October 14, 2017 Comments Off on The Gangs of Baseco by Veejay Villafranca

The Gangs of Baseco by Veejay Villafranca

The Gangs of Baseco by Veejay Villafranca - ghetto tattooing

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The Gangs of Baseco by Veejay Villafranca

It's been a while since my last post! I'm sorry so much. Anyways, here I am again. Hoping to get the ball rolling and keeping the consistency of posting really nice documentary photography with ghetto tattoos, homemade tattoos, not so good looking tattoos, whatever you want to call them. I don't care about that. For me, it's more about the impact of the work of the photographers I showcase. This time around it's time to talk about Veejay Villafranca.

I found Veejay's work last year and really connected with it. You may already know from previous posts that I'm a freak doing photography research. Spending plenty of time looking to discover photographers work that are new to me, not necessarily for the rest of the world. While on it one night, I found online the title The Gangs of Baseco by Veejay Villafranca and I was like hmm this sounds interesting. So I instantly clicked, whatever article it was, and found this amazing documentary reportage of a little gang from Baseco, a slum on Manila's port area, in the Philippines. This was the most feared group on this area and they went by the name Chinese Mafia Crew.

My interest was of course the ghetto tattoos I found on the individuals within the images of the article but there's so much more to see, learn and understand from them. The gang liked to rap, dance, and have fun doing blow. They made a living selling drugs, stealing and pick pocketing all over their living place. But that was until a big fire happened destroying their homes. Seems like they lost a lot. From my research, it seems like this was a huge turnaround for them so they took this negative experience to turn their lives around. Since the fire, they decided to change and moved their lives from crime to living an honest path in society.

For more you can check out Veejay's website. In the following link you can find The Gangs of Baseco. And if you like, you can take a look at some of my other posts like this one by Donald Weber or this other favorite by Kenneth Paik.........and of course my Instagram @notbuenoclub.

March 20, 2017 Comments Off on Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi-hiv tattoo

Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi. Man in his house looking out.

Man in poor house. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Man wearing heels. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi.

Prostitution in Mexico. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Mexican transexual. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Strong face expression of man dying. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Kids seeing moribund man with tattoos. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Poor guy dying from hiv with tattoos laying in bed. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Prostitution in Mexico. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Poor guy dying from hiv with tattoos. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Mexican transexuals getting ready. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi

I didn't really know about the photographer until just recently when a friend of mine living in Paris shared this amazingly diverse list of 34 women photographers that Time Magazine put together. Many amazing artists there so go ahead, explore, learn , and check them out.

Now back to what brought you here. Oasis by Meeri Koutaniemi is a powerful photo reportage focused on four men who live with HIV in Oasis de San Juan de Dios, what seems to be the only location who would help them out somewhere in a dry Mexican desert. These outcasts men/women live alienated by society due to their sexual orientation and deadly health issues however they live a life of faith; heads up and looking forward to the future.

For me, I have mixed feelings about the pictures. It makes me happy to know they are able to express who they are and be themselves no matter what. But you can clearly see they are definitely not in their best time of their lives. I have a sense of sadness noting how their hands are tied with a lack of financial stability, government support and maybe their family members are not even helping them out.

That poor man that is about to die is silently suffering a very slow death. The kids and everybody else know that but what else can be done? I just wish this kind of photography can raise awareness for gender equality issues, aids, HIV, social inequality, and more. Photography can be a powerful voice for these men. I'm doing my part but what can you do? See the sharing buttons below? Click and spread the word! It may seem something unimportant but it does help.

For more of Meeri Koutaniemi's photography work please visit her website, see the rest of the images in the series and let me know your thoughts.



March 12, 2017 Comments Off on Prison Tattoos | El Salvador

Prison Tattoos | El Salvador

Priest with prison tattoos in El Salvador by Piet den Blanken.
Father with prison tattoos in El Salvador by Piet den Blanken.

Mara Salvatrucha prison tattoos in El Salvador by Piet den Blanken.

Jailed or prison tattoos in El Salvador by Piet den Blanken.

Prison tattoos in El Salvador by Piet den Blanken.


Prison Tattoos by Piet den Blanken

I recently discovered these images full of prison tattoos in El Salvador. They are from an amazing Dutch photojournalist by the name of Piet den Blanken. His website has so many different photo series from immigration and emigration in Costa Rica,  prostitution and sex workers in other places, gangs in El Salvador of course, and many, many other subjects. He has also shot in many countries throughout the years. I chose to show this ones because of how powerful the looks are. You can feel the struggle from these people. Although they may be behind bars they are not animals man, you can sense their emotion and humanity.

Unfortunately the website is in Dutch so I can't really read what's going on but the images speak for themselves. I encourage you to visit Piet den Blanken website to learn more. You can also see older posts I made about American photographer Bruce Jackson and Chilean Raul Goycoolea with lots more prison tattoo photos.

Go there and be fascinated by great photography. Have fun and don't forget to share the page with your people!


March 4, 2017 Comments Off on Aleluya!


Tattoo photography blog

I finally have the website up. This project has never been and will never be your traditional tattoo photography blog. This is all about honest tattoos but check the other sections for more on that. I hope to keep posting consistently and sharing the stuff I find while doing one of the things I enjoy the most...photography research.

This time around though I want to use the platform to also share when my favorite tattooers from all over will be in town, also punk and art shows among many other things. I want to thank all the friends and others from around the world who have been sharing really amazing stuff with me. Special thanks to my namesake Raphael Lopez for the sick video from Cannes in the About section. This dude has the same name as I so no wonder has such great taste!

Check him out! @_rien__a__foutre_



February 5, 2017 Comments Off on LES SKUSE


Les Skuse fun tattoo.

Les Skuse Ass tattoo

Les Skuse

Les Skuse! Fun ass tattoo (or maybe just a drawing) from the iconic British tattooer. He started tattooing in Bristol back in the 20s. The image is from the 1950s. Click to learn more about the Skuse family.

February 5, 2017 Comments Off on CRIMINAL TATTOOS


Criminal Tattoos

This is a work in progress man. I'm testing how this whole image galleries work from the backend and how the images look like. Test, test, test, criminal tattoos photo test!

December 18, 2016 Comments Off on KARLHEINZ WEINBERGER











Karlheinz Weinberger

Awesome self-taught queer photographer from Switzerland. He was interested in portraying subjects in erotic compositions. From the late 50s, he focused his work on biker culture which he kept studying throughout his whole life. He's better known for other images that are more about fashion with people wearing Elvis Presley and James Dean influenced outfits that have been taken into another level of greatness but the tattoos on the ones I'm showing are so good I had to share them.

November 27, 2016 Comments Off on MAYA GODED













Maya Goded

One of the best Latino-American photographers and documentary filmmakers. She has been working the topics of sexuality, prostitution and violence towards women for a while. Her work is very up close and intimate. Raw but with the purpose of showcasing who these women are and how nasty they are treated by the Mexican macho society.

Some of the images I'm showing here are from the Welcome to Lipstick series.  From my research, I found these were taken in an area that used to be kind of populated but it is now a place not many people dare to visit. It's a 'Red District' were crime, prostitution and drug addiction is the normal. That guy in the images with chest tattoos looks so malevolous, and the other dude tattooing without gloves tells you this place must be really tough.

I'm impressed because her work makes you think, without judging, about what they do and under what circumstances. I don't really care about how they earn a living because that is their own business but I wonder who they are as human beings. What is this place? Why are they there? What made them do what they do? Did they ever had a choice for another life?...and of course I'm most interested in the motives for getting those tattoos.

For more of her amazing photography and to learn about her upcoming film projects you can visit her website at MayaGoded.net

October 9, 2016 Comments Off on LAURE GEERTS



Laure Geerts

Sharing just a few diverse images of this cool photographer from Belgium I recently found. She's part of the Caravane Collective, a photography group based in Brussels. What draw me to her work are the colors. Those pinks, blues and greens giving me a 70's Kodachrome vibe but they are not of course. If I'm correct most of her work was made in prisons and I can relate with her interest in the subject. During my research I found an interview from one of my favorite websites, Prisonphotography.org, where she states that her interest is in photographing marginalized people to try and understand what's their actual reality.

You can check out the complete series on her website and only hope she keeps putting more work out there because is great.


September 24, 2016 Comments Off on PATRICIA ARIDJIS










Patricia Aridjis

From the Black Hours Project. A documentary photo series about incarcerated women in Mexico. I found online that during one of her visits one of the prisoners beg her to take an image of her because that was the only way she could leave that place. Powerful work indeed. There're many other images but these were the ones I preferred to show because of the tattoos of course and the strong imagery and feeling you get from them. I hope they are doing well, god bless them all.