"She was very artistic, and a fan of Salvador Dali. In our house we had two prints of Dali paintings: 'Metamorphosis Of Narcissus' and 'Swans Reflecting Elephants.' These images have stayed with me all my life," Baz recalled.
In school, young Baz wasn't all that interested in anything but art and music. After graduating, he joined numerous Punk, Rockabilly and Psychobilly bands, where he also designed flyers and T-shirts for each band. At around the same time he began getting tattoos.
"I designed tattoos for friends and band members. Unfortunately, the only 'good' tattooist at the time was a right asshole, and frankly, put me off tattooing," Baz expressed.
After being put off from tattooing, Baz ventured into the world of comic books, working for a few publications in England. He then moved on to magazine layout work and advertising graphics. He also had a few exhibitions of his canvases at galleries in Soho (NY), Sydney, Australia, London and Toronto.
Towards the beginning of the new millennium, he and his wife were living on the Lower East Side, and the two decided to get tattoos.
"We walked into New York Hardcore Tattoo on Stanton Street, and I immediately felt 'at home,'" he stated, adding, "I was quite excited to discover that it was owned by Vinnie Stigma from Agnostic Front and Jimmy G from Murphy's Law -- two bands I was very familiar with from my punk rock days in England."
Tattoo artist Andrea Anderson tattooed Baz and his wife numerous times, and in conversation, she suggested to Baz that he should become her apprentice and learn how to tattoo. And, so he did!
"I apprenticed at Lone Wolf Tattoo in Bellmore, Long Island. Andrea was a bit hands off in her approach, which was a bit frustrating, but luckily her ex-husband Albert Sgambati and Ron Bianco -- now owner of Lone Wolf -- really helped me, and pointed me in the right direction," Baz explained of his apprenticeship.
After working at a couple of street shops, Baz came full circle and started tattooing at NYHC Tattoo. "I couldn't be happier working here. We have a good crew, and now that Lars Frederiksen from Rancid is also involved, the studio is going from strength to strength," he expressed of his new base of operations.
Along with tattooing, Baz has also been busy designing merchandise for events like the Viva Las Vegas Rockabilly Weekend, the Psychobilly Luau and The New England Shake Up.
Recently, the hardcore ink slinger even had the pleasure of tattooing some of his celebrity friends like actor/model Tyson Beckford, Chris Wolstenholme of the rock band Muse), and his longtime friend, Smutty Smith from the legendary rockabilly band The Rockats.
Baz has been fine-tuning his style over the years, incorporating elements from his favorite artists. His list of inspirational artists include: legendary comic book artist, Jack Kirby, Bruce Timm, co-creator and producer of "Batman: The Animated Series, pin-up artist Gil Elvgren, Robert Williams, founder of the 'Lowbrow' art movement, Coop, famous for his work on 'Devil Girl,' and of course, his mom's favorite, Dali.
"I'm lucky to be able to create art every day, and get paid for it!" Baz told us. "I couldn't have done this without the love and support of my equally talented wife, Josh. Happiness is a rare commodity, and I'm blessed to be very happy in my professional and personal life!"
127 Stanton Street
New York, NY 10002
Article by Razor Leary