12 celebrity tattoo artists
We asked Rocky Rakovic, editor of "Inked" magazine, to tip us off to the tattoo masterminds that celebrities trust to do their ink.
Shown on the left: Full Japanese color sleeve done in a modern style by Brandon Bond.
Bang BangBang Bang is the artist behind Rihanna's tats. The 25-year-old has been featured on MTV, CNN, People magazine, E! and TMZ.
Despite the publicity, Bang Bang remains humble, says Rakovic, and attributes his success to his teacher, tattoo legend Paul Booth.
Bang Bang is highly sought after for his photo-realistic approach to tattooing. See for yourself: his work looks more like paintings than tattoos.
Bang BangAccording to Bang Bang, "The color portrait of the woman's face took seven hours. The tiger took three."
"There's dozens of colors that all need to blend seamlessly and to apply color to skin requires much more trauma to skin than black and grey," says Bang Bang. "To pull off that style, I need to be much more patient, and I don't only pay attention to depth, I'm paying attention to complimentary colors... I'm fighting the amount of trauma the skin can handle before I do damage to it."
Bang Bang"The technique I use when I do black and gray realistic work is much slower motion of my hand, and the machines run very soft... not a ton of impact or trauma to the skin," says Bang Bang. "I use the smallest needles possible so there is no grain.. or needle marks in the skin... that's how I achieve such a smooth effect."
The portrait took eight hours.
Johnny OpinaBe on the look out for Johnny Opina, says Rakovic. He's an up and coming artist from the streets of Cali whose gained traction in the fine line black and gray movement. Known for his lettering, "Day of the Dead" girls, and working on A-list celebrities like Megan Fox.
Johnny Opina"With Johnny's magical hand, 'Day of the Dead' skulls come to life," says Rakovic.
Johnny OpinaDetailed lettering from Opina.
Check out more of his work at Lowrider Tattoo Studios.
Mario BarthMario Barth is known for his innovative tattoo work, his versatility of styles and his list of celebrity clientele like Lenny Kravitz, Sylvester Stallone, Tommy Lee and Usher.
He's also know for introducing a new range of colors into the tattoo ink palette, according to Rakovic.
Mario BarthBarth has parlayed his tattoo fame into business success with five tattoo studios in Las Vegas. Shown on the left, his color dragon.
Mario BarthShown on the left, "Mad" magazine's fictional mascot Alfred E. Neuman and a portrait of a lion. Check out more of Mario Barth's work on his website.
Louis MolloyIf you can bend it like David and Victoria Beckham, you might be lucky enough to get British tattoo artist Louis Molloy to ink you up. Or you could drop by his Manchester studio Middleton Tattoo and potentially appear on his reality show "London Ink."
Louis MolloyThe tattoo on the left shows figures based on statues done by Anthony Gormley. On the right is a Japanese themed back piece with a modern twist (note iPod on warrior's arm).
Louis MolloyThe left tattoo is Molloy's version of an old classic light house. On the right is, "The Man of Sorrows," an image that was tattooed onto David Beckham and has become hugely popular.
Jonathan Shaw is a self-described "world-traveling outlaw artist." Johnny Depp has had more than half of his six tattoos done by Jonathan. The Cure, David Lee Roth, Vanilla Ice, Marilyn Manson, Iggy Pop and supermodels Naomi Campbell and Kate Moss have also trusted Jonathan for their ink.
Jonathan ShawA world-traveler, Shaw moved around from L.A. to New Orleans to Brazil, before settling in New York City to practice his art. Now semi-retired, Shaw splits his time between NYC, California and Rio de Janeiro.
Jonathan ShawYou can check out more of Jonathan Shaw's work at Scab Vendor.
Mark Mahoney is the proprietor and premier artist of Shamrock Social
Club located in the heart of Hollywood on Sunset Boulevard.
Mahoney's career spans three decades and he has worked on celebrities such as Notorious BIG, Britney Spears, Mickey Rourke, Cher, Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie to name a few.
Rakovic calls Mahoney "an icon who started when tattoos were for outlaws, now modern-day rebels flaunt his handiwork."
Shown on left, woman in black dress and singer rocking the blues.
Mark MahoneyCheck out more of Mark Mahoney's work at Shamrock Social Club.
Kat Von D
Kat Von D is well-known for being the star on the hit reality show "LA Inc." on TLC, which follows her work at her tattoo shop, High Voltage Tattoo, in Hollywood, Calif.
Kat's celebrity clientele includes Sebastian Bach, Margaret Cho, Kerry King and Eve.
Kat Von D
"Think she's just a pretty face on TV and in tabloid magazines? Think again. The queen has chops," Rakovic says of Von D.
Michael Starr, lead singer for Los Angeles glam metal band Steel Panther, shows off his Starr.
Kat Von DCheck out more of Kat Von D's work on her website.
According to his website, Joshua Lord began tattooing in New York 11 years ago. Working at the original East Side Ink, he quickly established himself as an innovator.
Lord's shop caters to several celebrities including A-list actor Daniel Day-Lewis.
Joshua Lord"If Leonardo da Vinci and Charles Darwin had a love child and that kid took up tattooing it would be Joshua Lord, says Rakovic. "His intricacy and fascination with form are unparalleled."
Joshua LordCheck out more of Joshua's work on his website.
Brandon BondBrandon Bond is the owner of the thriving All or Nothing Tattoo empire in Atlanta, Ga. He is known for his particular style of artwork that lacks lines called "Ala Prima," meaning "all at once."
Brandon has worked on recording artists NAS and Kellis.
Brandon BondThe foreground (down the shin in front of the leg) of this tattoo by Brandon Bond depicts Zeus. Also represented from Greek mythology are the Cyclops and Helen.
Brandon BondCheck out more of Brandon Bond's work on his website.
Becca RoachWhen recording artist Lady Gaga wanted a unicorn, she came to Becca Roach to do the work.
Becca Roach"Put it this way: Lady Gaga, this generation's fashion icon, wears Roach's work - permanently," says Rakovic.
Becca RoachCheck out more of Becca Roach's work on her website.
Kevin QuinnKevin Quinn is a tattoo artist from the Sunset Strip in Hollywood, Calif. Celebrities Kevin has left his mark on include Julia Roberts, Sporty Spice (Melanie C) and the 80s band Guns N' Roses.
"Kevin Quinn literally gave rock 'n roll more color," says Rakovic.
Kevin QuinnCheck out more of Kevin Quinn's work on his website.
Paul Timman is 38-years-old and lives in Los Angeles. He's another artist who works in Hollywood at the legendary Sunset Strip Tattoo.
Paul has inked celebrities like Mark Wahlberg, Pamela Anderson, Ben Affleck, Melanie Griffith, Angelina Jolie, Nicolas Cage and Kiefer Sutherland.
Paul Timman"You know that cheesy tribal band you see on any given Guido? It's Timman's beautiful work that they are trying, but failing, to recreate," says Rakovic.
Pictured to the left is a tribal tat based on Hawaiian, Polynesian and New Zealand images.