“Lew The Jew” influenced Charlie Wagner, Ed Smith, Samuel F O’Reilly and scores of other Bowery tattoo artists at the turn of the century. He was very proud of his Jewish heritage as a positive selling tool and a way to distinguish himself. This piece was found on the back of another old tattoo drawing in a ruined frame. This chest or back piece is the only finished color drawing discovered to date, by this seminal New York tattoo artist.
This piece travels through time, bringing us back to era of long gone sailing ships relying on lighthouses to navigate the rocky shoals. Identified as by the hand of Lewis Alberts, Bowery tattoo artist. Resting tightly in the museum at Daredevil Tattoo,Bowery, NYC, where it rightly belongs.
Don Ed Hardy’s book
The distinctive shading technique, rendering of ocean waves , light house depiction and especially the signature seagulls, stylistically prove this is indeed, by Lewis Alberts.
Lew “The Jew” Alberts, pencil and watercolor on board, The Bowery, NYC, c1910