The mainstreaming of tattoo culture in America has paid off for everybody. More recognition for artists means more motivation and support for them to pursue their craft. More interest means better ink and technology for enthusiasts. And more people getting over the old stigma means a new era of tattoo studios that are more akin to high-end couture workshops than needle-filled dens of iniquity. If your idea of the average tattoo shop is a harshly lit storefront wallpapered with generic Tweety Bird designs, it's time to enter the new millennium. Case in point: the new shop Unfamous Tattoo Couture (1666 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), the project of artist Gaston Siciliano. He's already renowned in the community for both his Fallen King Irons-brand custom-tattooing machines and his own large-scale, photorealistic skin art. Now, Siciliano has gathered another stable of more than a dozen fellow in-demand artists, plus rotating special visitors, to work in an upscale space that's part boutique and part ritzy tattoo spa. You can relax (or at least try to) in a leather chair under gilded lighting fixtures as you go under the needle, and afterward, browse through a specially curated collection of clothing by Sullen, a tattoo-inspired brand. Remember, though, that this is a tattoo studio -- don't go in there asking for the cheapest tattoo or expecting to pick a design from a book. The artists here work by appointment and design their pieces custom for you. Siciliano and company invite you to celebrate the shop's grand opening Friday at 8 p.m. Because this is a fancy shop, cocktail attire is required, but your free admission with RSVP gets you cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, live music, giveaways, and a peek at Miami's next famous spot for ink. Call 305-535-1026 or visit unfamousmiami.com.
Fri., Aug. 17, 2012