Sunday, January 4, 2009

Jerry's Sparrows Represent an Ocean Crossed

I met Jerry just outside of our local grocery store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

He was kind enough to let me photograph one of the sparrows flying on each side of his neck:

Jerry estimates that 50% of his body is inked. Today being January 4, a lot of that was covered against the elements, so the sparrow it was.

He has been getting tattoos since he was 17 years old.

He went with the sparrow tattoos to represent the traditional aspect of the art, and the fact that he had crossed an ocean (The Atlantic). This is one of the meanings that sparrows possess when represented in ink.

This piece, and most of his recent tattoos, was created by Alex Franklin at Brooklyn Ink.

Work by Alex and other Brooklyn Ink artists has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Jerry also has knuckle tattoos, which I also snapped pictures of his hands for, but a shadow (mine) interfered with a clean shot:

The knuckles read "Ride Hard" because Jerry is a biker and he says it's best to "ride hard or not at all". If I get the opportunity to get a better shot of his knuckles, I'll send them over to

Thanks again to Jerry for sharing his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!


Anonymous said...

Does Jerry realize that the "sparrow" on his neck is actually a swallow and not a sparrow?

Did he model his "sparrow" tattoo after that of Jack Sparrow?

Propagation of error by imitation?

Bill Cohen said...

In all fairness, the mistake could be mine. Sparrow tattoos and swallow tattoos have traditionally similar meanings. Next time I see Jerry in the street I will clarify....