Famous tattoo artist Bang Bang showed a preview of the content of his new book, where Rihanna is featured. He has tattooed Rihanna multiple times, and made the art on her body iconic.
In time for his book release, Bang Bang shared a video of Rihanna and asked her a question:
I asked @badgalriri “of all the people you meet, how do you choose who to call a friend?” ….. Rih thank you so much for helping with this book, your support through the years has meant the world to me. You define style and the world follows. It’s a privilege to decorate your body, it’s an honor to be your friend? #ShesMySpiritAnimal 11.17.15
In the beginning of his career, Bang Bang was rejected dozens of times before a ‘dilapidated’ shop on Fourth Street and Sixth Avenue hired him. He soon moved on West Village prlor Whatever Tattoos – where he would meet the client who would change is life.
In 2005, a 17-year-old Rihanna strolled into the shop looking for a nipple ring. When she asked the store piercer, Joe Snake, for the best tattoo artist in the city, he told her Bang Bang was the man she was looking for, showing her a Freddy Krueger tattoo he had done on the store manager’s thigh.
Rihanna was impressed and and on the day of her consult with 19-year-old Bang Bang she explained that she wanted a tattoo a necklace made up of Sanskrit writings on the back of her legs.
A few days later she came back with a Paper magazine reporter in tow, and while she originally wanted the tattoo running down her leg, Bang Bang says ‘it did not look sexy’ when they put the stencil on it.
Instead, he convinced her to put it on her hip, which Rihanna is still grateful for. Ten years later, he and the singer, who is now 27, is still a client and a ‘forever friend’. She even wrote the foreword of Bang Bang’s book.
‘The thing I value most about Bang Bang is his honesty,’ Rihanna reveals.
‘He will never tattoo a bad idea—like EVER. That is the best thing about him—he has shut down so many of my crazy ideas.’
She goes on to say that when she was getting her now infamous gun tattoo, he was the one who talked her out of getting two of them on her collarbones.
Bang Bang credits Rihanna for leading him to the likes of Katy Perry of Cara Delevingne, explaining that much of his notoriety has been from word of mouth and later celebrity photos and shout-outs shared on social media.