On Friday, September 27th, Charlie Cartwright will be coming out of retirement to tattoo for one day only at the legendary Good Time Charlie’s Tattooland in Anaheim, CA. This is an incredibly rare opportunity so contact Tattooland ASAP, or just stop by and meet the folk icon.
As expertly chronicled in Eric Schwartz’s “Tattoo Nation” documentary,Charlie Cartwright is considered to be one of the forefathers of the single needle, black and grey movement of the late seventies and early eighties. He began tattooing kids in his neighborhood using the stick poke method, but learned how to use an electric tattoo machine at the Pike in Long Beach in the early 1970’s.
Never too keen on standardized flash and color tattoos that most tattoo shops offered at the time, Cartwright opened up shop in Whittier, CA that would specialized in custom black and grey work applied with the single needle method, which was mainly used in the California penal system. In 1975, Cartwright took on Jack Rudy, and together they began to satisfy the growing demand of the primarily Chicano population for their signature, photorealistic and professional “prison” style tattoos.
Jack Rudy & Charlie Cartwright
The tattoos performed in prison were done with makeshift machines and inks; inmates would use any and all resources they could get their hands on. Cartwright and Rudy innovated a single needle electric tattoo machine that achieved exceptional detail, texture, and depth that simply was impossible in prisons. In 1977, they met Don “Ed” Hardy and immediately forged a reverent bond that took tattooing to new heights. When Cartwright “retired” from the business years later, it was Hardy and Rudy that continued to pave the way and establish black and grey as a legitimate and respected art form.
With the help of the famed Mark Mahoney and Freddy Negrete, Tattooland continued to embrace and evolve the legacy that Charlie Cartwright began so many years before. Good Time Charlie’s Tattooland has been up and running for 38 years now, a feet in and of itself, and isn’t showing any signs of slowing down under the guidance and industry expertise of Jack Rudy.