This coming April Monday 28th, celebrity tattoo artist, and owner of INK Revoluzion Tattoos, in downtown historic Hardeeville, South Carolina, Gerardo (Lalo) Lopez will be inking for a good cause. The goal is to raise as much money as they can, by way of donating their services and talent, $50.00 for a tattoo, with 100% of the proceeds raised going to the families of the teens.
In an exclusive one on one interview with Lalo today at his new shop, I found a humble man, underneath the ink. Lalo has been tattooing some of today's biggest music artists, while he keeps his clientele under lock and key, I was given a rare opportunity to catch a glimpse of a few of the original drawings, just before they became part of the permanent artwork on some heavy hitters.
Lopez and associates will be raising funds for the families of the two Hilton Head Island High School seniors, Cesar Herrera, 17, and Cory Rocha, 18, both who had died in a tragic auto accident on their way to school that happened just before 7 a. m. Friday, March 28, 2014, on Dillon Road, Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. While the other two student passengers had been airlifted and currently remain in the hospital.
"We are a humble group of artist, which believe wholeheartedly in setting an example in our community, we are a small island, and everyone knows everyone in some way." Says Lopez.
Who continued on to share his personal connection with the families of the victims.
"The accident happened in our front yard; these were children in our community, we knew their families for years, and to have this happen in front of you, words cannot describe the feeling that overcomes you, it could have been any of our children." Lalo then added tearfully.
Lalo, is no stranger to hard times, prior to opening his shop 'INK Revoluzion Tattoos', he fought tooth and nail to open his shop with city and county officials, the laws on tattoos have not been revised since the early 1980's. Times have changed, yet the laws and ordinance do not seem to be keeping up with a new generation of artists, and recipients. Where many of the southern states, still feel that tattoos are demonic or gang related, there is a population that will argue it is a form of personal expression and art, the body is the canvas.
"It is all about mentoring our youth, giving them an outlet to express themselves, We're not just a tattoo shop, we are setting an example as a leader, as a man, that many of the young boys are lacking today. We are preparing for the art gallery we will be having here on site, featuring local youths work, regardless if it's a drawing, a tattoo, even custom graffiti on cars, it's all art, and through art we can show them and teach them how to have a positive outlet for themselves." Shares George.
According to the Smithsonian, "Humans have marked their bodies with tattoos for thousands of years. These permanent designs—sometimes plain, sometimes elaborate, always personal—have served as amulets, status symbols, declarations of love, signs of religious beliefs, adornments and even forms of punishment. Joann Fletcher, research fellow in the department of archaeology at the University of York in Britain, describes the history of tattoos and their cultural significance to people around the world, from the famous " Iceman," a 5,200-year-old frozen mummy, to today’s Maori."
From cultures around the globe, to your everyday college student on spring break, look at tattooing as a form of expression, some with meanings behind them, too just plain mistakes. Regardless of the rhyme or reason behind inking the body, it is a canvas, telling the story of our lives.
For more information, please contact: (843)683-2446 ask for Gerardo Lopez (Lalo), of Ink Revoluzion Tattoos. 18892 Whyte Hardee Blvd #103 Hardeeville South Carolina.