Monday, October 18, 2010

Jersey Shore Tattoos

So for some reason the television series The Jersey Shore has managed to captivate viewers all over the nation, while at the same time further popularizing the Ed Hardy tattoo craze. Tattoo culture is something that I have been interested in for quite a long time and have done plenty of research in. What many people may not know is who Ed Hardy really is. How do I know this? I couldn't even count the numerous times people have come up to me while I was at work and asked something like, "Oh damn you got dem Ed Hardy tatties! Did that shiii hurt?!" No they're not "Ed Hardy tatties" and's a hurts. People need to be educated! More on Ed Hardy and The Jersey Shore after the jump!

Jersey Shore, Pauly D, Tattoo
Pauly D

The real Ed Hardy is an American tattoo artist who studied under one of the most famous tattoo artists, Sailor Jerry Collins. Through his association with Sailor Jerry, Hardy was able to study tattooing in Japan in 1973 with the Japanese classical tattoo master, Horihide. Using what he had learned he brought a lot of his Japanese influence into his traditional American tattoos. 

In 2002 he licensed a line of clothing based around his tattoo designs. Unfortunately due to popularity in 2004 designer Christian Audigier (most notable for his douchebag line Von Dutch) purchased the license for Hardy's clothing line. Using the same strategy he did for Von Dutch, Audigier marketed his new clothing line towards celebrities. 

tattoo, ed hardy, japanese
Good Hardy
ed hardy, clothing, christian audigier
Bad Hardy

Fortunately for me I live far from the Jersey shore...or Staten Island so I don't have to deal with these wanna be "guido" types. Sometimes there are perks for living in the woods! The Ed Hardy clothing line is a good example of what happens when someone who doesn't know the culture gets their hands on it to make money. Doesn't end so pretty.

For lots of examples of really well done tattoos you should check out one of my favorite blogs, Tattoo Snob. They always post some awesome work and feature some amazing artists, including mine! Traditional American tattoos are some of my favorite and it's disappointing that brands like Christian Audigier's Ed Hardy and The Jersey Shore are ruining them for me and fellow tattoo enthusiasts.


  1. I'm not much of a tattoo person myself but even I cringe when I see people wear Ed Hardy clothing because of the aura of douchebag that it emanates.

    However, I didn't know Ed Hardy's work contained Japanese influence. I can definitely see it now though. Cool stuff.

  2. I too cringe at the sight of Ed Hardy clothing, but thankfully I feel like I've seen so little of it now that I'm back at Purchase.

    There is a lot of classical japanese influence in tattoo art. It's widely popular and has influenced a ton of artists to create some seriously amazing pieces. My tattoo artist Orrin Hurley specializes in the Japanese style and is currently working on a pretty awesome Fujin piece.

  3. Nice, I never knew Ed Hardy originated as something unique and cross cultural. All I knew is the douchetastic thing it has become. FYI MG check your tattoo link, it wasn't working for me.

  4. Thanks for mentioning that buddy. The link to Orrin's website works now.

  5. Oh hey, thanks for the shout out! We ( really appreciate it!