Zeke Owen: Master Tattoo Artist

Synopsis

Zeke Owen is a legend in Tattoo History. Along with Sailor Jerry Collins and Ed Hardy, he introduced the Japanese “big work” style into Western Tattooing in the 1960s. Michael Houghton shot this extended portrait of Zeke on 16mm film between 1969 and 1973 in Seattle and Vancouver, but was unable to get funding to finish it at that time. This version, restored in 2019 from Michael’s edited work print, original camera footage, and period photos, brings this intimate picture of Zeke, his work, and his contemporaries to the public for the first time.

Review

4/5
A documentary that captures a by-gone era of tattoo artistry.
Filmed and directed by Michael Houghton, ‘Zeke Owen: Master Tattoo Artist’ is a short documentary film that examines the tattoo artistry of Zeke Owen. The short is filmed on 16mm film and captures footage from 1969 to 1973. Upon Michael’s death in 2017, Karen Houghton & Michael Hardy discovered the unfinished project and set about its restoration and digitalization – due to its cultural and historical importance.

The 26-minute film takes viewers back to the heyday of tattoo artistry. We are introduced to Zeke Owen, a prolific tattoo artist who contributed to the rise of Japanese inspired designs into the West. Whilst showcasing his craft, Owen talks about the men that inspired his passion and the advancements in technique and safety. Michael Houghton was never able to complete the film due the development costs and time consumption at that period. The film acts as a time capsule of a by-gone era that will captivate and fascinate those with an interest in tattoos.

Zeke Owen Short Film
High praise to Karen Houghton and Michael Hardy for restoring Michael’s work for the world to see. A fascinating piece of filmmaking that doesn’t attempt to hide its original technicality. Zeke’s wisdom and knowledge of his craft will reward viewers from start to finish. A beautiful documentary that honors Michael Houghton. Highly recommended.

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Michael Houghton
Writer(s): Karen Houghton, Michael Hardy
Cast:
Producer(s): Karen Houghton
Director of Photography: Michael Houghton
Editor(s): Karen Houghton,Michael Hardy,Michael Houghton
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifications

Genre: Documentary
Subjects: Art, Body Image, Creativity, Culture, History
Country: United States
Language: English
Year: 2019
Publication Date:

Recommended

Cast/Crew

Director(s): Michael Houghton
Writer(s): Karen Houghton, Michael Hardy
Cast:
Producer(s): Karen Houghton
Director of Photography: Michael Houghton
Editor(s): Karen Houghton,Michael Hardy,Michael Houghton
Animation:
Sound:
Music:
Miscellaneous:

Specifcations

Genre: Documentary
Subjects: Art, Body Image, Creativity, Culture, History
Country: United States
Language: English
Year: 2019

Recommended

Zeke Owen: Master Tattoo Artist

Synopsis

Zeke Owen is a legend in Tattoo History. Along with Sailor Jerry Collins and Ed Hardy, he introduced the Japanese “big work” style into Western Tattooing in the 1960s. Michael Houghton shot this extended portrait of Zeke on 16mm film between 1969 and 1973 in Seattle and Vancouver, but was unable to get funding to finish it at that time. This version, restored in 2019 from Michael’s edited work print, original camera footage, and period photos, brings this intimate picture of Zeke, his work, and his contemporaries to the public for the first time.

Review

A documentary that captures a by-gone era of tattoo artistry.

4/5
Filmed and directed by Michael Houghton, ‘Zeke Owen: Master Tattoo Artist’ is a short documentary film that examines the tattoo artistry of Zeke Owen. The short is filmed on 16mm film and captures footage from 1969 to 1973. Upon Michael’s death in 2017, Karen Houghton & Michael Hardy discovered the unfinished project and set about its restoration and digitalization – due to its cultural and historical importance.

The 26-minute film takes viewers back to the heyday of tattoo artistry. We are introduced to Zeke Owen, a prolific tattoo artist who contributed to the rise of Japanese inspired designs into the West. Whilst showcasing his craft, Owen talks about the men that inspired his passion and the advancements in technique and safety. Michael Houghton was never able to complete the film due the development costs and time consumption at that period. The film acts as a time capsule of a by-gone era that will captivate and fascinate those with an interest in tattoos.

Zeke Owen Short Film
High praise to Karen Houghton and Michael Hardy for restoring Michael’s work for the world to see. A fascinating piece of filmmaking that doesn’t attempt to hide its original technicality. Zeke’s wisdom and knowledge of his craft will reward viewers from start to finish. A beautiful documentary that honors Michael Houghton. Highly recommended.

Recommended

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