From convicts to conventions; TATTOO NATION follows the artistry of fine-line black and gray tattooing from its roots in the streets of East Los Angeles to its explosion into the world wide mainstream of today. The groundbreaking documentary, directed by Eric Schwartz and produced by John Corry, has been acclaimed for its detailed and accurate portrayal of the history of black and grey tattooing and have its world-wide primetime premier on SPIKE NETWORK, MARCH 11th 2014 at 8 P.M. EST.
Narrated by renowned tattoo artist, Corey Miller (also appearing in "L.A. INK"), TATTOO NATION explores the past through archival footage, photographs and candid interviews with artists who grew up learning from the East L.A. style of the 50's and 60's such as the seminal artists Charlie Cartwright and Jack Rudy as well as other key artists in the tattoo community; Ed Hardy, Tim Hendricks, Marc Mahoney, Mister Cartoon, Freddy Negrete, and Kate Hellenbrand, among others. Famous tattoo enthusiasts such as Danny Trejo, so weigh in on the history and personal stories behind the now widely celebrated art form.
It was through his artistic photo project in 2006, "The Tattooed", that director Eric Schwartz learned about the rich history of black and grey tattoo artistry embedded in the Chicano community of East Los Angeles. While he was photographing tattoos at conventions, Schwartz collected and was inspired by the stories behind tattoos and, more so, the imagery created by them. Schwartz has said of the art form, "Chicano Black and Grey tattoo is similar to Blues music, a beautiful art form born from a marginalized segment of our society. They influenced how people expressed themselves worldwide."
Once considered to be reserved only for inmates, sailors or those of 'ill repute', black and gray tattooing has evolved from make-shift machines made out of sharpened staples and ash-based inks to remarkably realistic portraits that now don the bodies of some of the biggest celebrities. This history is beautifully and artistically captured match on TATTOO NATION, which will be shown on prime-time for the first time world-wide on the SPIKE Network at 8 PM EST preceding their number one specialty show, "Ink Master."