NBA superstar and tattoo enthusiast Matt Barnes guest-starred last night as the contestants were judged on their use of color. To make things interesting, judges Núñez and Peck each drew up a unique tattoo design in the Flash style. Flash tattoos being art that can be done quickly and easily, while still looking good.
Chris prefers the Japanese style while Oliver, on the other hand, is an acknowledged Master of American Traditional. So the contestants were given original works to demonstrate their skills. Each would do one of the designs, allowing the judges an apple-to-apples comparison of technique.
Knowing that this was a color challenge, each artist approached it differently, and some of them made some very odd color selections. (I’m looking at you, Lalo.) Still, everyone’s drawing was solid, so it came down to an issue of color choice and proper application.
Tray pulls out a desperately needed win for round one, with Sarah taking the prize for the second round due to her textbook simple top-hatted skull. This leads us to the next challenge: a Gypsy girl tattoo where these two artists will go head to head for 60 minutes.
Tray was counting on his experience to grant him the win, while Sarah depended on her raw talent. In the end it was experience that won the day and Tray squeaked a victory through, leaving Sarah with egg on her face after loudly and repeatedly claiming victory before the face-off began.
With the test this week being color, the judges decided to see who could deliver the best New Skool design. A lot of styles make use of color, but this one is the tattoo equivalent of a Bollywood musical, so it seemed like a good test.
Riding high on his back-to-back victories in the Flash Challenge, Tray decides to softball it and give everyone something he thinks they can do well. So he will have an even greater victory in the end. Still, someone has to wear the victim hat, and last night it was Jamie as a canvas asked for a phoenix shooting flames from her vagina.
I’m not making that up, either.
Tops and Bottoms
Nick to the absolute worst canvas last night with a complete nutjob who kept changing her mind about what she wanted. This is where his inexperience showed because he could not control her and ill omens portended for him.
The canvas, Litsa, immediately hated the tattoo once she saw the finished work. His decision to add the magenta spikes set her off, then he continued to cat-fight with her, much to the amusement of the other artists. Not surprisingly, the judges were not impressed by either this tattoo or his professional demeanor, causing Nick to be sent on his way. The design was bad, the execution was bad, and the way he handled the job from start to finish was bad.
Lalo found himself in the bottom again because of his poor color selection on the day they chose to test color.
Meanwhile, another young tattoo artist, Sarah, proved that, while she may be a bit brittle, she has tremendous talent. Chosen alongside New Skool devotee Jesse Smith, she accomplished what Tray had hoped to.
Kay Kutta has recognized that Sarah does not handle pressure well, and now that she is aware of it, she can correct that personality flaw. It could mean the difference between success and failure.
That wacky lizard cop got her the win, and damn if she didn’t deserve it. That is one funky piece of art right there.