Mike Rubendall wants to bring the magic back. In New York City, he says, magic has been overlooked.
His magic is tattooing. Based primarily in Massaqpequa, New York (on Long Island) and with a Kings Ave Tattoo outpost on the Bowery in NYC, Rube specializes in "Asian-inspired" work. In 20 years he's progressed from local apprentice to one of the best in the world. Frank Romano, the man who taught Rubendall calls him "one of the top five."
The claim came in a segment of Vice's Tattoo Age, one of the first mainstream profiles on Rubendall. Since, he's appeared on TV and expanded his output beyond the body—notably through cap collaborations with New Era and a jewelry line with Jeff Cooper Designs.
Talking with Complex, Rubendall reveals that St. Mark's and rock n' roll inspired him to tattoo. He also discusses the pitfalls of tattooing in the media and the challenges of transfering a hand craft to the art needs of corporate America.