Thursday, December 24, 2009

Max's Spin on a Traditional Gypsy Tattoo

I was passing through Penn Station late yesterday when I spotted Max, who offered up this fascinating tattoo:

At first glance it looks like the traditional gypsy piece, but if you look closely at the back of the gypsy's head, you can see Max added an element that extended the design up and around his right arm:

That is a deer skull that the gypsy woman is wearing, complete with a set of antlers.

When I asked Max about this he acknowledged that the tattoo, in concept, had started as just the old-style gypsy profile but, growing up in Maryland, he said that there were deer everywhere around his home, and that this was a nod to his former home state.

Perhaps reading too much into it, I asked him if he was taking a symbol of home and tying it to the nomadic image of the gypsy to illustrate a dichotomy between the two contrasting lifestyles. He nodded and said he hadn't thought of it in those terms before, but it seemed to make a little sense if you looked at it like that.

This is one of nine tattoos Max has. The piece in question was designed by Paul Bosch at Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn. Max came to Paul with the concept and left it to the artist to design the tattoo. Work from Saved has appeared previously on Tattoosday here.

Thanks to Max for sharing this fascinating spin on the traditional gypsy tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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