the most commendable characteristics of Art Tattoo Montreal is that it succeeds in being a truly inclusive and unpretentious event. Unlike many conventions and tattoo shops that set narrow focuses on those within the tattoo community, Art Tattoo Montreal has a real sense of community that finds few parallels in this subculture. It is not uncommon to see a number of families with young children, curious teenagers, and even the elderly at this convention. The fact that the convention is organized by the husband and wife team Pierre and Val Chapelan from Montreal’s TattooMania no doubt plays a crucial role in creating such a welcoming environment, which will hopefully be replicated in May, 2015, at the first ever Art Tattoo Quebec.
Please continue below to see a selection of other photos from the weekend. Click to enlarge.