Tuesday, September 22, 2015
Clash City Tattoo opened late last month at 273 E. 10th St. between First Avenue and Avenue A. EVG contributor Stacie Joy recently stopped by to meet owner and proprietor Barry "Baz" Shailes ...
I showed up to watch Baz, who has been a tattoo artist for 16 years, ink a cover-up piece on James Peterson, a partner at Tompkins Square Bagels. Baz welcomed me from behind his tiki-bar reception station into the red, black and white space, where the likes of the Cramps and (no surprise!) the Clash were playing on the sound system.
Baz left his last employer, New York Hardcore Tattoo on Stanton Street, to open his own place with the help of his wife. The two looked at many spaces, but felt as if this block was especially vibrant, and with the added bonus of Tompkins Square Park being so close.
While working on a cover-up or reworking of a sugar skull tattoo on James, Baz spoke about a variety of topics, such as single-use and vegan inks and harm-reduction. He feels education is more important than penalization, and wishes that online sellers like Amazon and eBay would stop peddling inking machines to unlicensed, untrained people who do tattoos from their kitchens or basements.
On Stanton Street, Baz said that he would often get the drunk brunch crowd stopping by, though they most often balked at the price.
In general, Baz, a Liverpool native, says that he tries to steer people away from names (although he and his wife have their names inked on each other), and first-timers away from visible ink on their hands, faces and necks. He laments that people are still judged in society for things like tattoos. A lot of people just get one because they "look fucking cool," he says.
Baz even gave his mother a tattoo — a scorpion on her shoulder, before noting that women have a higher pain threshold than men and cheerfully announced, "Men are pussies. Men pass out, women don’t."