Sunday, September 6, 2009

Alyssa's Tattoos: A Little Bit of Art, A Little Bit of Soul

Generally speaking, New Yorkers tend to avoid speaking to one another on the subway, or the subway platforms. As one would imagine, you see a lot of great ink on the trains, and I've become less and less concerned when it comes to breaking the "don't talk to strangers on the subway" rule.

I met Alyssa on the subway platform at Court Street in Brooklyn and she shared two very interesting tattoos with me.

She first offered up this very interesting piece on the inner part of her upper left arm:

For the full effect, this is what the edges look like as they wrap around the arm:

This design is actually a replica of a bracelet she used to wear, a piece that was designed by her maternal grandfather. He was a jewelery designer by trade. The bracelet was constructed of sandcastle silver and inspired by Zuni art. The Zuni of the American Southwest are known for their skill in silversmithing.

I asked Alyssa why she chose a bracelet to be tattooed on her and she informed me, "I was coming back to who I was as a person" and that she wanted to put something artistic on herself. Incorporating an object that was an artistic creation of her grandfather made sense to her.

I was pleased when I asked her about this tattoo as well, and she kindly allowed me to take the picture:

This tattoo is on the back side of her upper right arm, and I was fascinated by its unusual design. She explained that a good friend of hers is an American Sign Language (ASL) translator, and that the figure is demonstrating the sign for "Soul". The way motion is depicted in the tattoo is completely brilliant, in my opinion.

Both tattoos were inked by Daniel Santoro at New York Adorned. He's now at Smith Street Tattoo Parlour in Brooklyn.

Thanks to Alyssa for sharing these lovely tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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