In the Event That…You’re Not Afraid of Needles

By Annamarya Scaccia

Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention Fri., April 18, 2 p.m.-mid.; Sat., April 19, noon-mid.; Sun., April 20, noon-8 p.m., $15-$35, Sheraton City Center, 17th and Race streets, 800-541-8239,


If your definition of body art goes beyond lower-back butterflies, the Philadelphia Tattoo Arts Convention has a needle with your name on it. Overflowing with nearly 400 international and Stateside artists, the gathering has been combining tattoo art and entertainment for nine years. Hosted by Fishtown’s Tattooed Kingpin, the weekend will feature local ink slingers from studios such as Deep Six Laboratory, Sink the Ink, Baker Street Tattoo and Philadelphia Eddie’s 621 Tattoo. Professionals as well as curious enthusiasts can attend workshops for an additional fee, ranging in topics from microdermal anchor techniques and pinup art to black-and-gray tips and preventing disease transmission.

Need a break from all the ink? In addition to a live-music lineup starring Murphy Law, entertainment includes the lovely ladies of the Hellcat Burlesque, live painting by New York’s Visionary Primitive, sword swallowing by Guinness Book of World Records holder Red Stuart and an appearance by Lollapalooza sideshow founder The Enigma. “It’s an eyeful,” says Tattooed Kingpin owner Troy Timpel. “The whole show is quite an eyeful.”


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