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Tuesday, October 20, 2015

The SPCA Parties Down, Pet Adoption Rates Go Up

Posted By on Tue, Oct 20, 2015 at 11:00 AM

  • Ali Wunderman
  • Duffy <3

On Friday the San Francisco SPCA threw a party for the ages, a ramen-fueled hootenanny resulting in the adoption of 25 of their animals.

As an avid supporter of the organization (and the rescuing of animals in general), I decided to stop by to see what kind of shindig the SPCA could host. It turns out a pretty awesome one, considering they sold out of their tickets and ended up with a line almost around the corner when I arrived an hour after their doors were open.

The City’s most popular ramen-themed food trucks attracted lines of their own, as did the beverage services. Like the event tickets, drinks were technically free, though donating money was encouraged. To my surprise and delight, the bartenders assured me that people were giving well above the suggested donation of $5, with whole $20 bills lining the contribution boxes.

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Monday, July 9, 2012

Book Explores Tattoo Culture through Paintings, Badassery

Posted By on Mon, Jul 9, 2012 at 3:30 AM


To say that Shawn Barber has an obsessive appreciation for tattoos would be an understatement. The tattoo artist and painter has 227 tattoos himself and several breathtaking paintings of other tattooed bodies (like Margaret Cho above) in his new book, Memoir: The Tattooed Portraits Series. This is Barber's third book showcasing his painted portraits, but Barber writes, "this homage is still in its infancy."

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Monday, March 26, 2012

Jean Paul Gaultier and Dita Von Teese Talk Couture, Tattoos, Vintage Shopping in S.F.

Posted By on Mon, Mar 26, 2012 at 12:00 PM

Fashion icons Dita Von Teese and Jean Paul Gaultier celebrate Gaultier's exhibition at La Grande Fete on Friday at the de Young Museum. - KATE CONGER
  • Kate Conger
  • Fashion icons Dita Von Teese and Jean Paul Gaultier celebrate Gaultier's exhibition at La Grande Fete on Friday at the de Young Museum.

Known in the fashion world as the enfant terrible, Jean Paul Gaultier maintains his exuberantly youthful attitude after nearly 40 years as an haute couture designer. It's apparent in his abundant enthusiasm for telling stories -- particularly about growing up with his grandmother -- as well as his consistent chuckle and his stride, which is occasionally punctuated with little skips.

The couturier, in San Francisco for the unveiling of his retrospective exhibition at the de Young Museum, earned the nickname in his school days. Always an outcast because he didn't play football, he recounts getting his knuckles smacked by a teacher for sketching a Foiles Bergère girl during class. The teacher safety-pinned the sketch to the back of his shirt and made him parade around the classroom with it, hoping to humiliate him. Instead, the sketch won him acceptance among the other boys, who asked him to draw similar pictures for them to keep. This formative experience led the French bad-boy to realize that his drawing was "like a passport" that would open doors for him throughout his life.

"It gave me some kind of strongness in myself," Gaultier said. "Through my sketch, I could do whatever I wanted."

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Thursday, February 16, 2012

Skin for Sale: Auction and Fundraiser Lead to Two New Tattoos for SPCA's Laura Gretch

Posted By on Thu, Feb 16, 2012 at 11:30 AM

Laura Gretch and Jackson Galaxy now sport matching ink.
  • Laura Gretch and Jackson Galaxy now sport matching ink.

Last week we told you about Laura Gretch of the San Francisco SPCA: She agreed to let the highest bidder in an eBay auction choose her next tattoo, and then get the winning design permanently applied at a fundraising event. Well, the auction brought in $550, and Gretch got not one tattoo but two -- and Jackson Galaxy of Animal Planet was so impressed, he got a copy of one of Laura's. The Friday event drew about 500 people, Gretch says, while more than 100 animals found new homes. It raised more than $4,000 (including the $550 from the auction), she says. She also reports there were so many people there, Flexx Bronco's Voodoo Van food truck ran out of food.

But more about those tattoos. Click through to see the winning design.

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Thursday, February 9, 2012

Skin for Sale: SPCA's Laura Gretch to Let Auction Decide Her Next Tattoo

Posted By on Thu, Feb 9, 2012 at 2:00 PM

Laura Gretch gets new ink Friday night.
  • Laura Gretch gets new ink Friday night.

When we think of pet adoption drives, we think of Saturday mornings in a Petco parking lot, not tattoos, cocktails, and auctions. But the latter is what you'll get Friday night, as Laura Gretch of the San Francisco SPCA will get a tattoo -- one that's chosen by the highest bidder on an eBay auction. (Last we looked, the high bid was $172. Update: The auction has ended -- and the winning bid is $550!) Ken Een of Frisco Tattoo will administer the winning design -- although Gretch will choose where it goes.

The Friday event marks the start of the two-day Be Mine Valentine's Adopt-a-thon drive that includes food, drinks, lowered adoption fees, a puppy-kissing booth, and a "cat whisperer." Een will also do more tattoos, each for around $30.

As tattoos often do, Gretch's speak to her passion -- in this case, animals. (She's known as the "Feral Cat Wrangler.") Her left shoulder is adorned with the image of Toby the cat, one of her earliest inspirations for becoming involved with animal welfare, and ultimately the San Francisco SPCA.

"I've been getting tattooed more than half my life," Gretch says. "A lot are animal-themed, some from passed-away animals -- from sharks to cats."

The idea of auctioning off her skin -- permanently -- is nothing new.

"It's another way that I live and breathe what I do," she says "It's another way of expressing that and showing what this organization means to me and the animals of San Francisco."

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Friday, October 14, 2011

Ten Things Your Tattoo Artist Wants to Set You Straight On

Posted By on Fri, Oct 14, 2011 at 9:00 AM


Tattooing is art, and those who place tattoos on our bodies are, simply put, artists. This means that when you stumble into the tattoo parlor with a bellyful of Patron shots and a hankering for a tramp stamp, there are some basic guidelines to follow.

We sat down with the owner of a prominent San Francisco tattoo shop (name withheld at owner's request) to mine some of the most frowned-upon tattoo patron behaviors. Ink-hungry denizens of San Francisco, you've been warned.

Pregnant Women Will Remain Un-Inked

I know there are lot of hormones racing around around the body of your typical pregnant woman, but there are serious health concerns inherent in placing a tattoo on that glowing, expectant-mother skin. It's bad for the baby. Yes, these women would sign a waiver, but we don't have a waiver for that because we are caring human beings, not horrible, horrible animals.

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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Tattoo Community Rallies for Christian Lyze's Defense Fund

Posted By on Wed, Jul 13, 2011 at 1:02 PM

Original Christian Lyze painting for sale at the benefit - CHRISTIAN LYZE
  • Christian Lyze
  • Original Christian Lyze painting for sale at the benefit
Friday, the Bay Area's tattoo community will converge on The Metro Operahouse in downtown Oakland to show support for fellow artist Christian Lyze. Lyze's alleged involvement in a deadly road rage incident has landed him in an out-of-state jail on charges of first-degree murder; he has pleaded not guilty, and plans to argue self-defense in his upcoming trial.

Nearly twenty shops from around the Bay Area are contributing original art, prints, apparel, and gift certificates for tattoo time to the benefit. Local bands Crypt Keeper, Cycloptopus, and Skin & Bonez are also lending a hand, and Decent Criminal from San Rafael will make an appearance as well. Proceeds from the evening of art and music will help fund Lyze's legal defense.

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Thursday, February 17, 2011

ADDICTED TO CRYSTAL: At Home with Babe Alert's Danielle Jackson

Posted By on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 at 7:30 AM


by Michelle Tea

Firstly you might know Danielle Jackson from just walking around the Mission and having your eye caught by the foxy girl with the flamboyantly fantastic style. Sequins at noon, amazing glasses, a shit ton of jewelry, is that a Chanel tattoo on her arm?


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Friday, February 11, 2011

Culture Clash: Tattoo Trade Meets Fine Art at Articulated Gallery

Posted on Fri, Feb 11, 2011 at 4:30 PM

  • Tamara Waite-Santibanez

The tattoo trade and the fine-art world remain steadfastly separated. We've met some classically trained visual artists and gallery owners who look down on tattoo folks, whose training methods have a distinct blue-collar ethic and resemble those of a medieval guild. Just the same, we're sure that mortars get lobbed at the ivory tower from the ink-injected trenches too. But there is cross-over. Starting Saturday the work of tattoo artists who've delved into fine arts will be displayed in "From the Needle to the Brush." The exhibit includes paintings and sculptures from artists from around the world. The haunting paintings of Brooklynite Tamara Waite-Santibanez have the feel of tattoo art adapted for canvas or paper, with dimension added through brushwork and color variation.

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  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"