NYC Tattoo Convention Spotlight: Chris Shares His Half-Sleeve Inspired by the Indigenous Cultures of the Pacific Northwest

For this, my final post highlighting work I enjoyed at the New York City Tattoo Convention last Saturday, we turn to Chris, who offered up this half-sleeve from his right arm:

Chris explained that he is a great admirer of Native American art and that, after a trip to a museum in British Columbia, he was inspired by a First Nations exhibit. He purchased a book about the exhibits there and he used several photos as source material to collaborate with his tattoo artist.

On complicated pieces, I always think it's best to hear the explanation in the host's own words, so here's what Chris had to say:

"The symbol in the center is a moon symbol, which is usually reserved for higher-ranking members of the tribe. Then you got two wolves on either side as spirit guides. [The outer section] is called Sisiutl:
it’s the two-headed serpent [who] protects you from evil and will eat the flesh of your enemies ... the Sisiutl is actually a perfectly round symbol and then the artist spread it out and free-handed this middle section to make it all work

On the inside of his arm is this piece:

"This is a simple salmon ... which is a symbol of prosperous fishing and hunting.
Hopefully, this [the whole tattoo, still in progress] will be protection and a lot of good coming to me with the way it’s designed.
A lot of the tribes over there have symbols that are crossing over from each other. This is a little bit of Tlingit and a little bit of Haida. Pretty much those are the two main focuses where it comes from."
This exceptional work is by Leo Fieschi at Art Club Tattoo & Piercing in New Milford, Connecticut.

Thanks to Chris for sharing it and taking the time at the convention to explain it for us here at Tattoosday!

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