Category Archives: Photographers

Ron Garza, May 2005

Along with Steve Haworth, Ron Garza stands out as one of the most influential artists who’s work contributed to the popularization of aesthetic scarification in the post 1990s body modification scene; with a style informed by time spent piercing at tattoo shops (as well as innate artistic talent) Ron was able to bridge the gap between basic geometric shape cuttings/branding and larger, more intricate representational designs.

Ron was photographed by his friend and TSD collaborator Allen Falkner in Philadelphia at the first Scar Wars event back in May of 2005.

El Camino

Trying to write anything aobut Pat Tidwell without resorting to superlatives is proving impossible. Respected body piercer is a given; when I asked a few mutual friends to describe Tid in one word I got back legend and iconic a few times- but I think I’m going to go with psychedelic sherpa and leave it at that.

This photo was taken in 2006 at the Southern California SCARWARS2 event- either by Atom Moore or Rachel Larratt. (It was in a folder labeled ‘lost disc’ so…)

The Braille Encyclopedia

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A few weeks ago, some twelve years after it’s launch, I nuked the Scarwars.net blog. It was a long time coming but pulling the plug was strangely anti-climactic. Still, in the decade it was online the site hosted some damn fine content, so from time to time we’ll be featuring highlights here on Sacred Debris.

These photos (by Allen Falkner) date back to May of 2005 and feature Tom’s jaw-dropping full torso scarification by Dave Gillstrap. It remains one of my favorite large-scale cuttings.

SCARTISTS: Dave @ Scarwars 2005

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Another SCARTIST portrait by Scarwars 2005 event photographer Allen Falkner, this time featuring influential piercer/scarification artist Dave Gillstrap getting ready to start a cutting. I didn’t meet Dave until the morning of the first day of the 2005 event but his work definitely proceeded him and he went on to do some of the most impressive pieces that came out of the Scarwars events.

SCARtists: Blair @ Scarwars 2005

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I’ve spent the last few days sorting Allen Falkner’s photographs from the 2005 Scarwars Philadelphia event; it’s the first time in eleven years that I’ve looked at his output from that weekend as a body of work and not just individual photos- three discs so far- discs filled with so many amazing memories, images and personalities that it’s been hard to step away from the archival and prepare any of the images  for a Sacred Debris update.
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A new old look.

I was Cured: Jon

The core value of Sacred Debris is to resurrect old mementos and put a new shine on them. Photographs, videos and body modification culture ephemera from the last few decades all polished and presented in a new context..

Which is sort of what I’ve done with the site’s layout. I was never (even remotely) in love with the WordPress theme we’ve been using since launching the blog in 2014 and, frustrated, I made the move tonight to aesthetically merge Sacreddebris.com and it’s tattoo sister-site Occultvibrations.com to add some consistency to my two history sites. They’re remaining their own unique entities (with the occasional shared post) but will look like one cohesive site.

It may be confusing, but I assure you it’s for the greater good. Or at least my own satisfaction.

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Stop, Collaborate and Listen.

Wayde and Ryan

Sparrow Cutting

Collaboration was the heart of the Scarwars events; different artists working on the same client, sometimes in tandem, sometimes employing different techniques of disciplines of scarring- with each artist taking the role of student and teacher oftentimes during the same procedure. It was immensely satisfying watching different personalities working together to make their client happy.

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Charles Gatewood Memorial Celebration

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Friends, family, loved ones and admirers of the legendary Charles Gatewood will be meeting on Sunday July 3rd 2016 at the Center for Sex and Culture in San Francisco, California to celebrate his life and legacy. The Facebook RSVP will be your main source of up to date information: https://www.facebook.com/events/1573260856305045 with general details to follow:

“San Francisco’s Family Fetish Photographer”, Anthropologist, Author, True Believer, Beloved Friend and Brother

WHEN: Sunday, July 3rd, 2016
Gather: 4:30 PM
Memorial: 5:30 – 7:30
Afrerglow: 7:30 – 10pm

WHO IS INVITED: Everyone who would like to attend and remember and/or pay tribute to Charles Gatewood; old and new friends, fans, colleagues, admirers, lovers, as well as anyone who has been inspired by Charles’ work…..YOU!

PLEASE BRING: Memories, stories, art, performances, show and tell items, photos, altar items…There will be some open mic time for those that want to say or present something short. Be creative!

WHERE: Center for Sex and Culture, 1349 Mission Street (Between 9th and 10th streets), San Franciso, CA.

WHAT TO WEAR: Please come as you are or dress up if you like. Charles was an artist and loved toys, props, and accessories! Feel free to don your favorite fetish outfit or best costume.

CAMERAS: We will be documenting parts of the memorial for CSC and the Charles Gatewood archive. Those who choose not to be in any photos or videos will be honored.

ScarWars Two: Lotus

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According to my external hard drive “Wintermute” there are somewhere around 1,500 official photos from the ScarWars2 event that took place in February of 2006. That’s not counting the photos from artists/clients/attendees that I’ve never seen.

These images- #974 and #972 from event photographer Atom Moore- features Ron Garza working on a client’s back with the assistance of Thorsten Sekira.

http://www.rongarza.com

Well, that’s photography for you

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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.