Hell City Tattoo Fest at the Arizona Biltmore
photo by Ryan Wolf
Naked skin was at a premium over the weekend at the Hell City Tattoo Fest.
Thousands showed up at the Arizona Biltmore to show off their tattoos, get new ink, watch live painting, and gawk over the art gallery.
This year's event had an even larger turnout than last year's Hell City, and the majority of attendees were already covered in colorful, large-scale tattoos.
Vendor space consisted of six large rows of booths, filled with renowned tattoo artists from across the country and young upstarts alike. In the main hall, ink artists including Austin, Texas-based Nick Baxter, Taiwanese tattooist Jess Yen, and local shops like Zao Tattoo, Phoenix Tattoo Company, and Divinity Tattoo talked with and tattooed attendees.
Wet Paint artists created original art on stage all weekend.
And if the fistfuls of reality TV tattoo shows, the thousands of people who showed up to Hell City, and the countless jaw-dropping tattoos they sported weren't proof enough, the dozens of detailed acrylic and oil on canvas works there (ranging from fantastical landscapes to realistic portraits) further proved that tattooing is not just something sailors and convicts do anymore -- it's clearly a mainstream art form.
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