By Chesney Hearst, Senior Contributing Reporter
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Helping to welcome in the new year Tattoo Week returns to Rio this weekend for its second edition. Featuring forty foreign tattoo artists and the biggest names in Brazilian body art work, the event will take over 220 stands in Barra da Tijuca’s RioCentro’s ‘Pavilion 2’ from Friday, January 3rd through Sunday, January 5th.
Organized by MegaWartz, a Rio de Janeiro native, and Klan Tattoo, from São Paulo, the focus of the convention is to strengthen connections between tattoo artists and to demonstrate the value and artistry of the craft. The first edition of the event was held last year in the city’s Port Zone in Pier Maua and showcased the growing tattoo and body art market in Rio.
“The response in Brazil [during the first edition] was excellent,” organizer and tattoo artist Ganso Galvão, better known as MegaWartz, told The Rio Times. “We managed to attract 20,000 people to the Pier Maua and this success put Rio de Janeiro on the circuit of major international conventions.”
“Another way to measure last year’s success,” Galvão continued, “is that we sold all two hunderd booths this year and also had to create another fifteen to meet the amount of professional studios interested in participating.”
Tattoo artists for the second edition of the convention were chosen according to their skill level and areas of expertise, according to Galvão. “We sought to invite international artists who have specializations in certain styles,” explained Galvão, who began tattooing members of his family at age fifteen and who, after being influenced by punk rock, adopted the practice as a lifestyle around age twenty.
“This year [the tattoo artists] were chosen by category,” Galvão said. “New Zealand is tribal, the Chinese artists have an Asian style; Americans prefer the black and gray Mexican style and the current European trends blend realism with old school [styles].”
Notable convention participants include international tattooists; German artists Adri and Randy Engelhard; Lory Moratto from New Zealand; Netherlands native, Acquo; Irish tattooist Remis Cizauskas; and Jonny Mesquita from Portugal. While notable national tattooists include; Rio de Janeiro native, Sylvio Freitas and Ganso Galvão himself.
Also during the convention artists; Inácio da Glória from Guarujá; Bahian artist Binga; Espírito Santo native Ozéias, Paulista (São Paulo native) André Rodrigues and Rio native, journalist and author of the book “O Brasil Tatuado” (“The Tattooed Brazil”), Tony Marques will be honored.
A mix of live rock, rap and reggae music will be provided during the convention by; Thamuya, Thrash and Black Dog on the opening day, January 3rd; Cidade Verde Sounds, DubMastor and Adonai on January 4th; and MC Marechal, Eletrobase, Oriente and Lu Baratz & Bloco Cru on the closing day, January 5th.
Additionally, to round out the festival, there will be workshops, lectures, and contests including; championships tattoos and “Miss Tattoo.”
“The tattoo [scene] in Rio has grown, especially in the last two years,” said Galvão. “The number of people ranging in ages and the number of women who are tattooed gives new visibility to the works and this increases the techniques.”
“During this year’s event, we have artists and studios from Zona Sul [South Zone], Barra [da Tijuca], Zona Norte [North Zone], Baixada Fluminense [Lowlands] and Centro [Downtown],” Galvão concluded. “In this way we can also see the advancement of the art and realize that many people choose tattoos/tattooing as a profession and lifestyle.”
What: Tattoo Week Rio 2014
When: Friday through Sunday, January 3rd, 4th and 5th, 2PM to 10PM
Where: RioCentro, Pavilion 2, Av. Salvador Allende 6555, Barra da Tijuca
Entrance: R$40 (R$20 half price available for seniors and students), tickets are available for purchase at: MegaWartz Tattoo (Centro), King Seven (Copacabana), and Banzai Tattoo (Tijuca) and (Barra) locations.