My chest piece was done in one sitting by my friend Jason Angst at the Brew City Tattoo Convention in 2009 (He won tattoo of the day for it). I got this tattoo at a time when a lot of friends of mine were going through a really hard time related to family problems and state repression and various other legal troubles. The quote across the banner is “we are the birds of a coming storm” which is a paraphrasing of the infamous words of the Haymarket martyr, August Spies. Spies was an anarchist agitator in Chicago who was sentenced to death for his fiery views and convictions. His last words before being hung were “the day will come when our silence will be more powerful than the voices you strangle today.” In a way, thinking about his words was a way for me to deal with the difficulties my friends and I were going through and to remember that though we felt alone at times, a whole redemptive storm would follow someday.
Also by Jason Angst. Medusa is often mythologized as a symbol of femme / feminist vengeance against patriarchal power. When I got this, most of the female assigned people in my life (including my mother) were dealing with bad behavior of men in various ways and capacities. People I thought I could trust, or who were maybe positive examples of how to not be misogynist were proving me wrong left and right. This affected me in a pretty serious way and I had to re-evaluate a lot of the ways I thought about gendered violence and resistance to it. I got a tattoo of medusa as a bit of a solidarity gesture with everyone in my life dealing with violence or pain because of their place in our gendered world. The tattoo is based on a painting by Caravaggio.
My first and dearest tattoo, by Gifford Kasen . “Filth is my politics! Filth is my life!”
Live in the Sf bay area and have some ink you’d like to show off, or are a tattoo artist who just finished a really cool piece? Contact me about a shoot. I’m always looking for people with creative and interesting tats to work with.