Family means a lot to Samantha Marie Safchinsky. At 20 years old, she has three tattoos and counting. However, if Samantha gets any more tattoos right now her mother has threatened not to pay for her college tuition anymore. Needless to say she is taking a little break from permanent ink on her body. This week she wanted to share with me (and with the rest of the world) her one of a kind tattoos about her heritage and dedication tattoos to her family members. These photos are courtesy of her Facebook page.
This week, I decided to take pictures of other tattoos done by artist William Trask of Premiere Tattoo. 27-year-old Mike Grasso has a total of 35 tattoos mostly done by Trask which he was kind enough to let me take pictures of when he was getting another tattoo on his left arm.
Grasso lifted up his shirt and boxers to show me the body piece that goes from his armpit down to his toes on the left side of his body. A black inked angel looks down on the rest of the body piece with a dead face.
Grasso showed me more of the left side body piece from his hip to the middle of his leg. A battered looking hand points from Grasso’s left leg to the angel on the left side of his stomach. She stares right back at it.
Grasso’s continuing artwork is shown in his black wife beater from the top of his right shoulder to his elbow. An eyeball with green feathered wings sits above an R split in half with a tattoo shape in the middle. A wolf lies below the R on Grasso’s right arm, which is mostly colored tattoos.
Art is beautiful, but it is the meaning behind it that really makes it art. This week, I wanted to delve into the meanings behind two young people’s tattoos: 21-year-old Jared Baker of Maple Shade, NJ and 21-year old Steven Wallenburg of Camden, NJ. Here are their tattoo stories:
Jared Baker’s tattoo gives the illusion that a bald eagle with an American flag background is ripping through his right shoulder. It is his only tattoo but craves for more. “My dad has two tattoos and I have always wanted one ever since I was a little kid,” said Baker. “My dad took me to get it for my 16th birthday at Jersey Devil Tattoo. It’s supposed to symbolize that America is a part of me and I’m proud to be an American. Like a patriot, I love my country.”
On his right forearm, Steven Wallenburg has a tattoo of an archangel ripping off a good angel’s wings (who has yet to be tattooed on Wallenburg’s left arm) from Premiere tattoo. “It’s to resemble that even the rich and powerful, no matter how good you are, no matter how hard you work, eventually you are going to fall,” said Wallenburg. “It’s on you to pick yourself back up and dust yourself off and become that good angel again. If you don’t have the strength, you’re just going to fall like everyone else does.”
On the inside of his lower right leg, Steven Wallenburg has a tattoo of a skull in the middle of two roses with dog tags coming out of his eyes from Premiere Tattoo. “It is a memorial to my father who passed away when I was five,” said Wallenburg. “It’s a classic tattoo that I changed up and drew up on my own and added dog tags to it to symbolize my father being in the navy. That tattoo was very hard to trust a tattoo artist to do because of how much meaning it has to me.”