My social media streams have started to fill up with status updates and scores of photos from friends attending the 2017 APP Conference and Exposition in Las Vegas, Nevada. While the majority of activities won’t kick off until Monday, June 12th it seems like a lot of folks headed to Vegas early with over 1000 registered guests slated for this year’s event, which I’m told may be a record. I had planned on sitting out again this year, but the prospect of piercer/anthropologist Paul King’s 2017 offering encouraged me to book a trip out west for what promises to be a class that was made specifically with me in mind.
If you’re attending the Conference this year make sure to stop me and say hello!
You don’t need 2″ ears and a full black bodysuit to do that. The origins of our art form is tribal so that really only need exist in your heart. And you have to honor the traditions of our collective human mythology by incorporating tribal consciousness as well as aesthetics into what we do. – Blake Perlingieri, 2004
When I first saw a photo of Blake Perlingieri in Fakir Musafar’s BODY PLAY in 1991 the majority of people I knew in the piercing scene were decades older than me. My piercing elders would gently caution me against stretching my earlobes (despite me having 1/2″ nipple piercings and a meatotomy) for fear of public exposure and most of the clients of Jack Yount I was introduced to assumed I was his grandson not his friend and mentee. Aside from my brother, Brian Skellie and a few others the idea of a young, heavily tattooed and pierced person was generally considered a novelty in my community. Blake was only a few years older than me. He had 2″ earlobes (at that point mine were probably a humble 1/2″ or so) and tattoos that weren’t off-the-wall flash jobs that were there to prove you could be tattooed while saying nothing about the person wearing them. His photos assured me that the cultural shift that Jack had been telling me about- the old guard making room for the new generation- was coming.