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Music Musings :
Hard Rock & Metal

Inside “The Grand Reincarnation” Of Paul Booth’s Last Rites Gallery & Tattoo Theatre

July 25, 2011 , 3:55 pm | By Bryan Reesman

Hard Rock & Metal, Music Musings, Out & About

The inimitable Paul Booth (at right) hanging with
his special guest and favorite comedian Jamie Kilstein.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)


Paul Booth is one of the modern legends of the tattoo world, his signature style being dark and sinister images in black and gray that possess a lifelike quality. Some of his gruesome tats literally scream at you from beneath the skin. He has worked on members of Slayer, Pantera, Mudvayne and Slipknot, among many others, and he has a long waiting list because his work is so sought after. Like many of us, he adores horror in all forms, as strongly evidenced in this past weekend’s three-day “grand reincarnation” of his tattoo parlor and art gallery, the Last Rites Gallery & Tattoo Theatre in NYC, part of which invokes images of subterranean catacombs for me.

I attended the gallery reopening party on Saturday night and took in the trippy art of ChetZar and Craig LaRotonda and experienced the confrontational comedy of Jamie Kilstein (who performed with an untreated concussion!), the razor blade swallowing of Cardone the Ultimate Vaudeville Magician and the sinister chanting of Attila Csihar, the current frontman for infamous black metal brigade Mayhem, who journeyed from Budapest for this event. The ominpresent shenanigans of Mini-Jesus and the sinister strollings of a funerary violinist added to the evening’s fun mash-up of surreal comedy and horror. Booth was present as well, taking in the entertainment and modestly hanging out on the sidelines. He may have inked up many rock stars, but the laid back artist prefers not to parade around like one.

Following is a photo gallery from the event. I think the images speak far better than an extended description of the party. If you get a chance, visit Last Rites. It’s a unique forum for art and ink.


Welcome to Last Rites...
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

...you'll need a drink in this heatwave.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

The throng grows early in the night.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Many are eager to spill their thoughts.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

The perfect ensemble for the evening,
along with some dark electro tunes.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

The lovely ladies chronicling the party
with photos and video for Last Rites.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Janine Block (left) and Natalie Risalvato
cool off and absorb the awesome art.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

People mingling and gazing upon the artwork of Craig LaRotonda.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

LaRotonda's demonic winged monkey. The Wicked
Witch Of The West would have loved him.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Fire is discovered on the Planet of the Apes!
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

The fun 'n' freaky imagery of ChetZar.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

A relative of yours?
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Every art opening needs a strolling funerary violinist.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Mini-Jesus addresses his flock. And brings
them offerings of Arch Enemy.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

They all bask in his blood red aura.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

A true lady of sorrow.
No, she's not real; yes, she's creepy.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Cat Watters, Papa Large and Dr. Dot (L to R) taking in the night.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Paul Booth introduces Jamie Kilstein.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Kilstein revs the crowd up with
his "blasphemous" lefty humor.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Kilstein keeps the crowd entertained.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Cardone (right, with Last Rites tattoo artist Stefano Alcantra) warns us that
he has some black magic tricks up his sleeve.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Okay, that's not what he said. But he did swallow then
regurgitate five razor blades for us. How thoughtful of him!
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

One of Last Rite's staff, Tania, enjoying the festivities.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Now that's a Satanic throne.
(But the candle lighter missed a spot.)
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

First, Mini-Jesus, now Mini-Satan. What's next?
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Attila Csihar from Mayhem performing the Satanic chants
of his Void Ov Voices dark ambient project.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Anyone who thinks ambient music is all mellow did not
experience the ear-shattering volume of Attila's music.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Imagine getting inked up with death looking over your shoulder.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

The lap of luxury, including a coffin couch.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

So this is where the bodies went.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

If I had a castle, I'd install stained glass like this.
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

"Honey, it's a Mr. Death.
He's here about the reaping."
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)

Can you spot the Tasmanian Devil in this shot?
(Photo ©2011 by Bryan Reesman.)



2 Comments

  1. Meme

    Just a bit of info for you. The gentleman in the picture with Cardone is Stefano Alcantra, one of Last Rites incredible tattoo artists.

  2. carrie

    awesome

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