Monday, January 24

Mexico: the little tattoo artist with the silver hands

The needles do not wait for the number of years: Brandon Burgos, barely eleven, has already signed some thirty tattoos on big adult arms with his little silver hands, agile and light.

Equipped with latex gloves, the schoolboy at the end of primary school spends his free time in the workshop of his tattooist father in Puebla, the first colonial city founded by the Spaniards in central Mexico, also known for the quality of its gastronomy.

The child dreams of being a sailor or, if that is not possible, a “tattoo artist”, he told an AFP correspondent.

Brandon began to prick the skin of his own father on which he drew a skull in indelible ink.

The baby boy’s chubby face stands out against the dark walls of the cave-like family studio. But at the time of taking action, his gaze freezes on the client’s skin with impressive maturity.

The precision with which he draws the mouth of a feline, point by point, pore by pore, is worthy of a master tattoo artist.

“I started helping my dad, watching videos. I started reading a book about tattoo lessons. And then I continued,” he says in his crystal clear voice.

After his father, it was the turn of uncles and friends. “More and more people want me to tattoo them. They trust me and I thank them,” says Brandon.

The kid has even been invited to an exhibition in Tepito, the hottest district of the capital Mexico where a gang is rife whose leaders wear tattoos as distinctive signs, some media reported a few years ago.

“He has liked to draw since he was six years old. With the pandemic, he has become more involved”, proudly tells his father, José Burgos, himself a tattoo artist for seven years. “The only condition is that he brings me good grades from school.” Be reassured, Brandon does not intend to drop out of school yet.

Before moving on to tattoos for good, the “niño” got his hands on silicone and fruit, adds José. “He is in great demand. He has 30 tattoos on the clock. Everyone is happy. There are no complications.”

“I could never have imagined that my son was going to give me a tattoo. He has good hands, very light”, concludes the father with emotion.

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