SNL’s Pete Davidson Got a Hillary Clinton Tattoo at Bowery Ink Shop
Saturday Night Live comedian Pete Davidson got a tattoo last Friday of former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. The ink came courtesy of relative Bowery newcomer, No Idols Tattoo.
Accompanying the Instagram photo of the ink job, Davidson noted that the “tattoo of [his] hero” was meant to be a Christmas gift for Clinton. “Thanks for being such a badass and one of the strongest people in the universe,” he added.
This is certainly major press for No Idols (and tattoo artist Jon Mesa), the upstairs tattoo parlor that debuted at Bowery last February. It also further solidifies the connection of this historic thoroughfare to the artistic practice.
As previously written, the first tattoo shops in New York initially catered to seafarers who grabbed a haircut and some permanent ink in what is now the Wall Street district. Yet, like all things in this city – that changed. By the late 19th century, tattooing moved to the Bowery and a mecca was born. Tattoo artists catered to all kinds, but the Bowery was soldiers’ and sailors’ depraved heaven (and haven).
One of the original Bowery pioneers, William Moskowitz, arrived off the boat from Russia in 1918, and quickly opened a barbershop at 4 Bowery. By the late 1930s, he learned to tattoo, thanks to a little help from his friend Charlie Wagner (pioneer of the electric tattoo machine still in use). In pursuing both trades, Moskowitz soon realized that tattooing was more lucrative than hair-cutting. With a wife and three children to support, the choice was a no-brainer; thus a family dynasty was born. Willie taught his son-in-law to tattoo and then his sons, Stanley and Walter. The brothers proceeded to create a line of ink called Bowery Ink.