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worked as an art director on several film sets. He also studied with the late Samoan tattoo

master Paulo Suluape (1950–1999) and opened the first shop dedicated to

moko

in the

world in 1988 (Moko Ink, Grey Lynn, New Zealand).

1

The elaborate, curved designs etched

into the wearer’s skin often represent family history, tribal affiliation, or deeply personal

experiences. Growing international interest in

moko

and the intimate nature of the designs

led Taylor and other designers to develop fundamental principles regarding respect for

traditional customs; spiritual and physical care for the tattoo; and safety for the person

receiving the

moko

, all to ensure integrity for the art form.

2

Skin decoration also looks to the past in the work of New York City-based artists

Stephanie Tamez (Saved, Brooklyn) and Anil Gupta (Inkline Studio, Manhattan). Tamez

trained as a graphic designer in San Antonio before receiving her first tattoo in Switzerland

frommaster tattooist Filip Leu. After a stint at San Francisco’s Diamond Club, Tamez estab-

lished herself as an expert in tattoos and typography inspired by historical woodcuts,

textiles, and paintings. The crisp, clear lines of the

Byzantine icon side piece

(FIGURE 1)

in

Body Embellishment

(modified from a Byzantine painting), the intricate flowers inspired

by a print by William Morris (1834–1896)

(FIGURE 2)

, and a woodcut-inspired chest

piece featuring two large rams

(FIGURE 3)

exemplify the elegance and beauty of Tamez’s

work and her belief that because her clients will live with the works every day, they

deserve high-quality artistry.

3

Her approach to tattooing is highly influenced by meticu-

lous precision and an awareness of every inch of ink in context of the larger canvas. Anil

Gupta received his first (and so far only) tattoo from Filip Leu and other masters in 2001.

As a young man, Gupta had stumbled into the world of tattoo design as an assistant to a

part-time tattooist in Mumbai and created his first tattoo in 1982.

FIGURE 1

Stephanie Tamez

Digital image of

Byzantine icon side piece

2013

FIGURE 2

Stephanie Tamez

Digital image of

WilliamMorris back piece

2013

FIGURE 3

Stephanie Tamez

Digital image of

Rams chest piece

2013