Larger than life tattoo artist Joe Capobianco is responsible for some of the most original pin up style tattoos seen anywhere in the business. By blending his airbrushing skills with 1950’s style pin up images, and adding his own unique touch, Joe has created his very own style of tattooing and coined the term "Capo Girls". Having stumbled into the business on the advice of a friend, he has travelled around the world working in countless shops as a guest artist, had his work published in a number of magazines, and appeared as a featured artist at many conventions. He even appeared as a guest artist on reality series "Miami Ink" and counts some of the biggest names in tattooing as his close friends and influences.
Born in Long Island, New York, Joe began his artistic career by designing biker t-shirts. During a tattoo session that he attended with a group of friends, a friend mentioned to the tattooist that Joe himself was also an artist. This innocent remark started a chain of events that led to Joe earning his place among some of the greatest tattoo artists working today. The artist who had tattooed Joe and his friends later opened his own shop and remembered Joe’s artwork and after commissioning a couple of paintings, offered him an apprenticeship. Joe then gave up painting and began an apprenticeship 6 days a week at "Cliff’s Tattoos".
Working alongside fellow artists Civ, Thom Butler and Joe Olsen, Joe has stated that he gained an extremely strong work ethic from his time at Cliff’s. After a year at that studio Joe left to spend the next 6 years working at "Lotus Tattoo". He then met artist Cory Kruger whose work he became enthralled by, and the two decided to open their very own studio "Color Box" in Seabrook, New Hampshire. The studio lasted for almost a year and a half before he relocated to Connecticut and began work at "Dark Side Tattoo".
Joe is currently operating out of "Hope Gallery" in New Haven, Connecticut, alongside renowned artists such as Eric Merrill, Julio Rodriguez, Tim Harris, Phil Young, and Christian Perez. He is still a regular at conventions and continues to travel and work as a guest artist in studios around the world. Joe’s unique style can be somewhat attributed to his early career as an air brusher. His fantasy comic book style of tattooing and artwork is influenced by airbrushing techniques and he has used this to invent his own method of working. Joe is said to use his own unique color palette and this is responsible for the high color saturation used in his designs.
Working almost exclusively in color, Joe is a master of the pin up genre of tattoos and can use shading and light to create striking images that seem to be straight out of a 50’s retro magazine. His talent for female fantasy art is unrivalled in the business and he has created a number of books and instructional DVDs to help educate up and coming artists. His books include ‘Knock Yerself Out’ which is a collection of artwork by him and Brett Bryan and also ‘What’s Not Ta Like?’ His instructional DVD ‘A Moment with Joe’ is a two hour documentary featuring a candid talk about his life and work, all the while focusing on a hand tattoo being done by Joe from start to finish.
Joe’s work has taken him all over the world from Europe to Japan and even Australia in search of inspiration and knowledge. He has developed his own style and technique and even helped to create his very own tattoo machine. Even though he has reached a level of success than many artists can only dream about, he remains humble and even slightly bewildered by all the fame and adoration. He currently lives in New Haven, Connecticut, with his wife Alethea and French bulldog Molly. Anyone wishing to own their very own Capo Girl can request an appointment through the "Hope Gallery" website.