Russia-born artist Anton Zolotov is drawing outside the lines with Black Square, a tattoo shop/book and zine store opening this Monday in Williamsburg. He considers the shop to be an art project rather than a business and is focused on creating a place where people can just chill. “I wanted to do something that I haven’t seen done yet, a different take on tattooing,” he told B+B. “People can hang out here and it will be more about that, not just getting tattooed.”
Those who do wish to get inked at Black Square, however, can expect a particular and rare type of tattooist. “They’re all people who have been tattooing for years, but I didn’t go to shops and scout people,” said Zolotov. “I was looking for fine artists. They have studios and make art, but they tattoo, as well.”
While it’s less than a stop away from The Newsstand in the Broadway-Metropolitan L/G station, Black Square’s zine scene will most likely carry a different selection than that of the recent subway sensation. “A lot of my friends are good artists and they make some rad zines,” Zolotov said. “It’s going to have some established artists, a lot of local stuff, and some rare, expensive stuff. High and low.”
Bearing white walls and chipboard floors, the shop’s minimalism and rawness is inspired by a Kazimer Malevich painting for which its named after. “It’s just a black square on a white canvas, and the shop’s [aesthetic] kind of comes from that,” said Zolotov. “I think keeping it bare will be cool.”
The parlor’s vibe is also derived from the simplicity and austereness of Russian prison tattoos, which everyone can agree is pretty badass. Come Monday, the walls will feature photos of prison tats, but in the meantime Zolotov will be spending the weekend working with Kid Design (the team behind Kristin Vincent’s latest establishment, Sel RRose) to finish fixing up the place. Bedford + Bowery stopped by the shop to take some photos of the work-in-progress; check out the pics above and come see the finished piece this Friday at their Grand Opening party from “6 p.m. till midnight…or whenever,” as Zolotov put it. There will be booze, and everyone knows that nothing goes better with tattoos than drinking!
Black Square; 552 Grand Street between Union and Lorimer; open everyday from 12-9p