Tag Archives: Association of Professional Piercers

BSTA: Darryl Carlton (Divinity P. Fudge)

Ari – Where did you first meet Ron (Athey)?

Divinity – I met Ron at Cuffs – it was the premier leather spot, a dark little place but not very big.  It was very macho and leather, and I was drawn to that masculinity. I was just hanging out and Terry, my drag mother, it’s where he went out, so one night I went with him, and then after a while I went on my own. One night Ron came in and we met each other and started talking. We were both reading Dennis Cooper at the time. 

Ari – Can you tell us about Dennis Cooper?

Divinity – Dennis Cooper was a gay writer- he did a lot of writing about being gay and how to maneuver in society and being true to yourself. He did a lot of really cool exposé on gay life. He was from California and that was interesting to me because for some strange reason I’d always found the idea of going to California really attractive. Something was always telling me to go there but I didn’t know what it was. Once I got there I realized what it was; it was a place I needed to be. All the places I’d been before like New Orleans and Michigan were conservative and moving out to California was really freeing for me. It was like, “oh, possibilities are endless out here!” It was a lot of good reading for me. I read a lot of Brion Gysin as well. A lot of people were like, “you’re black, why are you reading that?” I was like “I don’t know!” It was just really interesting to me. Continue reading

BSTA: Bethrah Szumski

Ari – Did you feel like going through a tattoo apprenticeship, and being so enmeshed in the tattoo industry, influenced you as a piercer?

Bethrah – Oh yeah, it influenced the entire piercing community in some really interesting ways that people don’t know. I think they’re really different sensibilities – I think there are some interesting up and down sides of both disciplines. The downside of tattooing is you’re judged exclusively for your capacity to make really beautiful art, or really interesting art, and how well you’re applying it to the skin. But you’re not necessarily critiqued on other aspects of what you do like health and safety and general sanitation; the burden of you as a professional isn’t placed on that. You can do amazing art and just be the most dirty, grimy tattoo artist and people aren’t going to worry about it very much. You won’t get blasted for it in the community. I see that in tattoo shops – I can’t even tell you how many times the owner has been super proud and their shop is really beautiful, but the biohazard is in a closet on the way to the bathroom where from a health and safety perspective it’s like, “Oh this place is horrible! I would never get tattooed here.” – but they’re famous! Granted these are sweeping generalizations, and not always the case. There are plenty of tattoo artists who are amazing who are super clean and conscientious and have well thought out studios in all aspects of what they’re doing. It’s just a pitfall based on what’s considered a value. It’s almost the opposite on the piercing end. People are so heavily critiqued on their method that the aesthetic of what they’re doing is almost completely under-addressed. Does it look straight or does it seem even can be addressed at times but whether or not it’s on the right place in the body falls by the wayside. I had this discussion with a guy from Russia – is it art or is it technique? – and I said it’s both. If you don’t know about art or understand color theory and don’t understand spacial perception and composition, it shows in your work. It’s clear in your work if you don’t have these things. Continue reading

Well, that’s photography for you

charlesgatewoodsacred

I’ve been lucky in my life to have met a great number of people that I would consider to be a “big influence” on me; for the most part I’ve kept my cool when our paths finally crossed- after all they’re just regular folks despite their accomplishments and I try not to get too star struck or fanboy-y.

On May 5th 2009 I found myself pacing in the hallway at the Tropicana hotel in Las Vegas, for once honest to goodness nervous, about introducing myself to Charles Gatewood. More than ‘just’ a photographer, Gatewood has been a documentarian and anthropologist without rival for the last five decades, capturing emerging subcultures before anyone else even knows they exist. Bikers, Mardi Gras revelers, Nudists, Wall Street stooges, Leathermen, Rock’n’Rollers and Modern Primitives- his cameras were always there to capture a time and place that few others dared to go.

How could I not be nervous?

A few seconds after a mumbled “Mister Gatewood, do you have a minute?” greeting, I was put instantly at ease by his charm, kindness and humor. We chatted, nothing serious, and I finally girded up the stones to ask him- the man who did a book with Burroughs and introduced Fakir Musafar to the Re/Search folks- if I could ask to take his picture. He smiled and said “of course,”

I snapped the shot, we chatted a few more minutes and went our separate ways. The next day I told him that I blew the shot- poor lighting, slightly out of focus and he smiled- again that smile- and said “well, that’s photography for you!”

On April 8th 2016 Charles suffered a fall from a third floor balcony. He’s been placed in palliative care and is in the care of an amazing Hospital team as well as his friends and family. His longtime friend Annie Sprinkle had this to say:

He’s in the best ICU in California, his nurses, doctors, and the palliative care team is excellent. Charles even has some nurses who know him personally. We were all sad, but also relieved he was on his way to freedom from suffering. So now is the time to send him lots of LOVE and support, pray if you pray, dance if you dance, or do whatever it is you do, and let him know energetically that you care. I personally believe he will feel it. It just might help. The medical team can’t predict how long Charles will be in this world; perhaps hours, perhaps days, weeks.. no one knows…It’s strange to tell you this on FB. But a consensus of a few of Charles’ friends agreed that the energetic support is more important than being super private right now. Also taking into consideration how Charles publicly shared intimate details of his personal life through his art. Plus we felt that his many friends and colleagues around the world might want to know to be part of this next chapter and this process.

At 12:30am on April 28th, 2016 Charles Gatewood passed away. He was 73 years old. His partner Eva was holding his hand as he passed. Rest in Peace, Charles, and thank you.

APP2015: ELDERLORE w/ Blake Perlingieri

NOMAD

Kristian White, Jack Yount and Blake Perlingieri at Nomad Body Piercing, early 1990s.

We’re only a few months away from the 2015 APP Conference and Exposition.
This year marks the 20th anniversary of the first APP expo and they’re going to be offering some amazing history/anthro classes that we’ll be highlighting on SD over the next few weeks. First up is a class that only has 80 spots still available as of today- so if you’re interested in attending make sure you get in before it’s sold out.

For more information about registering for this year’s APP Conference, visit www.safepiercing.org‘s registration portal.


Elderlore:
Concepts and Trends in the Early Industry Days by Blake Perlingieri

Blake will discuss EARLY revolutionary piercing procedures and techniques including “large gauge” and “freehand” and narrate their pre-Nomad origins, as well their incorporation into the early industry. Also discussed will be the development of the “NOMAD tribal aesthetic”, which raised the bar for what piercers could do with their own bodies as well as clients. Detailed and narration/power point will include archival, never before seen photos dating back 25 years

Blake began his professional career in San Francisco in 1990 at Body Manipulations. In 1993, Blake and his former partner, Kristian founded Nomad, the first tribal studio in the industry. In 1994 Nomad, Gauntlet, Body M and a few others formed the APP. In 2004, Blake presented the APP keynote/anthropology lecture, and simultaneously released his book “A Brief History of the Evolution of Body Adornment” with Fakir and his book, “Spirit and Flesh.” In 2005 Blake released his double DVD of freehand technique and genital procedures which was a BME bestseller. In 2006 Blake presented the “anthropology lecture” to the FIRST Mexico/APP. In 2010, Blake was the assistant curator at the Portland Art Museum for a major exhibit of Pre-Colombian and antique jewelry, and donated much of his collection to the museum and presented a series of lectures there. Blake has three children of his own and continues to preach the “tribal gospel” at Nomad. Nomad is the oldest continuously owner operated piercing studio in the industry at 22 years.