Tattoo Age: Dan Santoro (Part 3/3)

Tattoo Age: Dan Santoro (Part 3/3)


JEFF OGIBA: I like the
frog on the mushroom. DAN SANTORO: Yeah. I love that one too, man. I would really like to do that,
to be honest with you. JEFF OGIBA: Who tagged
all these? How big would you make that? DAN SANTORO: I’d do
probably like– JEFF OGIBA: Just a little one? DAN SANTORO: Yeah. Like that more, you know? JEFF OGIBA: Like here? DAN SANTORO: Yeah. I think that’s a good spot
for it, actually. JEFF OGIBA: I don’t know. So I don’t know. DAN SANTORO: Oh, I
love that frog. JEFF OGIBA: Well– DAN SANTORO: What do you want? Fucking like American
flag rip-out? Jesus Christ. Everything I do is silly. JEFF OGIBA: What does
it say, though? DAN SANTORO: It says that you
like fucking Bluegrass. You don’t mind amphibians. And you definitely get high. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN SANTORO: I think this is an
interesting design, simply because it’s not like some
kind of famous thing. It’s not like some kind
of iconic graphic. It’s not like a Gibson girl
or something like that. But you know it was pulled off
of something, which I think is really interesting. It might have been pulled
off of a candy wrapper or a cereal box. I think that’s really cool. In the beginning, we didn’t
know how to make a good tattoo design. Neither of us did. Right, Jeff? Jeff is a long-time
friend of mine. We went to high school
together. I learned by doing a bunch of
really shitty tattoos on him. Like in the very beginning,
he wanted to just get line drawings and hardcore
band things. But now, yeah, he just wants to
get really funny, goofies. It’s goofy, but at the same,
sort of like mystical stuff. That’s what he’s into. I just wanted to do a tiger
on his forearm. And he convinced me to do a
tiger on a flying carpet jumping through atom symbols
and like the galaxy and all this stuff like that. And normally, that would
be a terrible idea. But it works on him. And I think I did a pretty
good job on that one. He’s just one of those people
that, no matter what I do or do to him, it’s all good. We’re friends, you know? My wife and him were just having
a conversation about, potentially, in the future,
opening up a record store. And then, within six months,
we had the grand opening. So it was just a really cool
thing, because it’s like a pipe dream that every kid has
with their best friend when you’re in high school. When we’re older, we’re
going to have a record store one day. And half the people don’t even
talk to their friends from that time period any more. And here we are,
grown ass men. And we have a record store. Sommer is usually the face
of this place, up front making coffee. Jeff is the record guy. And I do the antique
stuff, when I can. JEFF OGIBA: We all do a little
bit of everything. I end up in piles of records
mostly, dealing with weirdos, taking phone calls, going out
to visit people who– DAN SANTORO: Try and rob you. SOMMER SANTORO: [LAUGHS] -What are some indicators that
it’s going to be a good buy? JEFF OGIBA: These
are my uncle’s. And he just overdosed
on heroin. [LAUGHTER] DAN SANTORO: Yeah. That’s usually a good
sign, right? Johnny Thunders got
you into heroin. You know? Sinatra did not, you know? JEFF OGIBA: Soon as you hear a
little bit of the history, you know right away that
there’s a chance. DAN SANTORO: I had a guy come
in here with a bunch of antique medical charts. He was a teacher. And they were in the facility
closet of the science lab. And he had taken them 20
years ago or something. And they were probably
sitting in there for 60 years, you know? Again, someone that’s going to
do that is kind of weird. But I like that. Those are my people,
really, you know? [LAUGHS] That’s my nationality. [LAUGHS] I grew up in a relatively
old house. And my father actually used
to have a military store. My father was a World War II
collector, specifically Italian Fascist stuff. And then he also dealt
in a little German. And they had that
for a few years. And then, when they closed it
down, they brought everything into the house. So it was like the scariest
thing ever. I used to go down to try
to work on models. And there’d be two full dressed
Black Brigade soldiers standing next to me. It was a weird situation
to grow up in. But it was pretty
normal to me. And I actually really loved the
fact that that was kind of normal to my parents. So it’s funny. Some people walk through the
doors here and they’re just hit in the face with, I don’t
know, the whole store. They can’t wrap their head
around why anybody would buy any of this. But for us, I mean,
this is my life. This has been my life. All of us. It’s like I travel on the
weekend quite a bit, when I’m not tattooing. Flea markets, yard sales,
Craigslist. I get it anywhere
I can, you know? It’s a pretty small window
of opportunity for me to get stuff. So all week, I’m trying
to line stuff up. STEVE BOLTZ: He’s a
bit of a picker. I mean, he likes to
go to antique stores and antique fairs. And then, of course, Black Gold
now has given him purpose in that hoarding. I think, before, it was just
like having stuff. We all like to just
have stuff we like to look at or whatever. But now he’s got the store. Now he can actually
justify having as much of it as he wants. BERT KRAK: A lot of stuff that
Dan looks for is kind of tied into tattooing, as far as what
the image is or it’s got those rock of ages things. It’s like classic tattoo motifs
that he looks for. I guess it’s stuff that
tattooing has borrowed from the real world, you know? STEVE BOLTZ: Dan’s object
hoarding, it comes mainly from tattooing, I would imagine,
even though there’s other influences, because you just
are exposed to so many different types of art. You think about tattooing now,
well, that crawling panther has been drawn for us already. You know what I mean? But there was a time when
it didn’t exist. And somebody came in and
wanted a panther crawling up their arm. Well, Coleman or one of these
guys had to find some sort of reference for this. And a lot of early designs,
they’ll come from old children’s books or comics
or whatever. Or the Kewpie is
a good example. A Kewpie was an actual doll. Then it became a tattoo
icon over the years. But now, because we know that
Kewpie so well, well, you go into an antique store or
something and you see a little Kewpie doll sitting on the
shelf, you’re like, oh, there it is in 3D. DAN SANTORO: Oh yeah. Here’s another thing. That thing is ready to
be a tattoo too. There’s a Kewpie little
home butler thing. But it’s a Kewpie. Who doesn’t want that? My house has, more or
less, looked like this for a long time. It went from “Star Wars” toys,
as much as I can fill. I thought it was corny
for a while. So then I did the thrasher
cut out thing. As long as the walls just
looked like culture vomit, I was happy. You know what I mean? And then it became like
tattoo flash. And then tattoo flash kind of
evolved into old circus prints and lithographs that were what
a lot of the tattoo stuff was derived from, and so on,
and so on, and so on. And then, the next thing
you know, you’ve got a lot of stuff. [ORGAN MUSIC] ELI QUINTERS: It’s not
a big apartment. And he’s filled the walls. But it’s all amazing
stuff, you know? It’s top of the line taxidermy,
old tattoo flash. It’s just the way he wants it. You know what I mean? It’s a good representation
of the stuff that he’s passionate about. [ORGAN MUSIC] DAN SANTORO: Oh! I just found this at
a flea market. It’s a studio portrait of a
mother and two children. And the two kids are on
a taxidermied ostrich. It’s like anything, you know? You get into collecting
one thing. And then you start to pick up
the subtleties that make one thing more appealing
than the other. I’ve been flea marketing
for a long time. And if I had seen something
like this, I’d probably be interested in buying it. But I wouldn’t know why. Whereas now, I’m a little bit
more immersed in collecting. It’s pretty easy to
pick up on what makes something desirable. So to me, that’s
very desirable. It’s an ostrich. How often do you see an ostrich
in a photo from the turn of the century? This is a photo I picked up
that I thought was pretty interesting, just in a
box of random photos. It’s obviously some kind
of carnival performer. But she’s reading a magazine. And the back ad of the magazine
is, “Tattoo your lips.” Another stony tattooing
the inside of a woman lips. ELI QUINTERS: Very well-studied
in stuff of that era, of when American tattooing
came to life. He knows a lot about that
era in history anyway. And so I think he collects
a lot of that stuff. So he’s very well-studied
in antique flash. And he knows a lot
about that stuff. [MUSIC PLAYING] DAN SANTORO: I have a lithograph
of that at the store right now. That’s the one that I said you
see a lot of the lithographs that old tattooers
pulled from. That particular image, I had
never seen recreated as a tattoo before. And I had actually obtained
this about five, six years ago. And I was like, oh, that’s
the coolest thing. I didn’t know who did it. It came from the same collection
that a bunch of other stuff that I was told
was Coleman came from. He was a tattooer
from Virginia. He just was the pioneer
of a lot of the style that we see today. He had a knack for drawing
really pretty women. And everything he did was a
step above everything else that was going on at the time. This is a famous photo of
Coleman outside his shop. So I’ve seen this photo
hundreds of times. I was like, oh, if I could only
see around the corner of that, you know? And then, when this book came
out, boom, the other wall. And that made my day. 100%, that is that. I was told his shop
burned down. Then a lot of the stuff got
kicked to the curb. And the woman that I acquired a
lot of this stuff from, her husband had gone and, I guess,
picked up a lot of this stuff, literally, off the
side of the road. And so that’s why something
like that exists. That was just two of the designs
on the sheet that weren’t scorched. There’s a photo of
him tattooing. It’s that famous photo of him
tattooing with the visor. There’s all the flash
on the wall. He’s got one sheet
off the wall. And it’s propped up
on his station. And these two designs
are on that sheet. But it had been cut. A lot of this stuff got cut. One thing that I really don’t
ever want to be is self-absorbed. And when someone asks me to talk
about all these things that I’ve surrounded myself
with, it makes me feel like I’m self-absorbed.

100 thoughts on “Tattoo Age: Dan Santoro (Part 3/3)

  1. i dont think these guys have a unique style, as much as they have a lack of skills. its just my oppinion, but their work seems a bit off. it lacks detail. i enjoy this "Tattoo Age" series, but these guys just arnt up to par. Not impressed

  2. I don't think you understand the history of tattooing and the amount of skill it takes to do a good clean, bold and simple tattoo, there are some artist who can kickass at soft shading portraits and realistic pieces but they can't do an old school tattoo or even a Japanese tattoo because their linework just isn't clean enough.

  3. Self-absorbed would be an understatement for this scholar.

    But I would listen to him ramble for hours on tattoo history. This show is top notch.

  4. whats that got to with anything, i think you just made that word up.
    of course i know what a fuckin antique is , im not american, my country is more than 200 years old.

  5. I have passion, but none of them involve BUYING BUYING BUYING LOOK AT MY STUFF DUDE LOOK AT MY STUFFFFFFF MANNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN. I bet YOU collect sneakers and records, to fill the void inside of you. Go on dude, go buy another pair of jordans, see if that makes you whole. FAGGET.

  6. tattoos are for wankers , ive made my mind up. why cover your body in stupid scribbles that you have to live with for the rest of your life. it makes you look like a tramp or trashy. whats so important you need it inked on you for life

  7. Hey guy, don't hate on something you can't understand.Tattoo culture and along with many other cultures do things with the freedom of their choice to do so for their own reasons.Outsiders looking in have a hard time understanding.My explanation to you would be that getting tattoos whether they are meaningful or not are just a way of life.My other advice to you is that you should always respect other cultures it gets you further in life and in return you may learn something new and interesting 🙂

  8. …And for the record ! In the end, you should always do what makes you happy,life's too short not to get tattooed :P.. NOTHING LASTS FOREVER YA KNOW!

  9. People have been drawing on their own bodies since the dawn of mankind. Perhaps it is you who is the wanker.

  10. so world… black gold fucking rules. and… the sell ROOK COFFEE from Ocean, NJ. they are organic and mostly fair trade. check out their website. rookcoffeeroasters d o t c o m

  11. no i would not. im scottish. have you heard of the scottish rite?
    you wouldnt appreciate it either if you knew what they were up to, not degrees1-3- well theyre beasts but most have no idea of the big picture, such is masonry.

  12. Thats it.. you just dont have anything important yet. My tattoos always remind me of important things i went through in my life. It's not just a stupid scribble to me, since I put a lot of time into making the tattoo and thinking of every single dot of ink. Next time think bfr u speak dood

  13. fuck well said parkleena your a douchebag, i like how this guy is enjoying his life and into everything, every little thing in life

  14. Dan is such a huge artistic inspiration for me; it's amazing how much talent and creativity can be packed in to one human being

  15. I aspire to how he's set his life up by doing things and projecting his life the way he feels in his heart and the atheistic that pulses in his mind. What a solid gent.

  16. I feel inspiration pulsing through my veines right now… idk why this makes me want to aspire a tatoo artist carier even harder… This gives of such an old NYC vibe. And that record store though 😮 thisguyisatrueartist!

  17. "It says that you fucking like bluegrass, you don't mind amphibians, and you definitely get high." -Dan Santoro lmao

  18. The BLACKLIST (Season 2, Episode 7 – "The Scimitar) FILMING LOCATION – this just blew my mind! Check on Netflix, this is so awesome!

  19. I always thought of myself as being a tattoo artist but I know I can't draw free hand stuff off the top of my head and shows like london/la ink put me off. I'm scared of doing a crappy piece on someone. I see all these artists on the street giving people damn ugly pieces. If you go on my insta @danieljohnshort you'll see one sketch I did a while ago. Damn i friggin despise my job at the moment and want to do something I love. There's just something stopping me and why, I don't know :/ I look at a dude from my school class, he has his own friggin tattoo company called dawsontattoocompany check them out. Man I feel like such a waste atm working my ass off for peanuts.

  20. This has inspired me to not be afraid to go an venture books and take great pieces of art and use them for my flash, I'm one not to ever copy I tend to just use references and this is we're I go blank and can't draw anything and become so pissed off I give up, finding old cigarette cards is always a good one for flashes I found even Japanese cigarette cards

  21. I love these tattoo shops that are covered in flash and look like a tattoo shop you go to a guys studio now with nothing on the wall not interesting at all I want to go into a tattoo shop

  22. 00:26 "it says that you like fucking blue grass, you don't mind amphibians and you definitely get high" 😀

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