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Tattoo Fest Draws Thousands of Ink Fans to Midtown

By Mathew Katz | May 18, 2012 7:10am
Two women show off their tattoos at the New York City Tattoo Convention.
Two women show off their tattoos at the New York City Tattoo Convention.
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MIDTOWN — Tattoo gurus from around the world are descending on New York for a celebration of ink.

The event at the Roseland Ballroom is expected to draw thousands of tattooed New Yorkers and some of the world's most talented body artists.

The 15th annual New York City Tattoo Convention runs from Friday afternoon to Sunday night in the  W. 52nd St. space, and will feature tattoo shops from as far away as Japan and Venezuela — all showing off their best work and drawing designs on willing clients.

The styles available range from classic Americana and pin-up girls to Maori emblems and anime characters.

"This is one of the top three tattoo events in the country," said organizer Clayton Patterson.

"You're going to find artists here that are only ever in the city for the convention."

If you're looking for some ink from the industry's best and brightest, it's best to set up an appointment in advance. Each tattoo artist has a phone number listed on the convention's web site, enabling tattoo enthusiasts to lock in an appointment while they're in town.

The convention is also a place to see and be seen among the inked-up set, so expect some of the city's most eye-catching individuals to enter the "Best Tattoo" contests, which will be held on all three days.

For those who may not be interested in adding an ink design to their skin, a number of vendors will offer piercings as well. The industry get-together also features book signings and tattoo-related merchandise.

Anyone hoping to be pierced or tattooed needs to be 18 or older with photo identification, but ink-lovers of all ages can attend the festival.

The New York City Tattoo Convention kicks off on Friday at 4 p.m. Tickets for the festival are available at the door. A one-day ticket is $20, a two-day ticket is $35, and a three-day pass is $50.