Needled.com :: Tattoo Couture
Marisa DiMattia is a study in contradictions. "My life is kind of schizophrenic right now," she tells me. "I spend half my time working at big American law firms, and half my time writing about tattoos."
As the managing editor of Needled.com, a relatively new online hub of tattoo culture and community, DiMattia gets to pursue her passion- the one she keeps covered with conservative suits on days at the office, spent in corporate legal consulting and communications.
This apparent contradiction is exactly what makes Needled.com unique. Unlike sites that promote a stereotypical image of the tattooed lifestyle, Needled bills itself as "tattoo couture," and DiMattia says she is "not afraid to use big words" on her Needled blog.
Her mission is to advance the idea that "tattooing can be a fine art," not just a mistake made on Spring Break. She promotes the process of choosing a tattoo artist to create a unique and personal work of art as a very serious undertaking, and a big responsibility for the person being tattooed.
DiMattia’s own body art began with a crest from Alexander the Great (she’s Greek), which she got her first week of law school. The second came when she passed the bar exam. She now wears two blackwork sleeves as well as a back piece, and hidden under her hair on the back of her head, her only color tattoo: a little girl with red pigtails, which she calls her alter-ego.
"Getting tattooed used to be about marking a moment," she says. "Now it’s more about art for art’s sake. They make me feel beautiful. When I look in the mirror, I love the way I look with these dark tattoos against my very pale skin."
A reverence for fine-art tattooing is clear at Needled.com, where you can view tattoo art by genre; South-East Asian, Bio-Mechanical, Realism, and Americana, among others. The visual imagery on the site is stunning: from photos of tattoos, to video interviews with artists, to short films that cover tattoo conventions. These additions, along with histories of each genre, came with a re-launch of the site in May under RIVR Media Interactive.