HANDS ON / PHOTOGRAPHY BY NATALIE NEAL

THE TOP TEN IN THE CHARTS, OUR NEW YEAR’S EVE COUNTDOWN AND THE NUMBER OF FINGERS AND TOES, AS PERFECTLY CHOSEN BY EVOLUTION: ALL GOOD THINGS COME IN TENS. AS LONG AS OUR AGE CAN BE COUNTED ON TWO HANDS, LET IT BE TWO AS BEAUTIFUL AS THESE: LOS ANGELES-BASED PHOTOGRAPHER NATALIE NEAL WENT ON A SEARCH FOR THE STORIES BEHIND ALL THAT PERMANENT INK.

zack7_NatalieNeal_300cmyk Zack Mondek, 18

“KNUCKLES ON KNUCKLES”
«I live in Los Angeles and I’m a student… of love. The first tattoo I ever got was on my hand, it said forgive me for my sins. One day I got tired of looking at it, so I got a rose on top of it. I’ve always liked roses, they symbolize a lot of things: secrecy, passion, and love. I mean… all we need is love. My knuckle tattoos I got not too much later. I decided after months of thinking to get knuckles on my knuckles, just because everything else I wanted looked so corny. I think my knuckles now represent my care-free, fun, and spontaneous approach to life. I love my hand tattoos even if it is a little taboo. I am glad and proud to have them. »

eric4_NatalieNeal_300cmykEric William Desimone, 22

eric1_NatalieNeal_300cmyk Eric William Desimone, 22

“FAMILY ABOVE ALL”
«I live in Silverlake, Los Angeles/ California, where I work as a professional chef. The story behind my tattoos: I am a firm believer in family. My family are the only ones that I could, no doubt, always count on. I respect my parents very much, so that would be why I have madre and padre. The greek tattoos on my hands resemble ‹family› and the one on the right is for ‹Bunny›, my wife. My family and my wife have done so much for me, I figured the least I could do is to show my love and respect for them by getting ink. Something permanent. Just as a reminder, I suppose, to myself when I’m faced with a hard time, that these people will always be there for me. »

dylan2_NatalieNeal_300cmykDylan Gravely, 24

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