Vyvyn Lazonga

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Vyvyn Lazonga
Other names Madame Lazonga[1]
Occupation Tattoo artist
Vyvyn Lazonga.jpg

Vyvyn Lazonga is a tattoo artist who began her career in Seattle in the early 1970s and was trained by Danny Danzl. She was the first woman to work for herself in the industry, not her husband or another male shop owner.[2] She worked in San Francisco and was tattooed by Ed Hardy in the 70's. She won the award for Best Tattooed Female in 1978 for his work. Later she was fortunate enough to meet Horiyoshi II at one of Lyle Tuttle's parties before returning in 1989 to open her studio in Seattle.

She has advocated the use of tattoos to cover mastectomy scars as an aid to recovery.[3]

Leg Tattoo.jpg

Historical significance[edit]

When she began tattooing, there were very few women who had tattoos, not to mention who were working as tattoo artists. When she opened her studio in 1979, there were only a few women tattooing on the west coast.[4] She had a difficult time being treated as an equal in her craft and acquiring a full apprenticeship.[5] Her work opened many doors for women in the tattoo industry, and is still seen as an example of a fine artist working in the tattoo medium. She was also a pioneer in the use of large-scale full-body tattoos in the West. Victoria Lautman has cited her as an artist who helped "to shift tattoos away from fashionable little rainbows, flowers, and unicorns to the larger, fine-arts-related custom designs."[6]

She was also heavily tattooed at a time when it was unusual to see women with major tattoo work outside of sideshows. Asked about the public's perception of her full-sleeve tattoos, she said "I always felt strong and powerful about it, and I still do. But I try to keep my arms covered if I'm taking care of business -- I sorta wear a uniform according to what I'm doing. I want to get my business done quickly and easily, and I don't like having any hindrance or prejudice against me" (Vale and Juno 1989:125).

In her words:

Arm and Chest Piece.jpg

Current works[edit]

Pink Lotus Arm Piece.jpg

Lazonga has been featured in many magazines and books[4][5][6][7] and currently writes columns for various tattoo magazines, including a regular column in Skin and Ink.[8] She has also won numerous awards, including the artist's choice award at the 2005 National Tattoo Association convention.[9] She still owns and operates her own studio in a historic building in the Pike Place market, in Seattle.

Publications[edit]

2015 "100 Years of Tattoos," by David McComb, Laurence King Publishing Ltd

2015 "World Atlas of Tattoo," by Anna Felicity Friedman, Yale University Press

2014 Stylist Magazine, "Vyvyn Lazonga: La Première á Avoir Jeté L'encre," May Issue

2014 Tätowier Magazine, "Kosmetische Tätowierungen," January Issue

2010 "Inked," Inked Scene, Interview, April Issue

2010 Tattoo Flash, "The Time of Her Life," July Issue

2010 Skin Art, "Lessons from a Legend," Issue #130

2007 Tattoo Magazine, "Vyvyn Lazonga," April Issue #221

2007 San Francisco Gate, Interview: "Finding My Religion," February 20 Issue

2006 Skin & Ink

2006 Tattoo Magazine

2006-2008 Skin & Ink, Staff Writer

2005 Venus Zine, Summer Issue

2005 Tattoo Magazine

2005 Total Tattoo Magazine, August Issue

2004 The Market News, August Issue

2004 Tattoo Flash

2002 "Tattoo Road Trip," by Bob Baxter, Schiffer Publishing

2002 International Tattoo Art Magazine, "Vyvyn Lazonga: In a Studio All Her Own," November Issue

2002 New York Times, Sunday Style Section, December Issue

1998-1999, The Tattooist's Yearbook, Milano, Italy

1998-1999, CNN Broadcast, "Women of the Ink"

1998 "Bodies of Subversion," by Margo Mifflin, Powerhouse Books

1998 International Tattoo Magazine

1998 Skin & Ink

1996 "New Tattoo," by Victoria Lautman, Abbeville Press

1996 Skin Art

1996 Tattoo Magazine

1993 Tattoo Magazine

1993 Skin Art

1991 Elle Magazine

1989 RE/search, "Modern Primitives," by Andrea Juno & V. Vale, Issue #12

1988 Marks of Civilization, Museum of Cultural History, Los Angeles, CA

1977 "The Tattooists," by Albert L. Morse, San Francisco, CA

1976 Esquire Magazine

Awards[edit]

2013 Terry Wrigley Award, "Outstanding Contributions," National Tattoo Association, Rapid City, SD

2013 Bob Shaw Award, National Tattoo Association, Rapid City, SD

2011 Tattoo of the Day, National Tattoo Association, Sparks, NV

2008 R.J. Rosini Award, "Lifetime Achievement," Ink Travelers, Vancouver, BC

2008 People's Choice, "Best Colored Back Piece," National Tattoo Association, Reno, NV

2007 People's Choice, "Best Use of Tribal," National Tattoo Association, Seattle, WA

2007 Artist's Choice, "Best Use of Tribal," National Tattoo Association, Seattle, WA

2007 People's Choice, "Best Black & Gray," National Tattoo Association, Seattle, WA

2006 People's Choice, "Best Colored Sleeve," National Tattoo Association, Cincinnati, OH

2006 People's Choice, "Best Colored Back Piece," National Tattoo Association, Cincinnati, OH

2005 People's Choice & Artist's Choice, "Best Use of Tribal," National Tattoo Association, Miami, FL

2005 People's Choice, "Artist of Best Large Color," National Tattoo Association, Miami, FL

2000 Artist Award, 3rd Place, "Back Piece: Marked for Life," Female Tattoo Artist Expo

1997 Artistry in Ink, 2nd Place, "Best Sleeve," Tattoo Magazine, Seattle, WA

1978 "Best Tattooed Female," North American Tattoo Club, St. Paul, MN


References[edit]

  1. ^ Encyclopaedia of Body Adornment - Lazonga, Vyvyn
  2. ^ "Artist Profile: Beverly "Vyvyn" Lazonga". Needled.com. 14 June 2005. Archived from the original on 2006-11-19. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  3. ^ Davila, Florangela (March 12, 2006). "Redefining beauty: Jackie's journey through cancer". The Seattle Times. Retrieved 2007-01-06. 
  4. ^ a b Vale, Vivian; Juno, Andrea (October 4, 1989). Modern Primitives. San Francisco: Re/Search Publications. ISBN 0-940642-14-X. 
  5. ^ a b Mifflin, Margot (October 1997). Bodies of Subversion. New York: Juno Books. ISBN 1-890451-00-2. 
  6. ^ a b Lautman, Victoria (November 1994). The New Tattoo. New York: Abbeville Press. ISBN 1-55859-785-9. 
  7. ^ Baxter, Bob (2002). Tattoo Road Trip. Atglen, PA: Schiffer Publishing. ISBN 0-7643-1522-6. 
  8. ^ Skin and Ink magazine
  9. ^ "2005 tattoo contest winners". National Tattoo Association. Retrieved 2006-01-06. 

External links[edit]