Last weekend, New York was buzzing with art fairs, from the old-guard Armory Show to the more modern Frieze and the wacky, shock-factor Spring/Break, and the dream is always taking one of those pieces home. But if hanging half your bank account on your living room wall, isn’t an option, turning your body into a contemporary canvas certainly is. Here, a few of our favorite tattoo artists (and one temporary-design collective, for the commitment-weary).
Georgia’s known for her extremely fine linework and rich hues—fans swear her tattoos stay crisp over time without any color bleed—but she deserves props for her astute placement. Whether it’s the crook of an elbow, a knuckle or a rib cage, she understands the body as a 360° moving canvas. Find her perched up at @bangbangnyc.
If skulls, pin-up babes and sailor motifs—which is to say, as classic as it gets—are your thing, Luke is the expert. And as much as his fans love his work, he has extra reason to love doing it: nine months ago, he had a disc replacement which threatened his career forever. A full recovery later, he’s up in business and contributing to his personal feed @lostartofthegentleman about family, manhood, style and hustle.
If only bodies could be in museums—Amanda’s floating watercolor designs defy every tattoo trope, thanks to her soft-focus line work. She’s also down to experiment, and a few years back, got attention for a series of dissolving tattoos called Bloodlines, using distilled red water instead of ink and in 2015, live-tattooed canvases and oranges at The Met Museum. If your skin can wait a year, she’s worth booking an appointment.
For the geometry-obsessed Brody, no part of the body is off limits. Whether he’s working in Cape Town or out of @UNIV_ERSE in Berlin, he applies his thick, monochromatic shapes and interlocking patterns to draw the eye along the body. As far as tattoo artists go, Brody’s especially articulate and shares his point of view in interviews. Get to know more about how his aesthetic developed here.
There are two main reasons people don’t get tattoos: the first being, obviously, the lifelong commitment. The second? The impossibility of getting an appointment with the most talented inkers in the biz. Problem solved on both acounts, thanks to this rad temporary tattoo shop, with limited editions designed by those artists you can’t see in person, like @SashaUnisex, @sashatattooing, @DanSmithism and more.