An Art Student and Graffiti Artist Shows Off His Many Tattoos (Photos)
Photos by Amy Price
In Ink Spot, Amy Price stops strangers in Dallas to shoot, and learn about, their body art.
Chances are you've seen 31 year-old Jonathan Nicolini's graffiti art around Dallas, but have you seen his body art? This Art Institute of Dallas student and part time low-key graffiti artist is addicted to tagging walls as well as his body. On his left arm is a bright and colorful combination of graffiti and art.
Nicolini's forearm sports a tat that reads "slave to art." "It is suppose to be a postal sticker, like the ones that everyone tags and slaps around town."
Jazz Satin Dolls ft. Sabrina Kessee, Brittany Johnson & Amanda Curtis
TicketsFri., Mar. 3, 9:00pm
Let It Be
TicketsTue., Mar. 7, 7:30pm
POETRY SMASH #5
TicketsThu., Mar. 9, 7:30pm
"Rodney King" Starring Roger Guenveur Smith
TicketsFri., Mar. 10, 8:15pm
24 Hr Flimfeast on Race, Culture and Sexuality
TicketsSat., Mar. 11, 12:00pm
Below, there's a skull wearing a gas mask, tattooed as if it were ripped off the side of a building. It's displayed alongside a dripping wet paint roller and a short and stubby pencil. Along the outer forearm tattooed in traditional graffiti wild style are the words, "before crime."
"I love graffiti. I've been doing [graffiti] for about 12 years now just off and on, here and there."
On the other arm he has dedicated the artwork to his prior Navy life. He was a jet engine mechanic for four years. His traditional Sailor Jerry-style "Love Thy Neighbor" tattoo features brass knuckles, a billy club and a straight razor with the words "hate 'em shave 'em CO." Below is a paperclip.
"It stands for people against people ever re-enlisting civilian life incentive program," he says. The paperclip traditionally stands for people who, near the end of their enlistment, advocate for civilian life over the military. Next to the paperclip is the number 14 that he says he got because he missed out on the Friday the 13th deal and figured why the hell not just get a 14.
He also has a five-cent beer tattoo alongside his rib cage, stretching to his lower right hip in memory of his former drinking life.
On the other side is a skull with a spray cap and a cartoon-looking pen and paintbrush tied into a knot. He said graffiti will always be his first love, and he isn't stopping anytime soon. "I'm addicted to it honestly," he says. "I tell [my girlfriend] all the time I'm going to stop. The same day I'd go out and do it."
Armed with paint markers in his pockets at all times, Nicolini says the art makes Dallas more interesting and is a personal stress reliever.
He hopes to one day have his art featured in a gallery.
Get the Arts & Culture Newsletter
Find out about arts and culture events in Dallas and offers you won't hear about anywhere else.