Friday, September 24, 2010

Burning Man tattoos

This year's Burning Man was an incredible journey for me, and an amazing burn for all who attended. We experienced almost three full days without any dust storms, which has to be some kind of record for Burning Man. The weather was amazing, the art was amazing, the music was amazing, and the TATTOOS are always amazing.

First of all in the tattoo department, let me tell you the most wonderful story. On day two of the event, I wandered deep into the playa with my good friend Aaron Steiner. We were on our bicycles, looking at art installations way out in the deep playa. At one point I noticed what looked like an art installation that had fallen over or something. It was still quite far away, but I could see that something was up, and there was a pickup truck parked near it and some people milling about...I snapped a couple of pictures, and then headed towards the apparent wreckage of an art installation gone bad.

When I got close, a handsome fellow wearing a brown leather vest and a yellow skirt, came bounding up to me. "Hey man, our wall fell over, we need some help putting it back up!" he said. I immediately noticed that this guy had a beautiful Burning Man tattoo on his left upper arm. It was a gorgeous tattoo, and I asked him if I could take a photo of it. Sure he said, and as I readied my camera I asked him where he had it done. "Vancouver" he said, and as I asked him who did it, a strange wave of familiarity and certainty came over me. "A guy named Dave Nicholson at the Dutchman Tattoo shop" he said, and it hit me. Dave is the artist who did MY right arm sleeve, and he had been telling me about another guy he was doing a Burning Man tattoo for! As I started telling my new friend the story, he exploded in exclamation "Holy shit! You're the guy Dave's been telling me about, the guy who worked on the Heavy Metal movie?"

Well, it was an incredible meeting to say the least. Our mutual tattoo artist had been telling us about each other for the last year, and here we were, meeting in the middle of absolutely nowhere in the deep playa at Burning Man! At this point in my life, I don't really believe in coincidence. Think what you will, but this meeting was in my mind, a destined and very special occasion, orchestrated by mischievous elves from the 6th dimension!

Me and T-Bone posing with our Dave Nicholson tats

While I was at Burning Man, I took photos of tattoos that caught my eye, always asking the individual's if I could photograph them. People love showing off their tats. Here are some of my favorites.

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