"Opening Ink and Pistons
has been pretty hectic and all encompassing," tattoo artist, shop owner, and gallery curator JR Linton admitted. "We started looking for the right location almost two years ago. Most places we found didn't want to rent to a tattoo shop because they think it's a bad element." JR and his wife, StitchRock
organizer Amanda Linton, finally found their humble inky abode on South Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach and planted their tattooed roots. On Saturday night, Ink and Pistons opened its doors for a an eclectic art show and hot rod roundup.
JR is a seasoned artist himself. "I've tattooed Tom Araya from Slayer and his wife, Randy Starks from the Dolphins, and a few pro-baseball players," he mentioned without any pretension. The majority of his tattoos are based on paintings he's created, some which have been turned into full body pieces. "I've probably completed well over 200 sleeves or half sleeves," JR recalled, adding, "That's pretty much all I work on, is big stuff, although, I do enjoy a little piece here and there."
But let's face it, there is an undeniable stigma attached to the heavily tattooed, and even more so to those who do their bidding. But, JR explained, "Amanda and I are trying to get away from that angle of the industry." Ink and Pistons Tattoo Shop and Slushbox Art Gallery is the perfect hybrid of class-meets-sass. "We wanted it to be more of a true artist facility," JR asserted.
The warehouse, which is broken up into a tattoo space and a gallery space, is painted in monochromatic gray hues, highlighted with neon green accents throughout. The front-half of the industrial space is dedicated to tattooing, complete with four artist stations, each decorated with original artwork, and even a hot rod car hood pin-striped to perfection with the shop's insignia.
There are cases of body jewelry lining the walls, hand-upholstered glittery neon green and black high top stools near the artists' portfolios. The Slushbox gallery space is filled to the brim with art by some of the best local artisans and crafters. Lea Vendetta's and Lori Practico's work jump off of the walls, as did wares by Stitch of Whimsy
and Parparian Vintage
Artists Lea Vendetta and Chris Rude, and piercers The Shorty and Monica Sabin now call Ink and Pistons Tattoo Shop and Slushbox Art Gallery home. And if Saturday night's grand opening was any indication of the store's future, with the solid turnout (the crowd reached at least two hundred people) and smiling faces, it's a promising and popular one to be certain.
Ink and Pistons Tattoo Shop and Slushbox Art Gallery is located at 2716 S. Dixie Highway in West Palm Beach. Call (561) 832-4655 for appointments, or visit inkandpistons.com.
2716 S. Dixie Highway, West Palm Beach, FL