Festival Solidifies Montreal As a Leading City for Tattooing
Montreal’s largest annual tattoo event made its big return last weekend after a two-year hiatus. This was the eighteenth edition of Art Tattoo Show Montreal, celebrating its 20-year anniversary.
The event was held downtown at Windsor Station from Friday Sept. 16th to Sunday 18th. Artists from 196 studios around the world showed off their work and practiced their art on the keenest of the attendees. Those wanting to get inked on the spot had limitless choices: nearly every style of tattoo art was represented at the event, from hand-poked Korean designs to neo-classic colorful art.
There were tattoos for all budgets as well, with small flashes starting at $120 to $150 and much, much bigger pieces for those who didn’t mind withstanding the curious gazes of onlookers over the several hours that a large tattoo can take.
“Normally it’s painful, but with a good vibe like this, with everyone around stalking and watching you, the vibe is really nice for getting tattooed,” said Cedric Guavremont as he proudly showed off a freshly inked eagle on his side rib. “I was half naked all the time, I just had half of my boxer just there and everyone was watching my ass, but I don’t care, everyone has already seen an ass.”
Beyond tattooing new clients, the convention was also a great place for artists to network with their peers. Sebastian Crow Choi drove from Ottawa for the occasion. “I had forgotten how much fun a convention is because you get to meet a lot of artists and the atmosphere is great, we all get to see each other’s work up close,” he said. “I’m selling some merch but I don’t really do it for the money, I just want people to know that I’m artistically available for tattoos whenever I come to Montreal.”
Local studios were also present in high numbers. Juliette Albeaux from Le Malandrin studio on 282 Rachel St. said that she barely knew most of the local artists, as they never have time to cross paths. “There’s a great artistic exchange, people give each other many tips, share a lot, I’d say we consider ourselves colleagues rather than competitors,” Albeaux said.
As for the last editions, the show was put together and presented by another local shop, Studio Tattoo Mania on 5335 St. Laurent Blvd.. Pierre Chapelan and his wife Valerie Edmond hand-pick every single exhibiting artist. “It’s hard [to make that selection] Because nowadays, a lot of people are really great, so we have a long waiting list,” said Chapelan. “It’s a huge platform for them because Art Tattoo Montreal is well known in the circuit of conventions, so if you’re able to make it here, it’s kind of cool on your curriculum vitae.”
This edition of Montreal’s tattoo art show might be over, but the city’s tattoo scene remains vibrant, alive and well, and will gather again next year for more inking.