Monday, March 26, 2012

RoBear Shares a Pin-Up

A familiar face passed me in Penn Station a couple weeks back and I jumped at the opportunity to talk to him - it was RoBear, from the TLC series NY Ink.

For those of you not familiar with the show, RoBear is the floor manager at Wooster Street Social Club, the setting for the show.

I first encountered RoBear last May, when I was one of the lucky people selected to take part in "Roosterfest," a fundraiser segment of episode seven on season one. $50 rooster tattoos were on order and I got, in my opinion, the best one - from Megan Massacre. I documented the experience here.

So, here I was, talking to RoBear in Penn Station and, well, I had to ask, would he mind sharing one of his tattoos?

Much to my happiness, he was game and, after a moment of thought, rolled up his right pant leg to reveal this tattoo:

RoBear explained that the pin-up is based on his long-time friend Natascha de los Angeles, and he elaborated by e-mail:

"I got the tattoo to commemorate my friendship to the girl who named me Robear when I was sixteen. We met at a BIGLNY (Bisexual, Gay and Lesbian NY) youth group back in the day at the Gay & Lesbian Community Services Center on West 13th Street and right after meeting she said I was 'cute, a little furry and that she was going to call me Robear.' It totally stuck and she has never one since called me by my birth name, which is Robert.

So, after getting the job on NY INK, since the name was so catchy, I wanted to thank [Natascha] and celebrate our friendship that has spanned almost 20 years now ... my artist, Tony Silva of High Roller Tattoo in NY, and I came up with this pinup specifically for her. [Natascha] is a pastry artist and chef in Manhattan, so I did the bakers hat, apron and her holding one of her own cakes she has made. Her website is Artesenal Sweets ... She is a constant inspiration and muse for me and all I do with my fashion, interior design and culinary arts, since she emcompasses everything that is beautiful and creative to me. A truly unqiue and special woman that will be in my life forever."

RoBear was also kind enough to send a crisper photo of the tattoo

Pin-Up by Tony Silva, Photo Courtesy of RoBear
and a picture of him with Natascha for reference below: 
Natascha de los Angeles & RoBear, photo courtesy of RoBear
I want to thank RoBear for sharing this tattoo with us here on Tattoosday. It's obviously a piece with a lot of  deep personal meaning, and he was kind enough not only to let me take a photo in Penn Station, but also to send along more pictures and give me a complete back story.

You can catch RoBear on repeats of NY Ink on TLC. Still no word on whether the show will be picked up for a third season. You can also become a fan of RoBear on his Facebook fan page here.

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