Los Angeles’ New Melrose Avenue Art Venue, “Tuff Sissy & Co.”, Celebrates its Official Launch with Two Upcoming Events

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“Freak Chic Tattoo” Owner, Mat Joseph, Supports the Melrose Art Community and Local Art Movement with Launch of New Art Space

I opened Tuff Sissy & Co. as a vehicle to give back to the Melrose community, and the local artist community...to provide the area with a cultural center in the hopes of attracting more like-minded businesses, and to keep existing businesses on the street

New Melrose Avenue art venue, “Tuff Sissy & Co.” (http://www.tuffsissy.com), has officially opened its doors and to celebrate, will be hosting two upcoming art events. The new venue, located at 7367 Melrose Avenue in Los Angeles, was created by neighboring “Freak Chic Tattoo” (http://www.freakchictattoo.com) owner, Mat Joseph, and is meant to serve as a gallery and artist’s lair – a place for local tattoo artists and other artists to showcase their work, as well as mingle and share. Joseph’s motivation for the venue was to revive the Melrose art community and support both the local art movement as well as other community businesses, both old and new.

The first of the two events, to be held on Saturday, April 30, 8-11 PM, will serve as the opening artists’ reception for what will be a month-long showing of about 100 pieces by Santa Barbara native and artist, FLiP, who also owns “Eights & Aces Tattoo” studio in Santa Cruz, CA. The art show, called “3D glasses NOT required”, features dimensional art depicting subjects familiar to tattoo aficionados such as Ed 'Big Daddy' Roth-style monster cars complete with monsters, traditional Japanese nature scenes with serenely falling cherry blossoms, and ghostly pirate ships riding rough seas in lightning-torn skies. All of FLiP’s pieces are painted in vivid palates which draw the eye, but it is their depth which holds the gaze. The exhibit will be housed at Tuff Sissy & Co. through May 31, 2011.

The second event will be an art auction (date TBA), which will showcase the work of Los Angeles-based artists and also serve as a fundraiser for victims of the Japan Earthquake and Tsunami, with a portion of the proceeds of sales of the artwork benefitting non-profit charitable organization, the Japan America Society of Southern California (JAS; http://www.jas-socal.org/).

The second art show and auction will include works by five Japanese tattoo artists, including Freak Chic artist, Baku Watanabe, as well as pieces by Los Angeles arts patron, AXIS, locally-based pop-artist and Freak Chic artist, Joby Cummings, and works by other Freak Chic artists, Sixx Taylor and Andreas Gutow.

“I opened Tuff Sissy & Co. as a vehicle to give back to the Melrose community, and the local artist community. I wanted to provide the area with a cultural center in the hopes of attracting more like-minded businesses, and to help keep existing businesses on the street,” says Mat Joseph, owner and founder of both Freak Chic Tattoo and Tuff Sissy & Co., and tattoo and piercing industry veteran.

Joseph plans to host regular art exhibits and art auctions/benefits at Tuff Sissy & Co., as well as figurative drawing nights and other related events. He will also be launching a weekly open drawing night for all local artists (more details TBA). The two upcoming Tuff Sissy & Co. events are sponsored in part by O.N.E. Coconut Water (http://www.onedrinks.com/). Additional event sponsors will be announced, soon.

Tuff Sissy & Co. and Freak Chic Tattoo are located at 7367 and 7365 Melrose Avenue, Los Angeles, CA, 90046 (between Fuller and Martel Avenues). Tattoo and piercing appointments at Freak Chic can be made by calling 323.951.1501. For more information or to RSVP for either of the upcoming art events, please email: info [at] stilettomarketing [dot] com.

About Mat Joseph / Freak Chic Tattoo

Mat Joseph’s pioneering spirit has kept him on the forefront of the piercing, tattoo and art worlds. Joseph started piercing in 1987, and first entered the Melrose community in 1992, when he became the first piercer on the street. In 1994, Joseph opened his own piercing operation, “House of Freaks”, on the upper floor of the building that sits on the northwest corner of Melrose and Fuller Avenues.

House of Freaks dominated the Los Angeles piercing scene for 14 years, before shuttering in the fall of 2008 when, in pursuit of expansion, growth and reinvention, Joseph joined forces with local tattoo artist partners to open Freak Chic Tattoo, thus providing both tattoo and piercing services to his already loyal customer base.

Freak Chic Tattoo filled a void in the Melrose Avenue tattoo realm by providing a higher-end, upscale – yet comfortable – tattoo shop environment for more discerning clients. The classy space has a ‘30s deco, lounge-y vibe, featuring dark wood fixtures and Joseph’s carefully-curated decor elements. Both Freak Chic and Tuff Sissy & Co. were designed and built by Joseph, himself, and both spaces are ever-evolving. This year, Joseph plans to add two private VIP tattoo/piercing stations in completely separate rooms, within steps of Freak Chic’s private, back entrance. The rooms will feature the same art deco aesthetic, which is also mirrored in Tuff Sissy & Co.’s design.

Joseph and his award-winning tattoo artists and piercers have fan bases that run the gamut from TV soap stars (such as one of the Days of our Lives cast); to NBA players; to celebrity wives (like Slash’s wife, Perla Ferrar); to musicians (e.g., Phillip “Fish” Fisher, drummer for Fishbone, and singer and record producer, Arnold McCuller).

Joseph’s talented staff and/or their work has been featured in numerous media outlets including Tattoo:Savage Magazine, International Tattoo Art Magazine, Skin Art Magazine, Tattoo Flash, and Inked Magazine.

Freak Chic Tattoo and Tuff Sissy & Co. can be found on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/FreakChicTattoo and http://www.facebook.com/pages/Tuff-Sissy-Co/135926459794162, and on Twitter at http://twitter.com/FreakChicTattoo and http://twitter.com/tuffsissy.

Freak Chic Tattoo and Tuff Sissy & Co. owner and founder, Mat Joseph, is available for interviews and/or comment, as well as public appearances, as an expert in the art of piercing and tattooing.


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