Tattoo artists and collectors go head-to-head at this weekend’s Body Art Expo in Scottsdale


Hundreds of tattoo collectors and artists will tune in to WestWorld in Scottsdale from October 21-23. It’s the three-day Body Art Expo, a gigantic skin party where tattoo artists, piercers and extreme artists from Arizona and other parts of the United States will come to the event and get together. will install. Metro Phoenix tattoo collectors have the choice of getting inked by world famous inkers and piercers and have over 200 artists to choose from.

Mesa’s Smiley Ink Tattoos is one of the shops set up during the three-day exhibition. “These shows are really fun for us because we can compete with other local and foreign artists,” says Jeanneth Valenzuela, wife of the owner.

Big Sleeps Studio, MagicTattoos and Piercings_by_Cepha, all from California, are confirmed to set up shop at the show. On Friday, @savingprivate_rhyan, also from Cali, will host a painting on canvas seminar.

Since 2003, the self-proclaimed World’s Largest Tattoo Expo has been known for its tattoo competitions and rewarding winners with giant medallions or trophies. At WestWorld, there will be tattoo contests throughout the three days where professionals from the tattoo industry will judge tattoos and collections. There is a $10 registration fee to enter.

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Mesa’s Smiley Ink Tattoos will be at the Body Art Expo.

Smiley Ink Tattoos

Valenzuela continues, “Smiley and Daniel [another artist at the shop] will compete for the best tattoo of the day. Smiley will do a Disney leg, and Daniel is working on a portrait with custom lettering.”

The daily “Best Of The Day” contest is where entrants enter a new tattoo that has been inked on the body and completed on the same day. The competitions take place on the main stage, where extreme musicians and artists perform.

Other tattoo contest categories focus on designs, styles, and body parts. Categories include best religious, realistic, movie character, latin art, traditional, black and gray, color, portrait, lettering, and Asian tattoos. Then larger scale tattoos or collections are listed in the full sleeve, leg and back categories.

At past Body Art Expo events, one by one, contestants are called out in front of the crowd and stand before three judges who inspect the tattoo or set of tattoos entered into the contest. Generally, judges are looking for high-quality inks with heaps of definition, shading, composition and originality – although other factors are added or subtracted depending on the category. Color and realism are two variables.

LUST agents will bring their unique show to the Body Art Expo.

LUST officers

The exhibition will also feature live musical performances.

Then, during the three days, the band The Agents of LUST from the valley will perform on stage. “We are an extreme performance art troupe with fire and grind acts with low flame props, fire eaters, using metal grinders to emit sparks in our wild antique stage shows,” explains GRANTHRAX, the leader of the group for 10 years. “We’re also shocking audiences with glass walking, staple games and even a straitjacket show, all scheduled for our third time at the Body Art Expo in Scottsdale this time around.”

Helen “DollPits” Rimmer is also part of the group that will perform the human suspension on Sunday, she said. “That’s where I’ll be hooked to my back (by temporary punctures in his skin) and suspended.”

She recently posted a “fire” excursion on Instagram where she is pictured wearing what appears to be part of a chastity belt with a metal tube attached to it. Rimmer then activates a hand grinder, a metal grinding tool, and grinds the metal bar, which emits a shower of sparks.

Rimmer is also a “hardcore walker and glass breaker,” she continues. “People step on me while I’m on broken glass, basically; it’s my easiest act, pretty funny.”

Rimmer is adorned with a modest collection of tattoos, though her piercing set is, well, you be the judge. “I have a stretched septum, a pierced bridge, two helices on either side of my ears, stretched ears, both nostrils, my smiley piercing in my gums, my jellyfish and my regular labret hoop through my lip,” says -she. “I’ve had my nipple piercings done three times, but with my extreme work, it’s not worth it.”

GRANTHRAX concludes, “We fit in well with the tattoo and body piercing community, being the horror-style freak show that we are, and have done multiple shows with Body Art Expo all over Arizona and California since 2016.”

Body art fair. 2 p.m. to 11 p.m. on Friday, October 21; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday, October 22; 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday, October 23. WestWorld of Scottsdale, 16601 North Pima Road, Scottsdale. Tickets cost between $20 and $25 per day or $55 for a three-day pass.


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