For The Love Of Ink: “Tattoo U”


Michele Carlo spent a few minutes with new RFB podcast Tattoo U’s Eric Purkis and got him to spill a little about his love for life, ink—and RFB…

MC: Hey Eric, welcome to RFB! Can you tell us a little about yourself?

EP: Hello Radio Free Brooklyn!  My background is all about ART: from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design to the Upright Citizens Brigade to being a stunt man—to 18 years of exploration into the art of ink and tattoos. Then I was injured as a stunt man and it occurred to me that I needed to tattoo to survive: the canvas would help me pay the bills, give me the skin to ink and allow me to meet people and hear their stories. So art saved my life and tattoos did too!

MC: Tattooing is such a visual medium, how will you convey that “color” (for want of a better word) through each show?

EP: Every tattoo has a story. And every tattoo is important, just like culture and just like people. I am doing Tattoo U as an explorer and archeologist to learn more about the stories from the NYC tattoo scene and the world, and also discover the people who appreciated and were part of the art of ink from the beginning. For example, do you know about Ötzi the tattooed mummy? He has the world’s oldest tattoos, but someone had to tattoo Ötzi and someone tattooed the tattooist that tattooed Ötzi…and so on and so on. So the shows will also be a coming together of those who helped get this art form going.

MC: Is this your first time podcasting? What made you choose RFB?

EP: Yes, this is my first time with my own podcast but I have been on radio and podcasts before with Noel and Josh of “Get Rich Quick with Josh and Noel.” I used to do improv with Noel back in Chicago and he really helped me get this all going!

MC: What do you hope people take away from each episode?

EP: The lifestyle of tattooing. The culture. It all comes back to culture and respect for everything because tattooing is about all of us. I have done this long enough to know that people want to hear about what goes on inside the shop. I want to bring light to both the old and the new, and help bring this art form the greater knowledge and respect it deserves. So please join me and enjoy Tattoo U—I have some really amazing guests lined up!

Listen to episodes of Tattoo U every month
Learn more about Ötzi the tattooed mummy