My name is Brian Decker and I am a 35 year old body modification artist.
I currently operate my own business, PURE, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, which I run out of 1228 Tattoo with Joy Rumore, who does custom tattooing. You can reach me there at 28 Marcy Ave., by phone at (718) 384-3377, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. I also offer general and advanced body piercing in Manhattan out of SACRED, which is located at 424 Broadway.
I grew up with an extremely loving, functional family in upper middle-class Connecticut, where I lived until I was 25. The last schooling I completed was a single year at the University of Connecticut, which is where I first started learning about piercing. My parents pressured me to stay in college by pursuing non-matriculated courses, but I knew it wasn’t for me. I felt much more at home at punk and metal shows, where I was first introduced to piercing and tattooing.
I started self piercing myself at 17, I think, just for the personal aesthetic pleasure it gave me. I didn’t do it to fit in, as the suburb I lived in was fairly conservative, but I didn’t do it to rebel, either. I simply just loved the way it looked. I began actually learning more about the history and technicality of piercing from a student on my dorm floor who showed me the Eye of the Needle book. After I read that I was looking for everything about piercing online and in publications that I could find. I studied Anne Greenblatt’s R.A.B. pages obsessively to the point of complete memorization. When I love something I go all out.
I never did a full apprenticeship, but I learned a lot from hanging around Green Man Tattoo in West Hartford, CT watching Jeff Goldblatt, whether he knew it, or approved, or not. He was one of the most knowledgeable piercers I’d heard of at the time and was also the only professional I ever let put a needle in me. I actually was applying for an apprenticeship with him, but he took a job in Phoenix, which is when I began using whatever I knew and applying it on friends, then friends of friends, and so on. My first piercing job was at Turnpike Tattoo in Meriden, CT, where I was able to hone my skills further and gained a reputation and portfolio worthy of an invite to work at Sacred Tattoo in NYC. I took the job and built on my reputation there until I had enough personal clientele to warrant opening my own shop. At that time, PURE was born.
I spent more than half my life living on a cattle ranch. As weird as it may sound, I think this is where my love for body modification began. At a very young age my father taught me how to brand cattle. As I grew older I helped design and fabricate the irons; I also assisted the local veterinarian and quickly became obsessed with microbiology and anatomy. My mother always had a passion for sewing. She owned a company where she designed and made cowboy boots by hand, and also did needle point and crocheting. She taught me sewing at the age of five. I learned how to guide a needle virtually without having to look at it. She had multiple ear piercings and one tattoo; I wasn’t interested in tattooing until I was 18, but I loved her piercings.
My initial interest in piercing began in 1996. I began to think about other places besides my earlobes to pierce, and quickly began piercing my own lips and nostrils, among other things. I had given myself over thirty piercings before I turned 18. The first I performed on myself was my right nostril, which I still wear jewelry in today. In 2003 a good friend of mine, Ed Settles, who worked at Black Rose Tattoo in Tucson, began teaching me proper piercing placement and sterile technique, along with tons of useful information with regards to jewelry sizing and anatomy. I started piercing professionally in 2004, happily working at Majestik Tattoo (now Sacred Art). Afterward, I moved to Maggie Maye’s Tattoo Studio, and finally IA Studios in Tucson, Arizona. In 2005 a good friend and mentor, David Kay, helped further my understanding of surface piercing and microdermal techniques, along with scarification.
I take any opportunity possible to learn different styles and take new information from any piercer willing to offer it to me. I moved to New York in September 2010 to work at Pure Body Arts/Sacred Tattoo and I’ve never been happier with clientele. My piercing skills are forever improving.
I am certified in blood borne pathogens, CPR and first aid. Every year I attend the Association of Professional Piercers conference and take every seminar I can. I also take any course or seminar related to sterilization, materials, anatomy, etc that I can find. I strive to give our clients the safest, most sterile and pleasant experience possible.