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Best Tattoo Artist: Saints rendered by ink-stained sinner 

Freddie Corbin

Oakland's Freddie Corbin has ascended as the patron saint of religious tattoo art. Corbin, who studied under the legendary Ed Hardy in San Francisco, has owned his downtown shop for the past eight years. A young Corbin's work first appeared in Modern Primitives, the Re/Search book that's largely credited with launching this generation's tattoo jones. But like all artists who transcend time, his style has evolved from that of a simple technician to virtuoso. Working out of a studio that captures the decor of a small church, he creates Biblical-sized pieces bursting in color. Across one client's back, Christ cries cardinal-red tears. In another, Mary appears in front of corn-yellow rays of sunshine. Corbin's artistry manages to capture the strange mix of tragedy and glory found only between the covers of the Good Book. As long as the story of good and evil is rendered on a canvas of flesh, Freddie Corbin may be its finest illustrator.
(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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