Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Rochelle's Tattoos Are Powerful Reminders

Last summer, while riding my bike along the Belt Parkway Promenade, I met Rochelle, who was kind enough to talk with me and share several of her tattoos.

The first one we discussed was this one on her calf:

Rochelle explained that this is an illustration from Peter Rabbit, but not the one that is familiar to most of us. She explained that in the German version, the story spoke to her more, as Rochelle once had problems with drug abuse. She explained that the rabbit in this other version of the story took to stealing vegetables from the farmer, “but he grows fat and he is then cooked in stew by the farmer’s wife." Rochelle added, "So he’s, like, consumed by his desire, and I was consumed by my desire to do drugs ... I got the tattoo when I was becoming sober.”

This tattoo and several others Rochelle has were done by Mike Lucena from Brooklyn's Flyrite Tattoo, who she calls "a great artist and a good-hearted guy.”

She also shared this piece by Mike Lucena:

Located on her thigh, Rochelle explained, "It’s a pysanky egg, it’s a Ukrainian egg-decorating practice ... an old folk practice that my mother and I did when I was a child and I got it in memory of my mother when she passed.”

She also shared this tattoo on her upper arm:

Rochelle explained that this is Monkshood. She elaborated:
"It's a delphinium  flower ... it’s like a bluebell ... almost, but they call it monkshood because, if you look at the flower it looks like a monk wearing a hood. It symbolizes usually death and ill-will, but a lot of people also use it because it symbolizes warding off evil and warding off death … I got it from Becki [Wilson] the day after my mother died, so now it has a huge amount of meaning to me ... Becki was at Greene Avenue Tattoo when this was done, but she has moved shops."

And finally, Rochelle shared a fourth tattoo, on another calf:

She explained that this was also done by Mike Lucena, and is her interpretation of The Tower Tarot Card:
"I study tarot…this is my drawing and then Mike did a complete copy and ... he had done the rabbit first, and then I was like, I want you to do it like the rabbit with my drawing … so watercolor, sort of, so he faded out the inks, the symbolism of the tower tarot card is like chaos, destruction and rebirth."
Thanks to Rochelle for sharing all of her awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!

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