Celebrities may often be indifferent with whom they bed down, but who pokes their naked skin with a tattoo needle is a different story.
Famous (and infamous) tattoo artists around the world are personally sought out by celebs who want to get inked by them exclusively. While celebrity tattoo designs differ, the artists remain the same. Their artistry is undeniably airtight, their technique is bulletproof, but their status within the tattoo industry can also serve to boost/alter a celeb’s reputation, perpetuating image enhancement through mere association. Tsk, celebrities are always thinking one step ahead.
From Shaw to Quinn and the unavoidable Von D, check out the top tattoo artists to the stars.
Born 1953 in NYC to big band leader father Artie Shaw, Jonathan has been tattooing for decades. An understudy to literary great Charles Bukowski, Shaw spent most of his younger years traveling, writing, and doing his fair share of dope. After straightening out, Shaw opened the first store-front, public tattoo parlor in NYC, Fun City Tattoo, in 1991. He has since sticked the likes of Iggy Pop, The Cure, David Lee Roth, Marilyn Manson, supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss, and is a close friend and multiple inker of Johnny Depp.
Paul Timman is an American tattoo artist whose renowned tribal designs and celebrity clientele have christened him an industry giant at just 35. Paul works at Sunset Strip Tattoo in Hollywood, one of the most famous tattoo parlors in the world (Axl Rose wears a SST T-shirt in the “Sweet Child O’ Mine” video). Some of Paul’s clients include Mark Wahlberg, Pamela Anderson, Ben Affleck, Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage and Kiefer Sutherland. Paul made an appearance on VH1′s “Show me your Tats,” where he tattooed Tommy Lee in his kitchen.
Hendrikus (“Henk”) Johannes Everhardus Schiffmacher
Born 1952 in Harderwijk, Gelderland, Henk (aka “Henky Penky”) is a Dutch tattoo artist who is considered an expert within the field of body art. His celebrity clients include the Red Hot Chili Peppers (specifically Anthony Kiedis), Pearl Jam, and the late Kurt Cobain.
Kevin Quinn is another tattoo artist from Hollywood’s Sunset Strip and is considered a legend as a tattoo artist and as a musician. Kevin’s clients include The Cult, Guns N’ Roses, Julia Roberts, and Sporty Spice (Melanie C). Kevin has temporarily put his ink gun on the shelf so he can spend time traveling as a guitarist with his band American Pearl.
Kat Von D
Born Katherine Von Drachenberg in Mexico in 1982, Kat Von D is one of the most famous female tattoo artists in the world. Kat is best known for her work as a featured tattoo artist on the TLC reality show Miami Ink, and now stars in a subsequent TLC series, LA Ink, in which she also owns the shop. Kat specializes in fine-line, black & gray life-like portraits, and has left her mark on many entertainers including Jackass crew Bam Margera, Steve-O and Ryan Dunn, Slayer’s Kerry King, Anthrax’s Scott Ian, Green Day, Metallica’s Kirk Hammett, Eve, Damon Dash, and Jenna Jameson.