Tattooers Illustrators Art Show at 15 West | County Grind | South Florida | Broward Palm Beach New Times | The Leading Independent News Source in Broward-Palm Beach, Florida


Tattooers Illustrators Art Show at 15 West

Last December, the empty venue formerly known as Automatic Slim's was given its second face-lift along with a new namesake, 15 West. Despite its gutted and rebuilt interior, the crowd and vibe inside remained pretty comparable to that of Automatic Slim's.

So, when I heard about a tattoo artist gallery show happening there, I wasn't sure what to expect. Talk about an interesting mixture of subcultures coming together under

on roof. Suffice to say, it went off without a hitch.

Curated by local tattoo artist Won Jun

Bemis of True Love Tattoo,

the art show was filled with work from some of the best local -- and

nonlocal -- tattoo artists, including Vincent Moisdon (Colorfast

Studios), Nate Diaz (Black Rose), Steve Whittenberger (Rock-a-Billy),

and Adam Facenda (True Love).

Around 10 p.m., the downstairs area of the club seemed a bit barren. However, walking upstairs into the lounge was like entering an entirely different realm. Well, except for the music. Granted we're upstairs at a nightclub, but this is supposed to be an art show; people would like to talk and drink without having their eardrums shattered by horrible megamixes. But bumping bass music aside, the atmosphere in the lounge was anything but a bottle-service-having, fist-pumping hangout. The walls were decorated in exposed brick and Parisian wallpaper. There was ample seating, plush leather couches, and the lights were dim.

The room filled rather quickly with tattooed folk, local nightlife scene regulars, and randoms straggling in from the downstairs club. However, despite the social differences in the crowd, attendees were all there for the same reason: to admire the talented works. From watercolor to oil paint and screen-printed works, the walls were adorned in various forms of art showcasing traditional Americana and Japanese styles. No piece was similar or comparable to the one hung alongside of it.

For the first event of its kind at this particular venue, the art show was an overall success in exhibited talents, attendance, and originality. Sure, there are tons of art shows all over town, but the interesting thing was how a variety of tattoo artists were all showing in one place. It really brought the South Florida tattoo community -- and its admirers -- together in space outside of a tattoo convention. And it made hanging out at a dance club on a Saturday night pretty painless.

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Betsey Denberg

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