Adrian's Ink Celebrates His Heritage

I met Adrian last month on a fluke - I was on the D train headed to Brooklyn going to a dentist's appointment, having left work early.

I approached him about his ink and we had a really great discussion about tattoos and art.

Adrian is a wonderful artist and his work can be seen here at Viajero Art (dot) com. Take a look at this exhibit, a mixed media piece that just looks amazing.

He shared two of his tattoos with me. First, this piece:

This tattoo, on the inside of Adrian's right arm, is a Puerto Rican mask. Adrian's family hails from the small town of Loíza, in northeastern Puerto Rico. In the festival of St. James, the Apostle, people wear traditional masks like these as part of the celebration. Adrian explained that St. James was known, among many things, for helping the Spanish fight back invading Moors. One of the functions of the masks, he explained, was to  scare people into going back to church, where the masks represented the terrifying Moors.

Adrian also shared this piece from his right forearm:

This tattoo, he told me, represents the women in his life. The fact that she is depicted as a gypsy is for good luck. The detail in this tattoo is astonishing:

He told me that the artist, the talented Marcus Kuhn, used the image from a popular brand of jalapeno peppers, La Morena, as a model for the woman in the tattoo. You can see the resemblance:

Marcus Kuhn tattoos out of Red Star Irons when visiting New York.

Thanks to Adrian for sharing his amazing tattoos with us here on Tattoosday! I look forward to seeing more of his art in the future!

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