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SPIDER WEBB weaves a legacy of classic and modern flash embracing tradition
and revolution. He renders visions of chaos and charity via a living art form
exhumed by outlaws; everybody shout out to this original motherfucker! He wrote
and put out many books on tattooing history, produced many tattoo machines, laid
ink into stars & harlots, cavorted with Hollywood's trashy elite, and lived the
life of a renegade tattooing in NYC when it was forbidden; he's a flesh-wrenching
visionary with incredible skillz and a fuck you attitude. Don't be fooled by his
sorta sensitive composure; he really is a mean fuck deep down, but he plays the
cool card here for NEEDLES, INK. cause he loves you, his fans and potential
His work bridges two worlds: one past tense and nearly forgotten, filled
with thickly-adorned sailors, unrepentant prisoners, and crazy gangsters; the
other modern, informed by rock, full of tribal sleeves, hot chicks, and gang
initiates. Spider draws from the former inspired by the after; along the way he
adopts new ideas and techniques so that his body of work reads like a history
lesson for the future.
He drifts in and out of fame, taking time off to kick back at his
Connecticut digs, light up, and hang with his lovely wife Sharon. Not so long ago
he was doing just that, when those unnameable religious fanatics destroyed the
World Trade Center. Hurt personally and deeply, Spider went into psychic
hibernation, executing tons of incredible flash inspired by that day's tragedy
and majesty. What resulted coalesced into poster form, then into a show at
Clayton Patterson's Outlaw Art Gallery in New York City. Moving and magnificent,
the images evoke tougher days. Strength manifests in draped formalities and
formal dames beaconing towards mystical victories. This was one of the baddest shows
ever to hang on the hallowed walls of tattoo art. The art therein will hang on
the human hide for eternity.
Thank you Mr Webb for taking time from your busy schedule of drinking,
smoking, hanging out, and bullshitting to grant us these humble words.
GP: What's your favorite type of tattoo?
Webb: I don't care what it is, as long as it's on a pretty girl.
GP: What part of her?
Webb: Any part. Jesus, yeah.
GP: You've tattooed many good-looking girls.
Webb: Yeah. That was one of the
reasons I moved to the Chelsea neighborhood. Tattoos were illegal in the city
back then, but Chelsea was where all the models lived. That's where all the gyms
are; that's Photography Row there. I thought that if you're gonna scribble on
people, they may as well be good-looking.
GP: What's your favorite image to tattoo on somebody?
A: I've been doing a lot of 9-11 shit—which isn't my favorite thing to draw.
I never approached tattoos like I had a favorite thing to do. I was more
interested in doing something conceptual. That's my type of tattooing, whatever
the fuck it might happen to be. If that happened to be something like putting a
giant 'x' on somebody who would walk around the planet and just mark spots with
an x, not because he wanted an x but rather because this was a concept I wanted
GP: Why was tattooing illegal in New York City?
Webb: They threw the baby out
with the bath water. They claimed hepatitis, but if you can get rid of tattoos
you can get rid of the gangsters.
GP: When did they make it illegal?
Webb: Oh, shit, I dont remember. That's a bad question, George.
GP: How about this one: what lucky celebrities have your tattoos?
Webb: Vanessa Del Rio, Annie Sprinkles, let's stay with porno people.
GP: But who else?
A: Johnny Winter. I put a lot of tattoos on Johnny.
Christina Applegate. That's enough.
GP: Not a bad line-up.
Webb: I don't like that celebrity shit.
GP: Ever turn anybody down?
Webb: Oh yeah. Lots of people. Bad attitude on their part; they did something
that offended me. Could be lack of respect. Could be I had a bad day, you know?
Just 'cause somebody walks in doesn't mean I'm gonna do what they tell me. If I
went into their living room I'd have to play by their fucking rules, you know?
It's called common courtesy.
GP: What's your favorite tattoo that you wear yourself?
Webb: The one I'm gonna get tomorrow. I don't know. The unknown. It's always
that future one that's the favorite one. Actually the one I like the most now is
one I got about 9-11.
GP: Who did it?
Webb: Dragonfly. She's my protege. She worked at my shop, and now she owns the one
on 15th Street. She's doing well; she paid a lot of dues. Like, the tattoos I've
been getting for the last fifteen years were from friends; whether they were
tattoo artists or not wasn't important. I'd just give 'em the machine and say,
"You fuckin' figure out what to do. It's not too hard; it's pretty much like
using a pencil."
GP: Tell me about this new 9-11 series.
Webb: It's all tattoo design, laid out like posters. I'm gonna tattoo it on
people myself After 9-11, I just sat down and drew for seven months nonstop. The
total output was thousands and thousands of 'em. In this gallery show I have now,
some of 'em are combined into about seventy posters. I thought of posters when I
drew; I was making propaganda posters. I wanted to reflect people's feelings;
lots of people came to me for designs. So I sat down and drew 'em; it was either
that or go nuts, you know? I'm only one year into it; I don't know where this is
GP: It's some fabulous stuff. You should be proud of it.
Webb: Oh, I am. I thought I'd never draw like that again. It's just classic flash. When this 9-11 shit happened, I started doing military tattoos, because it was a war. I also made some tattoo machines. I did 'em in the machine shop downstairs. They have little pieces of the World Trade Center in them as inlays.
GP: That's pretty intense.
Webb: Yeah. Some of the other inlay is human bone, meteorites, and things like that. It's all very intense.
GP: What will tattoos look like in the future?
Webb: There'll be so much weird stuff. For example, ink that'll go through your body. You'll wake up the next day and it'll be in a differnt part of your body, in a different color, taking on a different form, with or without you controlling it. It might project outward from the human body.
GP: What about aliens? What would their tattoos look like?
Webb: That's a good fuckin' question. It would depend on their form. If they were vapors, their auras might change; I don't know what they do on the planet Mongo.
GP: Okay, give us some closing bit of witticism.
Webb: If ya got big tits, you don't need a tattoo!
At the last Meadowlands show, we got Spider Webb in the house! As a tattooer and an artist, this guy has been in the business for many, many years, and is the real deal. His pieces in the art gallery which center around 911 and the World Trade Center tragedy are very moving, especially hearing the story of each one. With so many stories to tell, we were glad we had the chance meet him and have him share a few. We look forward to talking with him again real soon.... [ read more ]
Alright, this is for all you lame fucks sitting around watching Jerry Springer, scratching your nuts and whining about how there''s nothing to fucking do. It just so happens that the world famous Spider Webb has been sitting at his desk 18 hours a day for about a year now.... [ read more ]
Juxtapoz no. 42
Spider Webb's artwork lasts as long as the flesh it adorns remains intact. At the moment, thousands of people are roaming the earth sporting Webb's tattoos. His paintings, sculptures, and photographs have also made numerous public appearances. But the greatest creative impetus thus far for Webb stems from September 11, when the attacks so horrified him that he practically swore off sleep to exorcise all his demons on paper, which now appear in his drawings for his solo show at New York's Clayton's Outlaw Art Gallery... [ read more ]
Skin Art #89
The outpouring of poetry, photographs, film, writing, and painting resulting from the attacks of 9-11 is one of the largest artistic records of an historic event ever. Perhaps only the Holocaust has provoked a greater creative response. The need to express the gamut of emotions people felt on that day was, and is, overwhelming. For New York tattooist/artist Spider Webb, drawing obsessively over the months that followed last year''s destruction was his outlet.... [ read more ]
Needles, Ink. chronicle 5 vol 1
SPIDER WEBB weaves a legacy of classic and modern flash embracing tradition and revolution. He renders visions of chaos and charity via a living art form exhumed by outlaws; everybody shout out to this original motherfucker! He wrote and put out many books on tattooing history, produced many tattoo machines, laid ink into stars & harlots, cavorted with Hollywood's trashy elite, and lived the life of a renegade tattooing in NYC when it was forbidden; he's a flesh-wrenching visionary with incredible skillz and a fuck you attitude. Don't be fooled by his sorta sensitive composure; he really is a mean fuck deep down, but he plays the cool card here for NEEDLES, INK. cause he loves you, his fans and potential customers.
His work bridges two worlds: one past tense and nearly forgotten, filled with thickly-adorned sailors, unrepentant prisoners, and crazy gangsters... [ read more ]
Email Spider at spider@spiderwebbUSA.com
410 Stilwell Oak Circle
Charlotte, NC 28212 USA
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