By Kimberly Johnson
Empire Tattoo Studio’s Second Annual Art Festival
This weekend, Empire Tattoo Studio in Fontana is gearing up to show the community exactly how a tattoo parlor throws an art exhibition. We’re talking edgy appeal, the scent of graffiti paint pouring out of aerosol cans—this is where you want to go when highbrow sounds like a word to choke on and you want your curators with tattoo laden skin. It’s not every day a shop puts in the effort to utilize the parallels between tattoo culture and its closely related family lineage of artistry. As the name suggests, this is the second festival the shop has put together with intentions of bringing the community an event consisting of their own unique twists. Last year’s theme of Dia De Los Muertos has been swapped out for an even broader one, promising to bring the dark, the mystifying, the enigmatic and the sullen; the theme ladies and gentlemen, is death.
Two days following All Hallows Eve, the Empire Tattoo Studio walls will see some new dark decor— well so will their floor and even their parking lot, actually. If you were among the masses last year, then you already know these guys see the beauty in the phrase “the more the merrier.” Inside, mingle among the artists and check out works from Ramon Rendon, Shawn Warcott, Ben Ochoa, Katie Bradburn and many more. (It’s worth noting that exhibiting works from each of the shops in-house tattoo artists was a top notch choice on Empire’s part. Let them know you’re handy with that tattoo gun and a paint brush, damn it.) Outside, witness a bit of live art, grab some sponsor supplied Spider Energy drinks, check out the lineup of live performances and just lounge out; you are being offered an evening of all ages enjoyment free of charge, probably with the possibility of seeing an apparition also. People pay big bucks for that!
In all seriousness, these talented artists have worked long and hard to bring a collection of pieces that not only depict their perception of the essence of death, but also captivate the art community by bringing a contemporary art exhibit to an unconventional location. There has always been a divide among the art world on giving alternative mediums and messages a place to shine. So you can see why it stands as a testament to their commitment of their craft that they respond by making the opportunities available for themselves. Nov. 2, join Empire Tattoo Studio and their friends and fans in celebrating art, music, culture y muerte.