2nd Annual Thom DeVita Art Show At Kings Avenue Tattoo NYC


1,000 Pieces of Original Art

Tattooer and Artist Thom DeVita to stage Bowery exhibit featuring five decades of artwork

(Newburgh, NY) Today, the 81-year-old tattooer and artist Thom DeVita announced that on January 10th, 11th, and 12th, he will participate in “Odd Art,” his second solo art show and sale at Kings Ave Tattoo in New York City. Within the increasingly diverse tattoo community, DeVita is consistently held up as an innovator, responsible for bridging the gap between tattooing’s military- and biker-influenced “old school” and its stylistically all-encompassing present iteration. On display for the first time ever will be some of his earliest known paintings: three watercolor and ink drawings dating from the late 1950s.

DeVita was born and raised in East Harlem, and began tattooing on the Lower East Side in 1961, the same year that the New York City Health Department banned the practice city-wide. He worked illegally for four decades, receiving customers in a converted apartment on a drug-ridden block deep in Alphabet City. In 1991, he relocated to Newburgh, New York, just six years before the tattoo ban was lifted.

In 2003, DeVita stopped tattooing professionally, shifting his focus to what he calls “creative rubbings”—acetate tattoo stencils placed under thin paper and rubbed over with a dry medium. Borrowing from the visual chaos of his urban upbringing, the kinetic execution of mid-century painters like Willem De Kooning and Franz Kline, and the simple, iconographic style of American tattooing, DeVita continues to apply his designs to any surface that will take pigment—including the floorboards of his Victorian home—enabling the show’s claim that there will be “1,000 pieces of original art” for sale.

He’ll also be showing some of his most unusual work: the original pieces of “flash,” painted in the 1970s, that hung on the walls of his studio, illustrating for his clients the types of designs he could apply. Traditionally, tattoo parlors display this imagery in the manner of an art gallery—framed, and printed on archival paper—but DeVita’s prized flash was painted on wooden slats salvaged from discarded fruit crates.

This will be DeVita’s second show at Kings Ave. (His first show, in January of 2013, was his first ever in New York City, and the artist sold a total of 85 pieces to fellow tattoo artists and art enthusiasts alike.) The tattooers Scott Harrison of Portland, OR, and Bubba Reeves of Los Angeles, CA, will be accepting walk-in tattoo appointments during the show. The show was organized by Chris Grosso.


Details: Odd Art

Kings Ave Tattoo
188 Bowery, Second Floor
New York City
(212) 431-5464
January 10th, 12:00PM – 9:00PM and January 11th and 12th, 10:30AM to 9:00PM

Curator: Chris Grosso
Email: oddart23@gmail.com

Links and further reading:

Thom DeVita’s online catalog

Essay by artist Nick Bubash

Event Details

Location Name: Kings Ave Tattoo

Event Start: Friday January 10, 2014 at 12:00 pm

Event End: Sunday January 12, 2014 at 9:00 pm

Address: 188 Bowery, Second Floor

City: New York

State: NY

Zip Code: 10002

Event Website: http://www.kingsavenuetattoo.com/blog/?Tag=thom%20devita

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