Family portrait tattoos are consistently in high demand, as they allows the collector to preserve a memory or photograph on their skin for the rest of their lives—freezing that moment in time. We recently came across a video on social media of a man showing off his family portrait tattoo to his Grandparents, who reacted in a way that nearly brought us to tears.
"This picture holds a very special place in my heart as it encapsulates the love of my grandparents - Joe & Renee Novielli, lovingly referred to as 'Mom-mom & Pop-pop.' The picture was taken back in 1951, Mom-mom was 16 and Pop-pop was 19. They are both alive and thriving and have been married for 67 years," shares Mario Novielli, the man behind the now viral TikTok video.
"For the past four years I've visited Mom-mom & Pop-pop every week. It's been an amazing opportunity for them to share stories of their childhood, our family heritage and their love for one another. The portrait that I had tattooed on my forearm by the amazing Keith Hernandez, currently sits underneath the glass on my Pop-pop's nightstand. A few months ago I took the picture without them knowing and headed to Bang Bang NYC. The final product is absolutely outstanding."
Hernandez is known for his black-and-grey portrait tattoos and frequently recreates client's prized family photographs. "I gravitate towards personal tattoos like portraits because I feel they're more meaningful to my clients and that, in a way, makes it more meaningful to me," explains Hernandez. "It makes me feel like I'm not just poking someone with a needle, but instead I'm giving them something special."
In just two days, the video has found incredible success on the shortform video platform, accumulating over 800,000 views. Novielli was shocked to see the clip go viral, however, not as surprised as his Mom-mom and Pop-pop. "I called my grandparents and my Mom-mom summed it up perfectly, 'who would’ve thought that us old heads would make it big?' She was obviously joking and truly doesn’t understand the impact, and is mostly just excited that other people get to see Keith’s amazing work."