Things have been pretty crazy lately. Between guest spots at Black 13 and Hope Gallery, time has been a little thin for updates. I was able to finish a blog for TAM about Krooked Ken, which they put up this week, thanks again everyone at TAM for the opportunity. I was really stoked on it, here’s a short exert.
“Walking into Powerhouse Tattoo Company in Montclair, New Jersey reminds me of everything that I love about tattooing. It’s a small space, but it is wide open. The lobby is covered floor to ceiling with flash, some old, some new, but all images that capture your eye. I found myself getting lost, just looking at everything around. Some particular pages caught my eyes that were painted by Krooked Ken, pages he had painted from old Stoney Sinclair designs. I love Stoney’s work, and his attitude toward tattooing, so this put a huge smile on my face, like a giddy kid. The work stations are also wide open, so everyone is involved in every tattoo being done. No matter how many people were tattooing, it could even be just one, everyone there was participating, talking shit, and laughing. Everything about the shop was tattooing to me, especially Krooked Ken.
I was lucky enough to get tattooed by Ken that day. After I entered the shop and took it all in, Ken came out to great me right away. Ken is one of the nicest, most approachable people I have ever met. After he greeted us, my girlfriend leaned over and gushed about how great he was. When we were talking about what I wanted to get done, I told him I wanted one of his signature pieces, which, if you don’t know, is his head put on a piece of iconic flash.
He asked what piece I wanted to work with, and I told him “The Don Hardy eagle, you know? THE eagle”. He just looked at me and smiled, “Oh, the one in the red book, got it.” He walked to the back, drew it up, and came back; that was that. We talked a bit about placement and made some jokes about images being forwards and backwards, and how little it really matters. When he placed the stencil, the eagle was facing outward, and he said, “It’s for our discussion on what’s backwards.” I just smiled, like a kid in a candy store. To me, that’s tattooing. The following stories are about how Krooked Ken got into the world of tattooing. It comes from our conversation while he was tattooing me so, it’s not just the story about how Ken started tattooing, it’s several stories, all wrapped up in an amazing conversation had while getting a great tattoo. I wanted to capture the atmosphere of how it is getting tattooed, the conversations, the stories, the random people interjecting, random stories coming out of nowhere, all of it. So I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I enjoyed hearing it.”
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