New tattoo convention comes to Cincinnati for first time

Villain Arts, an apparel printing company and producer of national tattoo conventions, is bringing a convention to the greater Cincinnati area for the first time. Villain Arts had already been producing shows in Louisville, Cleveland and Baltimore, so Cincinnati, according to organizers, “fills a natural gap, is a good-sized city, and a nice place.”

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Here’s what to expect at the inaugural Greater Cincinnati Tattoo Convention:

Over 150 artists and vendors

For those looking to get a new (or perhaps their first) tattoo, the obvious advantage of this convention is getting to meet and peruse the works of many different artists at one place. Do your research beforehand, as some artists prefer advance appointments, while others will only take walk-ups.

The convention also has something to offer artists, as several different tattoo supply companies will be on hand. Vendors selling tattoo-themed clothing and accessories will be available as well.

Celebrity guests

Six celebrity guests are attending the convention, including James Vaughn, third-place finisher on “Ink Master” Season 1, Anwon Boneface Johnson (“Ink Master” Seasons 8 and 9), Kyle Dunbar (“Ink Master” Seasons 3 and 4), Alli Baker, fourth-place finisher on “Best Ink” Season 2, Ryan Henry, star of “Black Ink Crew: Chicago,” and Justin Coppolino, star of “Tattoos After Dark.”

Live entertainment

It won’t be the usual bands, but sideshow performers reminiscent of the Jim Rose Circus, which famously toured with Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson in the 1990s.

The Enigma: Fittingly, The Enigma co-founded the Jim Rose Circus in 1991. In addition to a full-body, jigsaw-puzzle tattoo, The Enigma has horn implants, reshaped ears, and extensive body piercings.

Marlo Marquise: Marlo Marquise is a cabaret performer, striptease artist, and practitioner of live flesh suspension. She describes herself as old-school sideshow with a modern feminist aesthetic. She has been featured on "Jimmy Kimmel Live" and Discovery Channel's "Oddities."

Alakazam the Human Knot: When this contortionist isn't putting his entire body through a squash racket, he's tying himself into a human pretzel while bantering with the audience. He was a grand finalist on "Australia's Got Talent" Season 1 and the second-place finisher at the Street Performance World Championships in Dublin, Ireland.


What: Greater Cincinnati Tattoo Convention

Where: Northern Kentucky Convention Center, 1 W. Rivercenter Blvd., Covington, Ky.

When: Sept. 7-9. 2 p.m.-midnight Friday, 11 a.m.-midnight Saturday, and 11 a.m.-8 p.m. Sunday

Cost: $20 (single day), $40 (three-day pass). Children 12 and younger are admitted free.

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