many in the business consider mahoney a living legend. he currently owns and is the principal
artist at the shamrock social club on sunset boulevand in hollywood, ca. mahoney started his
work as a tattoo artist in boston in 1977 (when tattooing there was illegal), where he was in
the midst of the 1970s punk scene. he has stayed relevant and influential in the tattoo world
ever since. he was a pivotal force during the 1980s black and grey movement, and has tattooed
some of hollywood's biggest names.
mahoney has said he knew what he wanted to do with his life when he was fourteen and hanging
around with this "little greaser gang" and stepped into buddy mott's tattoo spot in newport,
rhode island. he said he has always been attracted to the idea that tattoos are "art for the
people", art for the everyday man or woman.
his early inspirations included cars, choppers, and religious artifacts. he is most known for his
black and grey work, and more specifically images of religious icons, old school collages, girls,
bombs, and guns. when mahoney first became interested in tattoo art, it was during a time period
"when you had to be an outlaw, or you had to be a real brave soul to get a tattoo." with today's
ease of tattoo removal and creams to make the process less painful, some of that appeal is
gone, he said.