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Woman Shows Off Butthole Tattoo and Other Stuff We Saw at the Tattoo Convention (NSFW Video)

Just because tattoos are mainstream now doesn't mean they shouldn't be celebrated like the works of art and curiosity they are.

Over the weekend at the seventh annual Minneapolis Tattoo Arts Convention, tattoo lovers showed off their art and were able to get some fresh ink from 250 tattoo artists onsite at the Hyatt Regency.

We chatted with some of the people at the convention about tats, motivation, and just what makes tattoos so addicting.

See also: Awesome Body Art at the Minneapolis Tattoo Convention [Slideshow]

"Tattooing has never been more popular than it is today," explained Troy Timpel, one of the event's organizers. "One out of five Americans have a tattoo."

At last weekend's convention, it's pretty safe to say that more than one out of five people there had one or more tattoos -- whether they had small tokens or sprawling designs -- and each for different motives.

Helen Sevig described one of the reasons Permanent Addiction Ink's clients have decided to brave the needles: "We've got a lot of people who have been through traumatic experiences and like to express themselves through that way because it's a form of art that's permanent."

"It's a ton of fun," Andrew Hoogenakker told us while showing off his cosmic chest piece with astrological signs and the eye of Horus. "You've got a good culture of people to come down and hang out with."

Indeed, it's not merely the stories behind the tattoos that are captivating. Justin Nudell of the Golden Needle Tattoo Studio in Moorhead told us about his pretty bad-ass start in tattoo artistry: "I was taught by an old biker in the woods of North Dakota."

There were plenty of things to do and see over the weekend, including plenty of contests. Folks flaunted their tattoos onstage for the chance to win bragging rights in more than 30 different categories.

Tattoo award contestant Caryn Long showed off some of her ink to the crowd, which required some disrobing to get to the bottom of things... literally. (The textual tattoo in question is on Long's asshole.)

So what does it say? "Eat your heart out." Right on.

Video production by Todd Wardrope for City Pages.

See more Twin Cities video work at video.citypages.com