Sunday, June 1, 2014

Lexy’s Chrysanthemum Sprouts from a Poem

I was leaving my office building last week on Broad Street, when a woman named Lexy walked by with this great thigh tattoo:

I caught up to her, introduced myself and she agreed to share her ink with us here.

This piece was done by Alejandro Lopez, who is based in Pasadena, California, but works out of Addiction NYC when he's in the Big Apple.

When I asked her if she originally went to Alejandro for the chrysanthemum, she said that actually, she
had gone to him for this tattoo on her ribs:

“This is a poem,” she explained, “and I told [Alejandro] the meaning of the poem, and he reached out
to me and said, You know, I really like the poem, it resonated with me and he asked if he could expand
on it … And we sat down and talked about what the meaning was for me and he created this piece [the
chrysanthemum] based on what it meant to me.”

She indicated that the poem is Korean in origin, and it is in her grandmother’s handwriting. It turns
out that Lexy’s grandma was a professional calligrapher in Korea, and the red boxes are actual
representations of her grandparent’s pen names, or signatures, in Korean. How cool is that?

She elaborated a little more on the meaning of the poem:
“The poem itself is talking about whether you live or die as a nameless wildflower or a famous rose, it’s up to you, so you basically take control of your destiny, but [should] also have compassion for those who have no control … it also says something about the day that you’re born is the day that you die.”
Lexy also told me she was born in the year of the snake, which is why she has a cobra tattoo. I didn't think much of it at the time, as I didn't see a snake here.

When I was writing up this post, however, and looked at Alejandro's Instagram page, it all made sense. After getting his permission, along with Lexy's, I am happy to share the whole work-in-progress which, for obvious reasons, I never saw on Broad Street:

Photo Courtesy of Alejandro P. Lopez via

Thanks to Lexy for sharing her wonderful tattoo with us here on Tattoosday! Thanks, as well, to Alejandro Lopez for sharing his Instagram collage so we could see his work in its full scope.

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