I made it home from the quiet retreat of the Paradise Tattoo Gathering at Jiminy Peak in Hancock, Massachusetts where I rode the scenic chair lift up and the down a mountain a handful of times.
Paradise was in a valley of mountains crowned with large white Turbines not unlike what I picture a futuristic Don Quixote attacking.
When standing close to a turbine you can hear the powerfully gentle hum of its reaching blades slowly cartwheeling above you.
Below, at the foot of the mountain, tattooing by some of today’s best artists was occurring in wooden lodges while others spent the day painting in various rooms.
We all welcomed Fall in the courtyard of Jiminy Peak as it dropped to about 39 degrees on our second night there.
Needless to say we all had an incredible time.
One of the many things I took away from this weekend is how great and interesting an artist Robert Ryan is. From what I gather he is a freaking tattoo-shaman.
My tattooer friends took a course he taught at Paradise entitled Tattooing As The Iconographic Corpse Alter.
Rather jealous I did not get to sit in on this class. Luckily though, I was given pretty in depth spark notes from my friend, Pepper.
Ryan is a really knowledgeable artist who definitely has found his niche in tattooing and painting by using powerful symbols found all over the world, in all religions, from past and present. His work is filled with a mystical presence mixed into a bold traditional style.
I will without a doubt be traveling to him in New Jersey @ Electric Tattoo for a tattoo. Make sure to check out their shop website because everyone who tattoos there is talented.
I’ll leave off with an excerpt from the book The Way of Tarot, an excerpt Robert Ryan read aloud in his course. It was written by Alejandro Jodorowsky, the man responsible for the movie The Holy Mountain and El Topo.
In this excerpt Jodorowsky speaks as the Devil.
And If The Devil Spoke
“In the depths of the depths of the depths, no one lives any deeper than I do. I am the source of all abysses. I am the one who gives life to dark grottos, the one who knows the center around which turn all densities. I am the viscosity of everything that vainly attempts to be definite: the supreme strength of magma; the stench that denounces the hypocrisy of perfumes; the carrion mother of every flower; the corruptor of vain minds who wallow in perfection.”