Tatuaje festival

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In July, Los Angeles hosted the Tatuaje festival. What is the Tatuaje festival, you might ask? Well, let me explain.

Actually, it’s pretty straightforward. It’s a gigantic tattoo festival, this year held at Plaza de la Raza, in L.A. Artists and collectors from across the globe can be found here, including (but not limited to) Freddy Negrete, Mark Mahoney and Franco Vescovi. The beer poured like rain and the ink flowed like honey as people came together in this incredibly fun amalgamation of culture and art.

Hell, even Danny Trejo was found wandering around its halls. Between the tattoo exhibits, the live tattooing, body painting, a car show by Bombs Magazine, a bike show by Ted Alva, a fashion show by Wardrobe Divas and concerts, the event really held something for everyone.

The main-stage headliner was LP3 & The Tragedy, backed up by The Blackouts, Powerflex5, Gabba Gabba Heys and DJ Gargamel.

Now before we dazzle all of you with the photographs people were so kind to provide, here is some information on the event and its founder, Antonio Pelayo in his own words:

“I’ve been drawing since I was two years old, began working for Disney animation at age 19 and I’m 43 now. I started exhibiting my pencil art in 2002 at the Disney studios, I would then get asked by parents of young artists and aspiring artists for advice on how to exhibit their work. So I began to curate small exhibitions to showcase these artists.
I did that for a few years, then I decided to stop doing that and created a Day of the Dead event called El Velorio and launched it in 2010. It was an exhibit featuring about 20 artists; I had music, face painting, a photo booth, food and drinks. About 600 people showed up and that’s how I began producing these experiential events.

I produce La Bulla which is a Mexican wrestling event, L.A. Story (a Lowrider event), and now Tatuaje.

I teamed up with legend Freddy Negrete for a lot of reasons. He’s a good friend of mine and who better than to curate an all-tattoo artist exhibit but Freddy. Tatuaje was launched in 2015 at Plaza de la Raza in Lincoln Heights. It was a smash hit. Now it’s becoming a popular and favorite event in Los Angeles.”

A smash hit, indeed. This year’s event welcomed around 4,500 attendees and featured some of the very best artists and artisans around.

Antonio goes on to namedrop Carlos Torres, Nikko Hurtado, Jack Rudy, Johnny Quintana, Dr Woo, et cetera, et cetera, et cetera. The list goes on and on. Just from the flyer, there are probably 80 artists, at least, and these guys aren’t small time. Most of them are heavy-hitters in the tattoo world.

A portion of the proceeds went to Plaza de la Raza, who hosted the event. They are a wonderful non-profit focusing on teaching the arts to kids, and you can read all about them and how to donate or contribute (if you so desire) at plazadelaraza.org.

Antonio Pelayo himself hangs his digital hat at antoniopelayo.com, and his production company can be found at antoniopelayoprod.com.

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