Montreal Tattoo Art Show 2023: A Global Gathering of Over 200 Tattoo Artists

The 19th Montreal Tattoo Art Show is bringing more than 200 artists to the Grand Quai until Sun., Sept. 10. (Photo Credit: Diona Macalinga/CityNews)

Over 200 artists worldwide attend the Montreal Art Tattoo Show at the Grand Quai in Old Port this weekend. It is an event where Montrealers can learn more about tattoo cultures worldwide and even get a flash tattoo session booked.

“You have people that do traditional Japanese by hand,” said Pierre Chapelan, co-organizer of the Montreal Tattoo Art Show. “You’re going to have people doing blackwork. You’re going to have people doing realism. You’re going to have people doing neo-traditional.”

The Montreal Art Tattoo Show is the only convention of its kind in the city, giving tattoo artists a platform.

We have people from Quebec, from Canada,” said Chapelan. “But we also try to have great people so that people can get tattooed by people from Vietnam, Australia, or wherever. So, you don’t have to buy a plane ticket and go.”

The event also features a photography exhibition on Japan’s tattoo art scene in the ‘50s – a stigmatized practice back then—many artists – honoring the country’s centuries-old art form known as tebori.

“It’s hard to have a lot of clients and to have an active work schedule in Japan,” said Haru Urushido, apprentice to Horizakura, a Tebori tattoo artist based in New York City. “It’s still underground, or it’s not appreciated. But in the U.S., we can do as much as we want and do more things. From that perspective, we want to do what we want. I think it’s a great thing.”

tattoo tebori artists
Tebori tattoo artist Horizakura (left) and his apprentice Haru Urushido (right) at the 19th Montreal Tattoo Art Show. (Photo Credit: Diona Macalinga/CityNews)

One attendee, Marco Millin, decided to take the leap and get his first tattoo by Tahitian tattoo artist Burns Paul at the exposition.

“For me, it represents strength,” Millin said. “It’s something I’ve always wanted to do, and I guess I never dared.”

Kiosks line the venue, selling taxidermy, books, and other little trinkets.

Tickets are on sale for $25 and $60 for the weekend pass.

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