I met Annie Cherry outside of Penn Station in early September. She was talking with Bindlestiff Willy. She had visible tattoos. He did not.
I approached them and introduced myself.
This is Annie:
And here is Bindlestiff Willy:
Both perform with a group called the Kansas City Society of Burlesque.
They had been in New York City performing out on Coney Island the previous weekend and were heading home.
Annie graciously allowed to photograph her two tattoos, juxtaposed nicely on her inner forearms:
She explained the one on her left arm, saying it was a shooting star, about to be launched from a slingshot. She said the tattoo represents creative inspiration and that it reminds her "not to take herself too seriously".
Incidentally, several weeks later, I met a woman with a similar tattoo, only justaposed differently on the left arm. I was shocked to see it, but she explained that it was also a band logo for the group Gogol Bordello.
The snake on her left arm represents knowledge to Annie, and a reminder that the destination is not always reached by taking the straight path.
Both tattoos were inked by Chet Duvenci at The Mercy Seat Tattoo & Art Gallery in Kansas City.
After talking about her tattoos, Annie informed me that her traveling companion Bindelestiff Willy had a couple of great tattoos, as well. They were inked at The Mercy Seat also, but by different artists.
Damian removed his jacket and rolled up his sleeves to reveal the tattoos on his upper arms.
The first is on his upper left arm:
If this classic pin-up girl looks familiar, scroll up to the top of the post and take another gander at the photo of Annie.
The tattoo is modeled after her. The phrase "Clowns need love too" is self-referential. This piece was inked by Scott Shickman.
Damian, who performs under the name of "Bindlestiff Willy," is a pantomime specialist who does a great Charlie Chaplin routine. The pun in his stage name combines the "bindle stick" commonly carried by hobos and tramps (in the Chaplinesque sense) and the raunchiness of "stiff Willy".
His second tattoo, on the right arm, is a portrait of Charlie Chaplin's "Little Tramp" were he still alive. Of course, as the 1889 implies, Chaplin is a skeleton today, so the traditional tattoo takes a macabre turn.
This piece was done by John Monk.
A big thanks to Annie and Willy for sharing their awesome tattoos with us here on Tattoosday!