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Film Club April 15, 2024

Tête de Gomme

‘Tête de Gome’ was originally published in Volume XIII, December 2023

Words & photography by Yentl Touboul

I don’t know what makes it so hard to write about your closest friends. Maybe it’s the lack of distance, the fact that everything that makes them who they are is so evident to you, or maybe it’s the fear of not being able to encapsulate who they are in the 48h deadline that’s been given to you… Truth is that it is, so I’ll keep it short.

Tito (Lavole) and I grew up in Guadeloupe, an island in the French Caribbean. I met him when I was 12 years old and remember that going to his house as a kid felt like going to wonderland. He lived walking distance from our favourite wind blown left hander, in a small house littered with all types of surfboards, art, musical instruments… and more importantly what must have been one of the very few halfpipes on the island.

From an early age you could tell that to the contrary of most of our friends our age who were following what the older generation was doing—getting into competition and all the rest—his interests were elsewhere. From an early age he was constantly drawing on anything he could get his hands on, as well as playing music and generally being more interested in everything that revolved around creative expression.
After graduating from the French baccalaureate (and becoming significantly better than all of us at surfing), Tito moved to Bordeaux to study fine arts. I had moved to the coast two hours south by then and if the forecast was good he would take the train down to surf. If it wasn’t I would take the train up to visit him. Tito had this flat on Cours de la Marne, a street more known for its chicken shops than wine cellars. On route to his, you knew you were always going to be in for an experience; we would go check out street markets and drink mint teas at Place St Michel during the day and wander around the city and go to basement concerts during the night— a solid contrast to the surf industry driven part of France I was based at the time.

Year after year, the paintings and art installation piles grew bigger, until he finished studying four years later. Tito then packed his bags, left all his paintings on the street, and flew to Australia. After spending some time in Byron, Tito drifted to the South Coast of NSW where he ended up settling.
Tito now makes his living as a tattoo artist at Blanc Space studio run with his partner Em Reid in Milton. What you see on the following pages are a selection of recent flash sheets; some for fun, some used on previous projects, and one even used as a graphic for his first signature board model, with Misfit shapes ‘ERASER HEAD’, an ode to David Lynch’s 1977 horror film of the same name.
(PSA – If you’re in the Milton area be sure to check out Blanc Space’s ‘Flash May‘ – Flash tattoo’s everyday of the month with a huge list of artists!)

©Wasted Talent Magazine
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