Welcome to our Art Issue. As with every installment of Inked, we hope to inspire you. Consider the blank space above. What would you put there? For every issue we splash pristine pages with photos, art and words, but what would you do? Like a graffiti artist gazing at a virgin wall or a tattoo artist peering at an open spot of skin, sometimes the most Inspirational space is a blank one.
NIKKI NICHOLE, LAST ISSUE’S “MY FAVORITE INK” CHECKS IN. How has life changed since Inked? I’ve expanded my creative interests and I’m acting. I’m also the Executive Producer for a film that’s in pre-production. Any new ink since? Yes. I don’t think I could go more than three months without getting a new tattoo.
A great tattoo is a group effort. It takes a dedicated, patient client and the right artist for the job to create quality work. It’s a concept that tattooed bombshell Brittany Hetzer has truly taken to heart. “I always wanted to get a tattoo for the people I love," Hetzer tells us.
yes, these are drawn Art, in its very nature, is divisive. It serves as a method to both evoke and provoke, to reel in those who get it and confound those who don’t. Miguel Santiago—or as the internet knows him, Trafart—exemplifies this dualism as he passes seamlessly from the world of street art to the world of fine art.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE ROCK & RYE? Rock & Rye is an American trash-glam whiskey bar. We just want people to have a great time with us and their friends, leaving them with memories to come back and party time and time again. Honestly there’s never a dull night.
Italian-Americans fit into two stereotypes: Italians from New Jersey, whose mother can cook better than yours; and Italians from the rest of the country (their mothers also cook better than yours). Nicolo Luigi Tortorella is one of the latter, born and raised in the northern suburbs of Chicago.
The master of macabre imagery shares his dark secrets
In Hell’s Kitchen, on the sidewalk in front of the tattoo studio-art gallery Last Rites Tattoo Theatre, a young woman in shiny black latex is introduced to Paul Booth. Her mascara starts to run, she falls to the ground, and she begins dragging herself on her belly toward him.
Brooklyn's master of bit, bold and bright American Traditional. An innovator at Smith St. Tattoo Parlour, Krak amps up the traditional style with his consistently sharp line work and out-of-the-box color palette.
No recent film has been more anticipated then Star Wars: Episode VII-The Force Awakens. The buzz has been endless, the toys have already been on the shelves and either played with or packed away in the original packaging, heck, even one of the teases (not the official trailer) has garnered 75 million views on YouTube.
THE ALL-AMERICAN REJECTS “There’s a Place” These pop heavyweights are back with an acoustic-driven, twangy return to form. FOXING “Weave” Foxing are one of the most celebrated bands in the underground and this shimmering, stripped-down track illustrates why.
A coalescence of many art forms kaleidoscopes across the following pages. In front of Rebecca Handler’s lens the designs of street artist Rubin 415 play across the body art and modeling of Ginzilla. Lights, Camera, Attraction!
How serious is John McAlee about becoming the next American President? He tattooed his campaign logo on his chest.
American voters tend to back a presidential candidate who is just like them, someone who they would want to drink a beer with. I just did a tequila shot with candidate John McAfee, who is about to get the tenets of his campaign tattooed on his chest.
Iman Shumpert goes hard in the paint and in the tattoo chair. The NBA star is a warrior poet who communicates through his style, raps and ink.
Michael Jordan was one of the first iconic bald heads in the NBA, Allen Iverson made cornrows cool to the masses and Dennis Rodman, well, dyed his hair more colors than are in the deluxe 64 box of Crayola crayons. The Association’s current coiffure de célèbre stands atop Cleveland Cavaliers’ 6’5” (unclear if measured through or over his hair) shooting guard Iman Shumpert.
Two creatives, one, Adam Goldberg, a writer, actor, director and musican, and the other, Mark Mahoney, a tattooer (and sometimes actor, see Black Mass) meet at the revered Shamrock Social Club. They collaborate on Goldberg’s latest ink then discuss the ephemeral quality of tattoos and kill the concept of cool.
YOU’VE BEEN TATTOOING FOR FIVE YEARS NOW, HOW’S YOUR LIFE? I'm privileged enough to wake up and do what I love every day. I get to make art and tattoo for a living. It doesn’t get much better than that. Except maybe winning the lottery. DO YOU HAVE ANY SPECIAL TRAINING?
WHAT LEAD YOU TO WORK PRIMARILY IN A VIBRANT COLOR PALETTE OVER BLACK-AND-GREY? For me it was a natural artistic transition. I started tattooing using mainly black-and-grey and learned all the shading techniques, but after I started working with colors, it was an immediate click.
WHAT DROVE YOU TO TATTOO IN THIS STYLE AND COLOR PALETTE? My work is spontaneous and free with no restrictions. I don’t really plan anything, apart from portraits where there’s a bit more structure, but otherwise I throw a bunch of different techniques into my work.
I met Chris Primm from The Grand Reaper for the first time as a client. At the time, I only had small tattoos and I wanted to go bigger but I was unsure about my ideas. Chris was very supportive and he encouraged me to branch out as I expanded on my pieces.