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Mike Moses

Thicker Than Water Tattoo, 181 Ave. B, New York City,,

Mike Moses creates clean-lined, fantastical art, and recently made the move from Richmond, VA, to New York City. “Manhattan is the same as Richmond—people in both cities take a lot of pride in what they do,” he says. But he’s come a long way. “As part of my apprenticeship I had to tattoo myself before I was allowed to work on anyone else. I picked this half-dollar-sized rose that was drawn by my mentor, Fred Pinckard. … He would make a line, I would make a line, then we would stop, smoke a cigarette, talk about it for five to 10 minutes, then repeat. Two packs of cigarettes later, my swollen, bruised, bleeding, blown-out, amazing rose was done. I limped for a month—pretty sure if I die in a fire, they’ll still know it’s me.” And when the fire comes, what would he like on his gravestone? “It’s hard to put things on unmarked graves, but if you happen to find a few pieces of me … I suppose I’m partial to strawberries. Yup, strawberries.”

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