American, birthdate unknown
With a background in fine art and graphic design, Ricky Gaspar’s art is rooted in Austronesian, Polynesian, and Oceanic tattoo traditions. Yet he has a strong interest in Viking and Celtic patterns. Incorporating the imagery from these diverse cultures in each of his tattoo designs, Gaspar’s designs are unique and original.
The Hawai’in word kūkKiaʻi means “standing guard to protect” or “guardian.” Kū Kiaʻi, with its hidden masked guardian figures, is in direct response to the native disenfranchisement and fight to protect Mauna Kea. Believed to be the most sacred site in Hawai’i and the progenitor of the Hawai’ian people, NASA has chosen the location to construct its Thirty Meter Telescope. This would forever change the sacred site and the people’s access to it, provoking protests that continue today.
Someone’s trusting you with their body part for life. I’m going to take the time to make sure that it’s literally the best tattoo that I do every time.