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Tattoo Parlors In NYC Used To Be Illegal. Find Out Why At This “Illegal Ink” Event

By Caitlin Horsfield

Tattoo Parlors In NYC Used To Be Illegal. Find Out Why At This “Illegal Ink” Event
Who isn’t into ink these days? With tattoo culture now basically 100% mainstream, it’s hard to believe that once upon a time, tattooing in New York City was actually illegal!

On September 30, the Illegal Ink: The bizarre story of NYC’s Tattoo Ban event will be highlighting a stellar lineup of five historians and tattoo artists who lived through the bizarre history of the New York tattoo ban. From 1961-1997, ink was outlawed due to concerns about health. However, quite a few  fascinating artists worked under the prohibition for nearly 40 years.

According to the event description, the discussion portion of the event will explore the “love triangle involving a top government official and a Bowery tattoo artist which led to a personal vendetta and a trumped up health scare.”

Tattooing in New York City was forced into an unfair underground existence and this prohibition led to to unlikely alliances across class lines, established safe spaces for tattooing that were hidden in plain sight, and created an unexpected renaissance that would change the art of tattooing in NYC.

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Five outstanding storytellers will take you on a wild ride filled with twist, turns, and closely-guarded secrets. Not to mention, two artists will be on site doing historical flash tattoos, and you can sign up for a slot to get inked!

Doors open at 6:30 pm and the show starts at 7:00pm.