"Tattoo Age" Video: Troy Denning Part 1
01:36 PM

As expected, Vice TV's latest in its Tattoo Age series is as intense, fun and endearingly obnoxious as the artist it profiles:

Behold the life and times of Troy Denning of Invisible NYC.

Standing in sharp contrast to the emo art school kids that populate the new crop of tattoo talent, Troy is best described by his long-time friend Chris O'Donnell, (who worked with Troy for years at NY Adorned): "Troy's personality can overwhelm people. He just looks like this super tough, crazy guy...I think people are surprised that he's really good at tattooing too, like, How can you be this character and be a really talented artist."

It's a difficult balance to strike, having a high octane, "savage" persona and also being respected as a serious artist, but Troy has mastered this in his nearly two decades of tattooing. In fact, he's managed to infuse his work with so much of what drives him personally that his portfolio has a distinct, energized quality that let's you know just who created the work. Invisible NYC artist Kiku calls Troy's tattoo work "super wild and strong," while Chris describes it as "over-sized refined Japanese style" with a toughness to it.

Vice could've just showed Troy drinking and partying across NYC -- and there are some clips of that -- but I dig the fact that they didn't let boys-gone-wild footage overshadow art. For example, there's great discussion in this episode on American interpretations of Japanese tattooing ("hard outline, hard black, color"), which Troy is known for, and also how he has evolved his drawings to work quicker and smarter to meet the high demand. This evolution, he says, came about during the "dark period" when he was navigating a divorce and trying to run a business and be creative at the same time. It's candid and compelling.

I highly recommend checking out this episode and staying tuned for Pt. 2 , Sept. 14, and  Pt. 3, Sept. 2.

See more of Troy's tattoos on his online portfolio, including the work below.


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