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Fresh ink, a compelling new fashion trend

Walking canvases filled the Sunset Park warehouse on Friday afternoon as the Urban Tattoo Convention kicked off for the first time in Brooklyn.

“A lot of people misinterpret what tattoos mean,” said one of the two organizers, Chris Styles, who added, “They think it’s negative, but there are tons of individuals who are very positive and very influential in the community [who also have tattoos].”

For three fun-filled days, from June 28 through the 30th, ink lovers visited the location getting a kick out of the 100 plus booths that were offering not just a new addition to their bodies, but an educative lesson on where to get them, Styles said, explaining that the artists present were going to talk teenagers out of getting their necks tattooed, for example.

“[Tattoos] are freedom of expression; I get to showcase my favorite artists who passed away, my wife, my kid. My body is a canvas at the end of the day,” Styles noted, showing off some of the 15-plus tattoos that he wears, including one that he regrets getting at the age of 19.

Tattoo artist, Al Fliction, who also put together the convention, was glad to give urban tattoo artists and inner city people the opportunity to attend and show what they have to offer to the rest of the world, he remarked.

“I love people with tattoos. I think people without tattoos look weird—I feel like that they haven’t created themselves,” Fliction expressed.

“Its not a color thing with us; urban means unity,” Fliction continued, adding, “We just gave another place for everybody to come to—where it’s all love and everybody has love for each other and there’s no jealousy or envy towards other artists. We all hang out and chat.”

Body painting, face painting, and contests were available all weekend long, including that of Worst Tattoo, to be awarded with a cover-up.

“I love seeing the complete picture at the end,” said Renhany Slam, who was working at one of the shops in the convention, bearing visible ink all over her slender body, “They’re so colorful and beautiful, but it hurts like hell!”

Concurring with the experience and thrill of “getting fresh ink” was Long Island artist, Celio Serrano, who has dedicated 10 years of his life to the art, even doing one tattoo on himself.

The convention will be returning next year, doubling up and taking advantage of the two warehouses that are on site.

In the meantime, check out the website and each of these artists’ intricate designs at www.nycutc.com.

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