The one about…his tattoos

It is said the world is divided into two kinds of people: those who have tattoos, and those who are afraid of people with tattoos.

Steve Pinizzotto joked that his numerous tattoos are in place as an intimidation factor, but they’re actually well thought out pieces of art that tell his story.

Sitting at Souvlaki Port Credit, a Greek grill owned by a his high school friend Andrew, Pinizzotto got to the bottom of his ink, beginning with his left arm. I noticed earlier in the day something was written in roman numerals and he said, rolling up his sleeve, it’s a vertical LXXXIV for ’84, as in 1984, as in the year he was born.

Lifting up his shirt, he pointed to four vertical capital letters, L L J M, running vertically down his left rib cage. They’re the first initials of his mom, Linda, dad, Leo, and brothers Jason and Marc.

Turning his body, Pinizzotto displayed a larger tattoo running down his right rib cage. “It’s an ambigram, so this way it says STRENGTH and if you look at it from the other way, it says COURAGE,” he said with moxy.

The tattoo tour ended on his right arm, a wonderful display of ink that began with PINIZZOTTO put high on his right shoulder in bold, black jagged letters when he was 18-years-old. Last summer he added a whack of ink below it.

“I have the CN Tower here,” he said, pointing to his arm. “It’s right below my last name, then there’s a star sprocket on top of that with Sono Convinto Di Credere In Me Stesso, which means I am convinced to believe in myself in Italian, running from the top down to the Sicilian coat of arms with a Taurus bull in the middle and an Italian pepper below it. There are some German birds flying around as well, then on the inside it’s a cross with roses.

“It’s funny, once you get one, you get a million.”

I, and millions of others, know the feeling.

So what’s next?

“I actually went to the tattoo parlour the other day to do my whole arm and get the sleeve done, but I kind of chickened out. I wasn’t too sure about it, so I’ll live with this for now until I come up with some good ideas.”

Pinizzotto’s dad has tattoos, as does one of his brothers, not that they had any influence on his body of work.

“I just like the look of them. I’m sure they won’t look good in about 40 years, but I’ll worry about that when it comes.”