Dara's Fragment

I was hesitating whether or not to ask Dara Zad about her tattoo that wraps around her left ankle.

I am glad I did.

She has the word "Fragment" inked above her foot and, whereas a passer-by might dismiss it as a band name or a random word, the piece carries a depth of meaning about which Dara is clearly passionate.

She spoke quickly, so her quote may be abbreviated a bit, but she said:

"Everything is a fragment if it's taken out of context. Like in natural history museums, if you look at one thing by itself, a spoon for example, it is regarded as an artifact, but it is irrelevant by itself, it is only a fragment of a larger group of items. My leg is a fragment of me and I am a fragment of the universe."

Dara is a video artist, whose website here has some samples of her work. Check out, for example, her short film "The South Maple Bridge". It's pretty cool and worth a few minutes of your time.

This tattoo, one of four she has, was inked at a shop called Lunar Tattoo and Piercing, in Hadley, Massachusetts. The artist was Mark Bode.

Thanks to Dara Zad for sharing her fragment with us here at Tattoosday!
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Sam's Lotus in Memory of a Friend Gone Too Soon

I ran into Sam outside of Rite-Aid in my neighborhood, and she let me take a picture of the tattoo above.

Sam has a handful of tattoos, all meaningful, but we selected this one, on her right shoulder.

The lotus has an interesting look to it. She had wanted it to have a distinct pastel appearance and is happy with the way it came out. She later had a different artist ink a corresponding lotus on her left shoulder, but the ethereal effect did not quite have the same result in blue.

Sam explained that she hails from a small town where, unfortunately, there's at least one suicide a year among the younger population. As troubling as this was, it never really hit her hard until one of her friends took his life and became one of the statistics. Complicating matters was that a handful of others followed suit, making the experience even more trying.

She helped her own healing process by getting this tattoo. More important than the lotus' meaning as a life-affirming flower, Sam, like many people, find that being tattooed is a transformational experience, relieving her stress and pain.

She hopes to build off of this lotus and eventually ink a larger piece, in the quarter to half-sleeve range. Any interested artists should e-mail me and I can put Sam in touch with you.

The lotus was inked by Monique at Lotus Tattoo in Patchogue. Monique, she understands, has left that shop and relocated somewhere in Brooklyn. The shop, as well, seems to have shuttered its doors as well.

Thanks to Sam for sharing her lotus with us here at Tattoosday.
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Sal's Medicine Wheel Honors his Family

I was waiting for a prescription at Rite-Aid, on Thursday, July 17, which had already been a record Tattoosday. I saw a familiar-looking guy with the tattoo above on his forearm.

I asked him about it and he recognized me as the father of my two daughters who used to go to an after-school program where he had worked for a spell.

He was more than happy to explain this interesting tattoo to me. It is a Native American medicine wheel that he designed and brought in to Kings County Tattoo Company where the artist, Paulie, transformed it into a tattoo.

Paulie has been mentioned previously on Tattoosday here.

Kings County Tattoo has had work featured on this site here.

Sal explained that the outer part of the wheel is comprised of four colors: red, brown, yellow and white, each representing one of the races of humankind.

The crane features prominently in the piece because it is the symbol for the Baswenaazhi clan in the Chippewa tribe from which his father (and thus, he) is descended.

The thunderbird represents strength. The spiral equals life. And the arrows are emblems of Native American culture.

The 8997 represent the date August 9, 1997, the anniversary of his parents' marriage.

The entire piece is an elaborate tribute to Sal's family. I thank him for sharing his medicine wheel with us here on Tattoosday!
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The Homies Cool & Dre came thru yesterday. They are down here to do a video for a track they did for Lil Wayne, feat Game. They were playing some of the tracks they have dropping soon and these boys are bringing the Heat! As always.
-SA Studios

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Bryan's Homage to a Classic Pulp Cover

I met Bryan last week outside of Penn Station. He has "7 or 8" tattoos, and he offered up this piece from his left leg.

It's a recreation of a pulp book cover that depicts a woman holding a photograph of a crime in progress, just as the man in the photo who is the perpetrator, is entering the room, gun drawn.

The woman appears to have just developed the picture and her face is wracked with frightened recognition of the fate that is about to befall her.

Bryan recalls coming across this image when he was a teenager. I have a distinct feeling that I've seen this image before as well, but I was unable to find the source material. If anyone knows the title of the book upon which this tattoo is based, please let me know.

Bryan also likes the core element of photography within the tattoo, as he has always been interested in that art form, and he still considers photography a hobby.

This piece was inked by Jason Goldberg at Olde City Tattoo in Philadelphia.

Thanks to Bryan for sharing this amazing leg piece with us here at Tattoosday!
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Erik's Captain's Wheel

I ran into Erik at the laundromat and snapped this shot of one of his many tattoos. It is located on the inner part of his right bicep.

Erik explained that his grandfather and many of his uncles had been ship captains and this was a way to honor them with something significant from their family history. It also is a nod to Erik's love of pirates. You may recall, this is two weeks in a row I've snapped pirate-themed tattoos in the laundromat. The previous post is here.

This tattoo was done by none other than Joe at Brooklyn Ink. Previous Brooklyn Ink tattoos can be viewed here.

Thanks to Erik for sharing his cool tattoo here at Tattoosday!
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Lorraine's Red Slider

Yes, the Red Slider is a turtle, and the one on Lorraine's left foot is practically crawling off her skin.

She has three of them alive at home, named "Dikiewamish" "Panchito," and "Panchita." She sent me a photo of one of them. I'm not sure whic one of the three he/she is:

She loves turtles and wanted to pay tribute to her amphibious friends.

Her tattoo was inked at Studio Enigma in the Howard Beach section of Queens (not to be confused by Studio Enigma on Avenue U in Brooklyn). Her artist was Freddie.

Thanks to Lorraine for sharing her tat-turtle with us!
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Becky's Nod to Angelique Houtkamp

On Thursday, July 17, I spotted Becky outside of the Penn Plaza Borders talking to her friend Ashley.

Becky's not hard to miss, she's a striking young woman with twenty-seven tattoos. And, whereas generally Tattoosday participants are open and happy to share their ink here, both Becky and Ashley's kindness and friendly dispositions further brightened my day and reminded me why I love working on Tattoosday.

Of all Becky's work to choose from, she presented a piece on the top of her left foot. It's at the top of the post but is worth looking at again:

The tattoo is based on the artwork of Angelique Houtcamp, an artist who is often referred to as "the inspirational Dutch tattoo mademoiselle of the contemporary art world." Her artwork is much admired and both Becky, as well as her tattooist, Mohawk John.

This piece is based on Houtkamp's painting "Mata Hari":

The majority of Becky's work was inked by Mohawk John at B-52 Tattoo in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn. As you can see, he did a phenomenal job recreating Houtkamp's work on Becky's skin.

Thanks to Becky and her friend Ashley (whose Tattoosday offering is in the post below) for sharing their tattoos!

More of Angelique Houtkamp's artwork here.

See Becky's friend Ashley's Tattoosday offering here.
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Ashley Displays the Mark of Friendship

I met Ashley when I approached Becky (her post here) about her work. Unlike Becky, who is inked 27 times, Ashley has just four pieces, none of which are immediately visible.

However, after talking with her friend Becky, I queried Ashley about any tattoos she might have, she offered up the small piece above.

Ashley's friend Turner Walker is an aspiring tattooist who is learning the art form. Turner, with whom she had gone to school, asked if he could practice on her and, when she assented, he placed two small red hearts on either side of the middle finger on her right hand.

She laughs about it, thinking it's cool that wherever she goes, she'll have a piece of him inked on her body.

Personally, I like the fact that she has a couple of hearts inked on a finger that is often misused by humans to make an unpleasant gesture.

Thanks to Ashley for sharing her small heart with us. True friends let their friends practice tattooing them!
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