Last week on Ink Master we saw the return of St. Marq, one of the most dynamic and innovative artists to ever make his way onto this competition. It was also very close to his last appearance of the season, as it turned out. This week’s Flash Challenge was designed to test contrast, and the artists had to exercise their imaginations to the fullest as they were going to use garbage and a 100kw light to do some shadowplay.
Divided into teams by Megan Jean Morris, winner of last week’s Tattoo of the Day we found the typical personality conflicts emerging as strong artists tried to dominate their partners. Ms. Morris made sure to assign her pairings in a way that wouldn’t put her at a disadvantage, nor would it immediately set anyone against her. It worked out well for some better than for others.
Ashley Velasquez found herself paired up with Alex Rockoff and she quickly recognized that with her Fine Arts background she had a slight advantage over him creatively. Meanwhile Megan Jean Morris found herself working for (notice I didn’t say “with”) St. Marq as they developed a pretty sweet graveyard scene.
Christian Buckingham was paired up with Anthony Michaels who also opted for a horror-show theme. Which left the two weakest artists on the same team, Picasso Dular and Cris Gherman.
Possibly due to a language barrier, possibly due to psychological issues, we found the team of Dular and Gherman on the bottom in this challenge. It does’t bode well for either of them because, while their portfolios show they are very skilled, an Ink Master needs to be able to work under pressure while demonstrating extreme versatility. And these men are not doing that.
Last season perennial whiner and all-around ass-hat Jason Clay Dunn won the title of Ink Master when he turned in a Nu-Skool Japanese backpiece that, in all honesty, was pretty fucking amazing. His victory, however, came because his competitor Cleen Rock One had a brainfart and didn’t do his tattoo in the assigned style. Tonight, Cleen Rock returned with a major chip on his shoulder. Entering the Loft like a man returning from a stretch in jail, he made it clear that he wanted the title and didn’t care who he had to mow down to get it.
Playing to his strengths he assigned the challenge as Neo-Traditional with the subject matter of motorcycles and muscle cars. A self-professed gearhead these are things close to his heart, and he took every opportunity to try and rattle his competition.
As the winners of the Flash Challenge the canvas assignments were left to Ashley and Alex who, logically, tried to eliminate both of the returning vets by assigning them the most challenging tattoos. Unfortunately, their plan failed miserably since both canvasses were fans of their respective artists.
Tattoo of the Day
Proving he has the skills to pay the bills, Cleen Rock One delivered a solid tattoo that the judges agreed was the best. Bonus points for residents of Puerto Rico as well.
Since he arrived Cris Gherman has made it clear that, having grown up under Communist rule in Transylvania, he has no interest in following rules. It’s a great attitude to live by, if you can make it work for you, but a horrible one for a game show like Ink Master. And it was this refusal to abide by the rules that ultimately sent Cris home today. Contrast was the order of the day, and his black and gray tattoo showed none of that.
I don’t see much of a future for Picasso or Alex either, to be honest. Alex is one of the most brittle and volatile artists we’ve yet seen compete, and Picasso is not familiar enough with his tools to go the distance. Both of them have tremendous skill, but this is not their home studio and neither is truly comfortable in the Loft. Let’s see who drops next.