In the 2000s, a different breed of tattoo shops opened. These were more upscale and a lot more attractive to celebrities and to people willing to drop a big chunk of change for a gorgeous piece of body art. The tattoo has become modern and these artists with their shops opened up in areas that stand out. Around the world, specialized artists with their global recognition has made their mark (not pun intended) with these incredible, fancy parlors.
British artist Rob Kelly moved to Hong Kong in the 1990s and opened his Black Out Tattoo shop in 2010. Kelly’s reputation as an artist intent on raising the standards of body art is well-known and his Sheung Wan-based shop is a clean, hip place for fresh bodily art. In Tahiti, an area where the natives pride themselves on tattoos as part of their ritual, Mana’o Tattoo Studio is acclaimed for their realistic work depicting Polynesian-style artwork. In Tokyo, where Japanese tattoos also have had a long history, Honey Tattoo uses traditional techniques for expansive bodily work.
Tattoo artist Angelique Houtkamp is based in Amsterdam’s Salon Serpent, a part-body ink, part-art shop near the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. One of Ms. Houtkamp’s known talents is tattooing realistic nipples for those who have had a breast removed following cancer. Another tattoo studio and café of notice is AKA Berlin from artist Peter Aurisch and others who have developed a minimalist technique to their work; they also sell their designs on t-shirts that sell quite a lot. And, in Liege, Belgium, Calypso Tattoo has been the top center in the country for tattoos.
Black Line Studio tattoo parlour in Toronto has become a big centre for work thanks to the growing clientele that has included numerous celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Justin Bieber. On the Lower East Side of New York, Bang Bang is a shop where it is so popular, there is a waiting list and also has collected a notable list of celebrities putting down thousands of dollars for work by artist Keith McCurdy including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. In Orlando, Florida, the Brazilian-based Tattoo You has grown considerably notable in the tattoo world thanks to artist Felipe “Fe Rod” Rodrigues.
This last place is not in one singular spot, but an exhibition that appears all over the world from Los Angeles to London. New York artist Scott Campbell’s Whole Glory features a simple premise: customers stick their arm in a hole in the wall (a glory hole, if you flip the words around) and pull it out when the tattoo is completely finished with whatever design is there. It is a creative idea that adds to the experience of getting permanent ink on the arm. The parlors mentioned above take the process to a new level with eye popping designs and settings not like any other tattoo piercing parlor.