What was once considered a mark of rebellion abhorred by grandparents has become more like an American rite of passage. Today, about a third of adults in the US have at least one tattoo, and among millennials the number jumps to almost half. And while some of these tattoos are run-of-the-mill dolphins or cursive names, others are true works of art, made by world-renowned practitioners.
I wanted to capture some of the culture of tattooing in California (and a few in NYC), home to many of the art’s biggest superstars. The portraits in this project include Freddy Corbin (owner of Temple Tattoo in Oakland, California, who created some of the most famous designs in tattooing), Mister Cartoon (who designed the logos for Cypress Hill and Eminem’s Shady Records, and has tattooed the likes of Kobe Bryant, 50 Cent, Eminem, Travis Barker and Beyonce), as well as Eddy Vonista, Anderson Luna, Chris Conn, Nathan Kostechko, Marco Cerretelli, and Nalla Smith.