Thom DeVita: Final Tattoo Age Episode

The last Thom DeVita episode is now up on Vice’s YouTube page, and it’s probably the best ending a Tattoo Age series has ever had. This video really goes into Thom’s work more than the other ones had before, which is absolutely fantastic. I think that I’m going to have a bit of an empty feeling next week when there isn’t a new episode.

This week, there’s a lot to be said about how Thom used to work (sans gloves!) with Freddie Clousen (apologies if that’s an incorrect spelling!). Freddie kept a lot of journals, which Robert Ryan now has. Robert shows some of the journals in the video, which is really cool. Freddie and Thom spent a lot of time working in New York, and it was actually Freddie who’d go to meet up with customers when they said they were nearby (as New York had made tattooing illegal at the time), and introduce people to Thom’s work.

There is also a lot in this video about Thom’s tattooing, and how he was one of the first in America to do tribal tattooing, or ‘black graphic designs’, as Ed Hardy calls them. Thom and Cliff Raven could never decide who out of the two of them started doing it first, but their work was a lot better than the tribal you see today.

There is also a focus on Thom’s fine artwork, and what he’s up to now. There’s photos from the Eye Tattooed America show, which was one of the first real art shows by tattooers. Now, we have tattooers putting on their own exhibitions all the time, but then it was really hard to put this kind of thing together. Thom still creates fine art all the time, and you can see some of it in this video- he’s doing these really great rubbings, what he calls ‘creative rubbings’, where he’s using acetate stencils for the outlines on black paper, and sometimes he’ll do landscapes and other cool stuff too.

Anyway, you really need to see this last episode, it’s fantastic. You can see it below, or on Vice’s YouTube page here.

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