The largest and longest-running tattoo event in the Southern Hemisphere, the Australian Tattoo Expo is back in Melbourne from Friday 1 December to Sunday 3 December to celebrate body art with over 400 world-class tattoo artists.
The weekend-long event explores the rich and diverse world of tattoo and body art culture where attendees can meet talented artists and explore various genres, histories, trends, and techniques in this complex industry.
Welcoming both connoisseurs and those looking to pop their tattoo cherry, the Australian Tattoo Expo offers a captivating experience filled with thrilling entertainment, world famous tattoo competitions, unique merchandise, body piercing, and the opportunity to be inked by talented artists.
Kevin Mack, CEO of CMMN, founded the Australian Tattoo Expo event in 2011, and has since grown it into the largest tattoo expo in the Southern Hemisphere. Mack says this is partly thanks to the evolution of tattoos from a symbol of rebellion to a widely accepted form of self-expression.
“We’ve witnessed a significant societal transformation in our industry over the last decade, with the growing embrace of tattooing within mainstream culture, there’s a heightened appreciation for the skill, dedication, and artistry that underlie this craft,” said Mack.
“Our aim has always been to create something meaningful for everyone. Whether you’re an aspiring artist, a seasoned pro, or just someone with a deep appreciation for tattoo art, our event is designed to be a welcoming space where you can find your place and connect with like-minded people.”
Artists from around the world will compete in the CTAA Tattoo Competition Series. The competition series features specialised categories, with artists vying for the prestigious Tattoo of the Show title announced at Rites of Passage Melbourne in April 2024. With a total prize pool of $60,000 up for grabs across the series, the biggest tattoo competition prize of its kind in Australia.
Didn’t think before you inked? It turns out even out even the shittest clouds have a silver lining. Delve into the ugly underbelly of the tattoo world and showcase your ink regret as part of the Australian Tattoo Expo’s official, Shittest Tattoo Competition – brace yourself for gasps and big laughs.
This year, Australian Tattoo Expo proudly welcomes an international panel of judges to their Melbourne event representing a global celebration of body art. The event will be MC’d by Stella Perry.
Among the competition judging panel is Brazilian Karlla Mendes. Karlla specialises in scar tattooing and is well known for her We Are Diamonds project, where she transforms physical scars from domestic violence, accidents or surgery, and creates healing images for survivors of depression and trauma.
Joining her is Peste, an Italian artist renowned for his unique black abstract style and New York based, Khan Tattoo who is known for his unique style of colour realism and personalisation of tattoo’s for each client’s own story.
The expo features an incredible line-up of over 400 international and local artists representing countries such as Japan, Taiwan, China, South Korea, USA, Indonesia, Sweden and Australia.. Both tattoo enthusiasts and novices will be able to make an appointment to get inked on the spot.
Leave your ink destiny to fate at the Dr Pickles Tattoo Glory Hole, much like in the seedy, semi-mythical activity that gives the booth its name, slide your arm through the slot in the wall, place your faith in the hands of the tattoo artist and leave the expo with a fresh tattoo and a new yarn to tell your mates.
Don’t miss your chance to get inked by celebrity tattoo artist Lauren Winzer who will be offering free walk up flash tattoos all weekend long. Laura has tattooed some of Hollywood’s biggest names including Post Malone, Sophie Turner, Miley Cirus, Toni Collette, Cody Smith and Joe Jonas. Lauren can be found at the Bepanthen Tattoo Stand (D06).
Bring the bling with resident exhibitor The Cheshire’s Grin who will be crafting real gold grills and teeth all weekend long, or explore the world of body modification and enhance your body art with professional body piercers on-site ready to give you a new addition.
If getting tattooed isn’t your thing, there’s plenty to keep you entertained including Flux Entertainment who will feature their breath-taking fire shows three times daily on the main stage. Local DJs will take the stage throughout the event.
The expo has fun for the whole family with a dedicated kids’ corner featuring activities like hair braiding and tattoo colouring booths, photo booths or they can say hello to our real life snake and its tamer – Ferri Maya.
Australian Tattoo Expo
Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre (MCEC), 1 Convention Centre Place, South Wharf
Event: 1 – 3 December 2023
For more information, visit: www.tattooexpo.com.au for details.
Image: Australian Tattoo Expo (supplied)