Written by Catherine du Pont, Community Buzz Creator
As I walked up to Orange Circle Tattoo on E. Chapman this weekend, I first noticed a sweet black hot rod with music pouring out of it parked outside. When I walked inside, it was not at all what I expected it be. It was like walking into a tiki bar/art gallery rather than a typical tattoo parlor. There was colorful artwork all over the walls, small totem polls, a big black Harley and other eye-catching pieces. Most tattoo shops have tattoo artwork in frames all over the walls so people can come choose a tattoo from something they see. That’s not what Gabe Csobi, the owner, envisioned for his shop. He’s from Hungary and has owned tattoo shops in Northern Italy and in Hungary. He has also worked on the east coast of the US and other places in Europe. Orange Circle Tattoo is his first tattoo shop that he owns in the United States. Gabe is internationally known for his free-hand tattooing and appreciates tattooing as an art form. I looked through some of his portfolio on his iPad and man, is this guy talented!
Orange Circle Tattoo is part tattoo shop and part art gallery, which is called Kustom Kulture. Every other month, a new artist will be showcased and have pieces available for sale. Here are some of the pieces on the wall today:
If any of you happened to see a party going on at the shop in late July, it wasn’t just to celebrate the grand opening of the store but it was also the current artist Doug Dorr’s reception. Gabe plans on doing this again in mid-October and December when a new artist is showcased. There will be a car show, live music, drinks and art all in the store and the parking lot behind it. The store has a really cool vibe and Gabe is really friendly guy and obviously passionate about what he’s doing. Head down to Orange Circle Tattoo to say hi and check out the scene! Here are some more pictures of the shop.
Check out Orange Circle Tattoo’s website HERE.
Orange Circle Tattoo is located at 227 E. Chapman Ste. A in Old Towne Orange, California.
Tattoo artist Gabor “Gabe” Csobi could hardly believe his luck when he was finally able to acquire a location in Old Towne Orange for his new venture, Orange Circle Tattoo & Custom Culture Art.
Located at 227 East Chapman in the old Good Feet space, the tattoo studio/art gallery serves up a cool vibe that combines Gabe’s skill as a tattoo artist with his love for hot rods, rockabilly and “kustom kulture.”
“I was hoping for years to get a spot in Old Towne,” said Gabe, who had worked at other tattoo parlors in Orange County while gaining a loyal following.
“I have a large clientele and they are really, really amazed when they come here. They are really happy and they tell me that it’s the right spot and that I totally fit in.”
With 19 years worldwide experience in the business, Gabe was one of the first tattoo artists in his home country of Hungary, also helping to pioneer the art throughout the entire late Eastern bloc. He specializes in freehand custom tattoos, and is adept at creating pieces of any size or style, whether American traditional old school, tribal, oriental, black & grey, or large color pieces.
Traveling the world, Gabe set up shop in Italy before coming to America to seek more artistic challenges. He worked in various studios on the East Coast, including at Carl Hesse’s world–famous studio and Bill Funk’s Body Graphics in Philadelphia. He returned to Hungary, but soon longed for the California sunshine and hot rod culture.
“I definitely wanted to settle down here,” he said. “I love motorcycles and cars. I feel California merges all my tastes and styles. My custom bike is sitting in the shop on display. I also have hot rods that I will eventually display outside the shop.”
Showcasing art exhibits based on the hot rod culture, Gabe will be offering ongoing shows with local artists. His grand opening in July featured the work of Doug Dorr, known for his pin–striping and hot–rod art.
“Old Towne is the ultimate place for me to be,” Gabe said. “I dreamed for six years of coming to Old Towne. I’m pleased to be here now.” ●
Written by Karen Anderson, Photograph by Jeanine Hill
By Megan Stoner
Published: Sunday, October 9, 2011
Updated: Sunday, October 9, 2011 23:10
Sarah Waldorf Gabe’s Orange Circle Tattoo owner Gabe Csöbi (sitting) and business partner Rob Silva (standing) insist that the Kustom Kulture Art Gallery is just as important to their business as the tattooing.
With the addition of Gabe’s Orange Circle Tattoo parlor on Chapman Avenue, caffeine isn’t the only buzz coming from the Orange Plaza.
Orange resident Gabe Csöbi has a passion for art, motorcycles and traveling. In 1992, Csöbi combined his passions by becoming a tattoo artist. He began his career in his hometown of Budapest, Hungary, then traveled through northwestern Italy and spent summers tattooing in the United States.
Csöbi settled in Old Towne Orange in July and founded Gabe’s Orange Circle Tattoo, which includes an art gallery, at 227 E. Chapman Ave. Csöbi, who has worked on and off in California since 2002, was drawn to Orange because of its historic feel. He alsobenefitted from opening the shop close to the strong customer following he had accumulated during the years he spent in Orange County.
“I opened my shop back in Hungary for a year and a half, but I came back to California,” Csöbi said. “It became like a culture shock being back in Hungary.”
Csöbi is a self-proclaimed tattoo guy and gear head. He appreciates the strong presence that classic cars of the‘50s and ‘60s have in Old Towne Orange, which is the reason he chose to open his shop in the Orange Plaza.
The walls of Orange Circle Tattoo are covered in colorful artwork, the floor is littered with tikis and other intricate sculptures, and the tattoo studio, near the back of the shop, is separated by a half-wall reminiscent of a tiki bar.
Chapman communications professor Kelli Fuery, who teaches the Body, Flesh, Subject course, said it’s clever for an art and tattoo studio to be combined because people tend to base their acceptance of tattoos on their definitions of what art is.
“In terms of the parlor being twinned with the art gallery, it shows that [tattooing is] its own form of art,” she said. “It’s no longer just seen as a primitive form of body art. It’s its own artistic form that’s not regulated to a specific genre.”
Senior business major Stephen Jepson said that he is more than excited about the store’s opening because the tattoo parlor’s presence nudges Old Towne toward a more college-town feel.
“I like how the Circle is kind of veering away from the whole antiquing hotspot,” Jepson said. “There are all those cool restaurants and the vintage clothing stores. I like how the ambiance is kind of shifting to a younger, more college kind of area.”
Although a portion of the shop’s clientele is made up of Csöbi’s previous customers, Csöbi and Rob Silva, long-time friend and partner tattooist for the shop, think they have been embraced more in Orange than in any other city in the county. Other vendors have made a point of stopping in to welcome the tattoo duo.
“I am so glad that I am accepted around here,” Csöbi said. “I like the folks and hopefully they like us too because I wanted to bring something different.”
Csöbi said he hasn’t seen as many Chapman students around his shop as he’d like. On Oct. 15, he is hoping to gain a larger customer base by hosting an art gallery open house. The event will begin at 4 p.m. and will include live music, unique artwork for purchase and samples of Hungarian food.