For Tattooed Beasts
Bolt Barbers™ Social Beasts With A Tattooed Piece.
Pictured Below Are Two Of Matt’s Tributary Tattoo’s To The Art Of Barbering:
Barber Chair: Pen & Ink By Don Stewart, Inked By Luis Aries. Inked in 8 Hours. 1 Seating.
Back Piece: Inkspiration Jodi Bonassi, Drawing & Ink By Luis Aries. Inked in 43 Hours.
Barber Chair Tattoo on Mohawk Matt Takes First Place in Best Unusual at Pomona Body Art
Expo, January, 2009.
Mohawk Matt Pictured With Rockin Tat Artist Luis Aries
Artist’s drawing becomes award-winning tattoo
January 21, 2009
KIM BRYAN News staff writer
Homewood artist Don Stewart’s body of work just got a new body.
His 1985 ball-point pen drawing ”Barber Chair” has been turned into an awardwinning tattoo affixed to the torso of a California man known as Mohawk Matt.
The intricate tattoo took first place for Best Unusual design at the Body Art Expo in Pomona, Calif.
”Many of my drawings do well as tattoos,” said Stewart. ”The shaded black and white designs look as good on skin as they do on paper. Sometimes better.”
The tale of the tat began last summer when Mohawk visited DS Art, Stewart’s Homewood studio and gallery. The New York native bought the meticulous sketch of barbershop memorabilia he’d discovered on a Google search.
”Reports of the death of the American barbershop are greatly exaggerated,” Mohawk said. ”I will reinvent the experience for all men and boys in America.”
Mohawk Matt also decided to reinvent himself, switching from a successful marketing career to his childhood passion of barbering. The New York native switched exclusively to his stage name, too.
With Stewart’s permission, Mohawk took the playful print to tattoo artist Luis Arias at Latin Skulls studio in Pico Rivera, Calif., who replicated the cross-hatching, stroke by painful stroke.
Stewart made a life-changing decision himself 22 years ago after earning his medical degree from UAB, then completing his surgical residency at the Mayo Clinic. He passed the medical boards and, in short order, left medicine to practice art full time.
His signature composites are filled with thought-provoking, amusing surprises. Medical symbols and tools of the healing profession are common themes. Finding each microscopic icon is akin to working a jigsaw puzzle.
Stewart’s barber drawing inspired Mohawk’s 11-by-14 inch tat, which took eight hours to affix, Mohawk said. Now, his dream is one he’s no longer ashamed to pursue, he said.
”I’m otherwise perfectly normal,” he said.
Mohawk said the most common reaction people have had to his body have been three words: Woof. Sick. Tight.
At first glance, the Barber Chair appears to be just that, perched atop a pedestal. A partially visible sign advertises prices for various services.
On closer examination, Stewart has carved less obvious supplies into the rendering, such as scissors, shaving mugs and a brass spittoon.
The barber pole has been woven into the chair with such elegance, it often takes a moment to see the obvious.
”Stewart’s drawings are not what they appear to be but are what he intends them to be,” said art critic James R. Nelson, calling it a ”quirky kind of surrealism.”
It’s not the first time Stewart’s art has graced the human body as well as the eye. His ”Trombones” and ”Hummingbird” pieces have been applied to peoples’ bodies.
A young man stopped by DS Art to show Stewart the ”Dragon Fly” art tattooed on his back.
”That design covered nearly 18 inches from shoulder to shoulder,” Stewart said, punctuating his reaction with, ”Ouch!”