Even when business is slow in the world of impulsive ink and sober regrets, Icon Tattoo owner Denny Duvenci would rather starve than give a bad tattoo. "If you're looking for tattoos by price," he says to a potential customer, "you've probably come to the wrong place." Duvenci defines his one-man operation by its emphasis on artistic quality -- the wait for him to draw out a tattoo can be as long as a week. "There's so many places that are just the Fantastic Sam's of tattoo shops, and I just got tired of doing little butterflies all day," Duvenci says. "T his is not the place for impatient people," Duvenci adds.
Icon's business cards are also uncompromising -- they feature George W. Bush making the sign of the devil with his hand. "I get people who come in who're all about America and say how great it is, and then there's the crowd that's a little more ... aware."
The year-old Icon Tattoos doesn't goof off with the needles, either. Icon Tattoo is located at 1412 South 7 Highway, exit 20 off I-70 East in Blue Springs. For information, call 816-220-8281.-- Chris Sebela
Artist Wenda Gu uses hair to unite nations.
In a world increasingly touched by isms (fundamentalism, nationalism and fervid patriotism), China-born artist Wenda Gu remains hopeful that people can find harmony through "transculturalism." Gu's "united nations -- 7561 kilometers" consists of 7,561 kilometers of hair collected from barbershops around the world, braided into a 5,000-meter-long chain and combined with United Nations stamps from 191 countries, then assembled to form a two-story, templelike structure.
Wenda Gu: from middle kingdom to biological millennium brings Gu's vision to the H&R Block Artspace until Saturday, July 12, and again from August 19 to September 6 as part of a national tour.
With its multiculturalism surpassed only by its multicolors, Gu's installation creates a stunning -- and hairy -- shrine to global cooperation.
For information, call 816-561-5563.-- Cody Simms
Filmmakers do it on the run.
Budding filmmakers with a thirst for a challenge converge at Westport Coffee House (4010 Pennsylvania) this Saturday at 9:30 a.m. The Independent Film Coalition's president, Matthew Stevens, says they're gathering for a One Night Stand, where the filmmakers receive a randomly chosen theme and an unrelated object, then have ten hours to make a movie revolving around them. "It's not a scavenger hunt or endurance contest," Stevens says. "It's about play and creativity." Among the themes and items that may be assigned: sex, deceit and cheap suits. The five-minutes-or-shorter films are screened later that day at 8 p.m. in the Fahrenheit Gallery, 1717 West 9th Street. For information, call 816-728-8647.-- Steve Walker
People and Places
What is a Kansas City Art Institute graduate doing at UMKC's Center for the City? Beth Wickerson is intrigued by the idea of place. In Rhythm: Elements of Venice, Brindisi, Milan and Brussels, her photographs focus on evidence of human activity -- but in the absence of humans themselves: receipts on the ground, parked cars, clothes drying in the wind. The center, at 4825 Troost, is open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. The show runs through September 6. For more information, call 816-235-6100.-- Sarah Smarsh