HUNTINGTON — In a time where many shun anyone who once held prejudice, a Huntington tattoo shop is offering the chance for remorseful individuals to cover up their past.
Tat Nice, a tattoo shop at 1327 4th Ave. in Huntington, has joined other shops across the nation in offering free coverup work for discriminatory or hate speech-related tattoos. The tattoo artist doing the coverup work, Domenico Chianesi, said that he has met many people who regret what they’ve put on their bodies over his 20 years in the business.
“They’ll feel embarrassed of the oppressive nature of their ink,” said Chianesi. “I’ve had stories told to me of guys being unable to take off their shirts anywhere they go, feeling trapped by an ideology they’re no longer a part of.”
Though many other tattoo shops across the country have been operating under a no-questions basis with the coverups, Chianesi has instead opted to handle it on a case-to-case basis. After a potential client makes a phone call to the shop, a private consultation is set up to discuss the cover-up.
Chianesi said that he wants to hear the reason they got the tattoo to begin with, how it affected their lives and what exactly changed for them to no longer want to keep the design. The criteria for the coverup itself is broad, being any image or slogan that oppresses a race, ideology or identity.
“Educating these people on why these hateful ideologies are wrong and helping them move forward from it is important to me,” Chianesi said. “It’s so much better than just exposing them and showing the same type of discrimination they once showed others. We all need to move forward.”
Chianesi hopes that through the transformations, he can improve the lives of these individuals and the Huntington community overall. He also hopes that this national initiative among the tattoo community will inspire other shops to adopt a refusal policy toward any hate speech or discriminatory designs.
Tat Nice currently intends on continuing to offer the service for the foreseeable future and hopes to add laser removal to its list of options.
“I want people to not judge one another by their past selves, but rather the person they’re trying to become,” Chianesi said. “With everything going on in the U.S. right now, I figured I could use my business to help stop this cycle of hate. I want these people to feel comfortable in their own skin again.”
Those interested in setting up a consultation for a cover-up with Tat Nice should call 304-525-0116.