Villain Arts Second Annual Denver Tattoo Convention

It’s only been two years since Villain Arts has brought the traditional style tattoo convention back to the Denver spotlight, yet over this past year they have grown tremendously! Located downstairs in the Mile High Ballroom of the Denver Convention Center, this year the event was moved upstairs to the exhibit hall area to accommodate how much growth they have had. Not only have they expanded their space here but also they have even expanded the tour, now including over 15 cities!

Unbelievable the amount of talented artists here this year, both touring and local. Given the more spacious environment, you were able to walk around comfortably without feeling as if you are at the county fair, squished between two people that smell really bad. 🙂  Many heavy hitters from the tv show “Ink Master” were whipping out fancy creations the whole weekend through. As I walked the booths, I saw so many amazing pieces of art coming to life before my eyes. It was amazing to see so much beauty under one roof. This is the whole reason why I love these traditional tattoo conventions. The focus is for these artists to travel to your city, to give you the opportunity to have work done by them. This could be an artist you have followed for years and pine to be inked by them. You could be thousands of miles away from their home base yet this one time a year they actually come to you and you finally get the chance you have been dreaming of…. How beautiful is that? Unfortunately Denver has been plagued by so called conventions that have little focus on the actual tattoo art that just doesn’t make sense and most of the artists there are local so what’s the point?

Anyways, I digress. Not only does Villain Arts bring top-notch artists in for their shows, but they also have some fun things on the side. Sideshow acts, aerial performances, burlesque and even live human suspension, I am not sure about you, but I certainly do not see things like this every day. Another reason why I love this convention. A true representation of the alternative arts.

They do not accept just anyone through the doors either, you have to qualify and earn a spot at this event. Only the most awesome artists can make the cut, whether local or abroad and there were many talented local artists that made the cut. Blackwood Tattoo, Thick as Thieves, Fallen Owl and Bound by Design to name a few. I was like a kid in a candy store, running down the isles with such a smile on my face! I am sure many of the attendees felt the same way.

Throughout the day, there were performances happening on stage and beside it. Acts like the Scissor Sweethearts and Marlo Marquise and the Olde City Sideshow captivated the crowd but nothing brought the masses like the human suspension did. An assortment of girls chose to hang and one fabulous dude who chose the song “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” by none other than Cyndi Lauper. That was funny I must admit. One of the women in particular happens to hang for Jane’s Addiction when they are touring through town. She goes by the name of Kasja and on Saturday night, ripped her elbows during her suspension requiring many sutures to close the gaping holes in her arms. She did not even bat an eyelash as it was happening, finished her song and was lowered to the ground and to the back where she promptly received medical attention. That girl is a beast but oh so beautiful as she swings. I was impressed with the suspension acts. It takes a lot to be hooked and hoisted high above the ground, each one doing it with such ease. I would say this was an awesome way to spend the weekend.  Find out when they will be in a city near you by clicking here for the upcoming shows from Villain Arts.

As always thank you for the read and make sure to keep your eye out on our upcoming coverage….. Xposer Magazine, where you go to be scene!


Photos by Curt Thompson & Teddy G