United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo A Destination For Art, Culture

United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo unfolded earlier this month in Queens, New York City. The stage was set for a three-day event. Festivities began on Friday the 31st of March 2017 and ended Sunday the 2nd of April 2017. Notable, upcoming, tattoo artists converged at Resort World Casino. The roster rich in talent featured local, global and a slate of celebrity tattoo artists. 

Part I of II


Tattoos and body modification are a part of human culture dating back centuries. These devices originated in indigenous culture as part of religious and sociological development. Shedding mandatory influences tattoos and body modifications have now evolved into mainstream society.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017, Queens, NYC

Many regard spiritualistic associations in getting tattooed. Describing the transference of ink to flesh as a euphoric is a statement I concur with. There’s a connection between artist and canvas. With the latter, they’re forever branded with an exquisite exhibition. This is why it is important to not focus on price but workmanship when choosing an artist.

To sum, tattoo culture is not a trending fad nor is it a fashion statement. The arena represents a statement of individuality and freedom of self-expression. Becoming a living work of art resonates across demographics. This was evident with the diversity from those in attendance at United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo.

DecayMag was on hand the second day of the event for our exclusive event coverage. The following article sums our sights and experiences at United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
Resort World Casino, United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017

Flights of stairs led patrons to the third floor. Here seventy thousand square feet of event space accommodated the venue. The area was a world of its own separated from the chirps and chimes from the active casino below.

We arrived midday at  United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo. The jubilation was active, little did we know it would mature in rapid development. The boisterous yet tame levels poured out from the entryway. Once inside a melange of conversation, music and the occasional announcements baptized newcomers. Beneath layered frequencies was the all too familiar sound of active tattoo machines. The mechanical droning parallel the sound of volatile bees.

United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo hosted unique sights and sounds that devirginized senses. The expo was incomparable with an unceasing active level. Women clad in black sports bras and shorts trekked across the event space. Each model had finesse and fierce ink adoring their flesh. Whether it was vanity or exhibitionism the women reveled in the spotlight. The models were well received by gawkers and admirers.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
Carla Pinto PIEL Studios

Enthusiasts and the curious turned out in large numbers to United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo. From business women, Hipsters to intimidating bikers, everyone shared a common interest. Political tribulations or current events were not debated topics of discussion. Instead, conversations circulated on art and its appreciation thereof.

A moment was set aside to absorb the living environment. A slate of activities at United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo kept the activity alive. The agenda included; Burlesque performances, art gallery, and on the hour tattoo contests. Mixed with the many tattoo/body piercing stations were a slate of variegated vendors. Each merchant showcased morbid curiosities, printed apparel and everything therebetween. The slate of merchandising reflected theme and culture while maintaining core aesthetic interests.


DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
Aztec Pride

Aztec Pride, a Latino-driven company offered a line of sculptures and printed apparel. Their line of merchandise included Dias de Los Muertos themed figurines. Printed garments had a fusion of Mexican and pop-culture references.

Nestled in the heart of the excitement was artist Maggie Yesko. Yesko offered Henna tattoos for those intimidated with the lifetime commitment of ink. Henna application is a modernized form based on historic roots in Arabian culture. These intricate line based art commit to skin with temporary natural colored inks.

DecayMag Content Contributor Enid Artuz served as Yeskoa’s next customer. Most Henna artist use institute templates into their designs. Yesko executed free-handed work with remarkable results. Yesko stated that creating free handed designs are easier to execute. Yesko is also a photographer and shared insights on her profession.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
Henna Tattoos by Maggie Yesko

Cannabis and Hemp Association (CHA) was also a vendor at United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo. We’re advocates of marijuana use for recreational and medicinal purposes. Thus, these were products worth looking into. CHA had a selection of concoctions purported to treat health ailments. After our purchase, we had an on-the-fly interview with Scott Giannotti from CHA. Giannotti provided some insights on the products. Giannotti also provided an overview on CHA as a whole.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017
Scott Giannotti Cannabis and Hemp Association (CHA)


Tattoo magazines have circulated for decades. Yet, the culture rocketed in popularity thanks to the influence of television. the culture has garnered the attention on a wider scale. Programs such as Tattoo Nightmares and Ink Masters have achieved benchmark ratings. A slate of former competitors from Ink Masters was present at  United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo. Tattoo Nightmares’ Big Gus, Rosie and Jasmine Rodriguez were also on hand.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017

Tattoo themed television series such as Tattoo Nightmares serve the industry well. Producers of these particular shows shift focus where needed, on the tattoo art. Other productions use cutthroat sportsmanship and combative drama to attract viewers. This undermines the real focus of the culture.

Before completing our tour of the event floor empty chairs filled with eager clients. Many Tattoo artists had now acquired their line of clients for the day. Contrary to the obvious United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo did not offer a platform to get inked. The event served as an opportunity to receive works of art.


DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017

As a long time tattoo aficionado,  United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo provided a personal look at the culture. Our coverage ties in with Horror and macabre and its infusions into tattoo culture. Horror expanded from the big screen and throughout the years infiltrated different mediums. It is not surprising to reveal Horror and the macabre to be personal interest.

As the saying goes “When in Rome do what the Romans do.”

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017 Maxwell Rivera PIEL Studios
Maxwell Rivera PIEL Studios

After debating for a fraction of a second the decision formulated. Getting inked was now on the agenda. What better way to conclude our coverage of United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo than with permanent art.

Getting inked at a tattoo convention was scratch off the bucket list. The chosen artist was Maxwell Rivera. Hailing from Caguas, Puerto Rico, Rivera serves as Tattoo Artist and Owner of PIEL Studios.

For my design of choice selected was an illustration that embodied “The Final Girl” theme. Horror enthusiasts are well familiar with the term. For the uninitiated “The Final Girl” describes the strong female protagonist. Often times this character battles for survival against a male dominant antagonizing force.

Films such as Alien and Halloween are perfect examples of having “The Final Girl”. There’s also the exploitative era with films such as I spit on your Grave. With the latter the concept shifts from survival to revenge. Yet, the core conflict remains the same.

The tattoo design is a concept based on the character Miriam. Miriam is the protagonist based on the independent animated horror film Malevolent. With a few tweaks and added DecayMag logo in Photoshop, the illustration was ready to adorn my flesh.

DecayMag.com United Ink Tattoo Expo 2017 Maxwell Rivera PIEL Studios

Rivera engaged in a five-hour session. His meticulousness was impressive and his attention to detail extraordinary. Rivera displaced grace in every level of the designing phase. Not once did the marriage of needle to skin feel painful. Yet, discomfort settled after the flesh became raw and not from the constant prick of the needle.

Time soon became an issue. The end product would become one of the slates of entries into the Horror theme tattoo contest. This element of pressure can best be described on in any given episode of Ink Masters. Without the drama of course. Rivera worked down to the wire and added the finishing touches as best as he could.

The number got called and I took to the stage with nerves in control. The sentiment of the moment parallels that of scientists examining a patient. Expert eyes gazed upon the collage of black, gray, white and reds.

One of the judges on the panel was John Cubo Cuminale. During the review, Cuminale delivered a question that resonated with perplexity. He has asked if the tattoo had its completion today. The response was rapid and truthful. Looking around to the other entrants most of their designs had the telltale signs of fresh work. In turn, my design appeared healed.

Although Rivera’s work did not win the themed contest. His work wins a personal and eternal honor.

Stay tuned to part two of our coverage of United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo. We’ll feature an spotlight on PIEL Studios. Our exclusive interview features Maxwell Rivera. Rivera Tattoo Artist and Owner of PIEL Studios. Also Ricardo Miro, Body Piercer.

In closing

United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo featured everything expected plus more. The venue surpassed caliber. The staff was friendly and the crowd was also respectful. It was an honor to have received a work of art from tattoo artist Maxwell Rivera. The experience as a whole was extraordinary. To sum, the event was too grand to sum in a one-day coverage. The time limited frame was enough to absorb the experience of this magnitude.

Hours become minutes when engaged in passionate expression and appreciation of art interest. Out of our slate of events covered  United Ink Production’s 2017 No Limits International Tattoo Expo stands out as most defining. One that will be forever remembered from this day onward.

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Ken Artuz is Co-Owner of Meca Ex Studios LLC. Artuz is a New York City Based Photographer with proficiency in Photoshop. His digital artwork was featured in exhibitions SOHO, NYC, twice. Artuz is a graduate of The Institute of Audio Research where he earned his degree in Audio Engineering and Record Production. He also earned certification in Television Production and Field Recording at Lehman College. For Horror Artuz Favors French Extremism and Indie productions. He is a novelist, and screenwriter listens to EBM, Industrial & Witch house and is an avid MMA sports fan. Ken Artuz will create a media empire built on the DecayMag Brand.