Last night the city’s tattoo luminaries hobnobbed at the grand opening of the most buzzed-about ink parlor in the history of man. Bang Bang (real name: Keith McCurdy) counts the likes of Rihanna, Rita Ora, and Justin Bieber as loyal customers — and he has their tattoo autographs to prove it.
After operating under the radar throughout summer, his minimalist shop at 26 Clinton Street — which feels like a cross between a hair salon and a design studio — is finally officially open. The slick atmosphere and rotating roster of some of the best talents in the business — like Jon Mesa, El-E Mags, and Tye Harris — only ups Bang Bang’s trendsetter cred in the body art scene.
At the party, model types tipped back cocktails in the AstroTurf backyard, and Wylie Dufresne of WD-50, clad in his trademark striped apron, doled out chocolate-caramel cookies. Maybe the only differences between Bang Bang’s bash and a Fashion Week party was that conversations about new “sleeves” weren’t focused on the clothing, and celebrity sightings were only recognizable to the tattoo cognoscenti. “Look, Timmy B is over there,” Tye Harris said, sounding like a young clothing designer fawning over Alexander Wang. “He might be the best tattoo artist alive.”
J.R. & Chris Smith of the New York Knicks also stopped by to show off their Bang Bang ink and appreciation. “I’ve got two from him recently and he’s got a special touch,” said Chris Smith. “We’ve got a special touch playing basketball, and he’s got his special touch doing his thing.”
Fergus, the shop’s unofficial doggy mascot, ran underfoot, reminding guests of the event’s other purpose: to raise money for local animal rescue charities. “Animals need help too and we need to give them some fucking money!” said Bang Bang, as he darted between adoring clients vying for one of his bear hugs.
From now until September 18, check out Bang Bang’s Charitybuzz auction and bid on autographed kisses from his celeb milieu – including Adele, Katy Perry, Lenny Kravitz, Alicia Keys, and of course, RiRi & Biebs – with the option to have Bang Bang himself ink it on your skin. All the proceeds go to Animal Haven and Empty Cages Collective, but be ready to dig into your pockets for one of these smooches — Rihanna, Adele, and Katy Perry kisses already have starting bids matched at $500.
Update: We just got wind that RiRi herself showed up to the after-party to chill with Bang Bang – looks like he really is her favorite!