To merely call Mr. Kaves prolific is to understate his colorful career as an artist. The free-spirited owner of Brooklyn Made Tattoo came of age in the tunnels of the New York City transit system, where he began crafting elaborate graffiti murals before he hit his teenage years. These murals caught the attention of other local artists?not to mention the NYPD. As his persona grew, Kaves moved on to more legal forms of self-expression. He made a name for himself as an MC for the hip-hop group Lordz of Brooklyn and started crafting commissioned street art for companies such as MTV and Adidas and artists such as Beastie Boys, Metallica, and Everlast.
At his boutique tattoo parlor in Bay Ridge, Kaves continues to find new outlets for his creativity. When he doesn't have a mic or an aerosol can in hand, he expresses himself with tattoos that feature elaborate lettering and full-color imagery. Kaves and his team of incredible artists create lively tattoos six days a week at the shop.
Like some of the best two-in-one combinations, Tattoo Shot Lounge takes two things that work well as separate entities, tattoo parlors and bars, and combines them into one great thing. Patrons stop by the lounge for a tattoo or piercing and then head across the room to the full liquor bar. There, they raise a mojito or chocolate martini and toast to a new tribal or Laura Bush tattoo. Those with fresh ink, those with older ink, or those simply stopping by for a quick hello can also swing by the lounge on Thursday evenings for Latin Night featuring a live DJ and the throbbing beats of salsa, hip-hop, and house music.
Lars, Sophia, and, Val of Tattooshka, formerly, Tattoo Kulture, don’t confine themselves to any one genre. Instead, they ink clients in a wide range of styles, from photorealism to abstract tribal motifs. Their work includes religious imagery, Dia de los Muertos art, and Asian-style dragons. They also excel at stylized text, creating permanent tributes to loved ones and commemorating meaningful song lyrics or grocery lists.
At the helm of Wake Up…With MakeUp! is Barbara Strafella, a 20-year beauty-industry veteran who knows how to renew visages with treatments tailored to each individual’s skin ailments. After sleuthing around skin for impurities, the specialist begins a deep cleansing to rid pores of dirt, oil, and whac-a-moles. While skin gorges on the epidermal desserts that arrive inside the custom-formulated mask, the aesthetician’s lithe fingers dance a relaxation-inducing number across T-zones and necks. To top off the visage refurbishment, under-eyes don a potent vitamin C mask for 10 minutes in order to brighten the sensitive skin surrounding peepers and ward off optical scurvy.
Tattoos have become popular as a form of individual expression, far beyond the normal late-night whims that are often associated with early ink jobs. Whatever the motivation, Addiction Ink has highly trained tattoo artists certified in blood-borne pathogen prevention who demonstrate artistic excellence in traditional, tribal and portrait tattoos. And if you don’t have a perfect design in mind, the studio’s large collection of images and photographs can provide inspiration for your next bit of ink. Addiction is also seriously committed to your physical well-being, relying only on sterilized equipment that is sanitized prior to use; they also keep surfaces clutter-free and wrapped in plastic to prevent contamination. The glowing neon shop also does piercing, with a variety of types and locations available. All of those cleanliness measures and creativity options make Addiction Ink one of the city’s most respected parlors.
The tattoo artists and body piercers at Addiction NYC help clients express their uniqueness by adorning them with custom tattoo work and body piercings. The portfolios of their five artists encompass everything from traditional, Japanese, Polynesian, and portrait-style artwork, most of which is drafted from scratch. Their ability to develop virtually any icon or image has earned them a loyal local following, as well as clients from other countries.
If there’s one thing the Addiction team prizes above individuality, it’s safety. During piercings, they eschew reusable guns for disposable, single-use needles. Plus, each of the artists is licensed by the state of New York and has received training on the hazards of blood-born pathogens, cross-contamination, and tattooing a horse.