PHOTOS - BEN HICKS '18
“Basquiat’s been my favorite artist ever since I've had a favorite artist. His own self portrait was really dark and I liked that - also I didn’t want anything intricate that a tattoo artist could fuck up.
This one says “The Tom Tom cries” and the other is “The Tom Tom Laughs”. For me this is about appreciating blackness for all that it is. I feel like we see black people acting in a way that's not appropriate we’re quick to dub that shit as ‘ratchet’ or ‘ghetto’, and I don’t like that. Whatever it is, it’s still a part of who we are. We have a crying side and a laughing side — we need to appreciate every aspect of our culture.”
I got this one (Plank) over the summer after I went backpacking for a little while - since I was by myself for a bit I realized the strength and importance of childhood imagination — like, you can make a best friend out of a fucking piece of wood. Everyone tells me it's gonna be the one I regret the most but I think it's gonna be the one I regret the least. Also Plank is dope."
"All my tattoos are myopic devices for a time and a place and a headspace I was in at the time. I designed all of them myself. I got this one in Morocco. Tattoos are actually illegal in Tangier so I had to go to this illegal tattoo parlor – the only one in the city. As you can imagine, the quality wasn’t great.”
"I got it after my father passed away a few years ago on a Friday the 13th. I drew the plane to commemorate him, he was a pilot. His initials are there next to the plane: WGH. I plan on filling it in one day when I have more money. I rarely ever see it - but I can feel it and know it's there. My mom will never know. Oh, use a fake name.”
“Uhh, well it’s a triangle. An isosceles triangle. It's for my sisters I guess. My twin has one too. It's simple I like simplicity and I like symmetry. I keep it simple.”
“I drew them myself. They don’t really have any deep meanings… I started working and had the money to get them, so I got them.The butterfly was so arbitrary! I just wanted a butterfly. I love wings. I want feathers. The dove doesn't have a face. I think that's cool. It's essentially a glorified pigeon.”
“I like to tell people that I survived a bear attack when I was little and have a lot of respect for them because of it – but truthfully I just really like bears.”