Riding uptown on the 3 train, I see a sleeve half way across the car that just looks amazing. I can't make out the specifics, but the color and detail tell me it's a fantastic piece.
The problem is, it's a crowded express train during rush hour, and unless this guy gets off when I get off, I won't get a chance to talk to him.
As luck would have it, he does xit the train at the same stop, and as I am trying to catch up with him as he heads upstairs, and across Broadway, I recognize his left sleeve. His name is Kyle, I interviewed him in 2008 (using a borrowed camera, no less) and his post appeared here.
This is new ink, however, and when I finally catch Kyle on the north side of 72nd, it takes a moment, but he remembers me, and is happy to share his new work, which bears a similar theme to the tattoo I spotted last time our paths crossed:
It is by the same artist, Myles Karr, who had done the tattoo from the original post when he was at Saved Tattoo. Myles is now at Three Kings, also in Brooklyn.
Like the prior encounter, from over three years ago (May 2008), the right sleeve is a dichotomy. The left sleeve is a city vs country tension. This piece is dominated by a burst of sunflowers, which travel down the arm and circle the elbow.
On the flip side is another cityscape, this time more silhouetted, and he explains that his near-pastoral umbringing was punctuated by the sunflowers he and his mother harvested. This, juxtaposed by the industrial city, is the center of the tension between the two aspects of the tattoo.
As an afterthought, I snapped a shot of the murder of crows lining the inside of his arm. "I just love crows," he told me.
He also offered up this shin piece, also by Myles Karr:
He explained it is an old-time traditional circus strongman, as old circus and sideshow imagery being another style of designs that he likes.
It was great seeing Kyle again and appreciating the amazing work he had added since our paths last crossed three years ago. Thanks to Kyle for sharing his tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!