Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Monica Henk.

December 3rd, 2009 by

Every week, for those of you out there who are paying attention, I write a tattoo artist profile in my Meet! series.  Well, this week I wanted to focus on Monica Henk, a very talented young woman whose life was tragically cut short at the age of 26.

In the morning hours of Saturday, April 7th, 2007, Monica Henk was riding her motorcycle when she was struck by a black SUV.  The driver of the SUV fled and by the time Monica was taken to hospital, she had gone 26 minutes without oxygen.  Her lungs, kidney and liver had all stopped working.  Monica was essentially brain dead and was kept on life support until shortly after 12pm on Thursday, April 12th, 2007.  She left behind a loving family and husband (her husband Dan, also a tattoo artist) and tons of close friends.  It was a true tragedy, with the killer(s) still not apprehended.

Monica came to New York from Colombia.  She had been in America for less than 10 years before she was killed. In that short time however, Monica created some truly striking and beautiful work.  There is a darkness to her tattoos that reminds me of characters in Tim Burton films – creepy yet attractive, all rolled into one.  Prior to her death, Monica was working at two different tattoo shops: Cliff’s Tattoo in Centerach, Long Island and Pure Body Arts in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  She was an artist on flesh as well as on canvas, often painting with tattoo inks.  She enrolled in university in New York, hoping that by studying anatomy she could better round out her perspective and skill.  Although she ended up not liking school, the effort to better herself and her craft was the marking of a true, fearless artist.

It is indeed a tragedy that someone’s life could be so quickly and needlessly ended like this.  I have managed to find a couple of early interviews with Monica in which she talks about her life and her work.  I sincerely hope that her killer is one day brought to justice and I hope that you enjoy Monica’s work as much as I do.

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