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Monday, November 16, 2009

Weekly Ink: Love from Russia, Goddess from Tibet

Posted By on Mon, Nov 16, 2009 at 11:30 AM


click to enlarge vegas_luba.jpg
Got a tattoo? Share it with us at tattoos@sfweekly.com

Vital Statistics: My name is Luba Muzichenko, most people just call me Luba because my last name overwhelms them.  On Twitter people know me as LubaSF, as do my blog readers. My occupation is, believe it or not, a realtor. There are lots of real estate agents that have a little tattoo here or there, but many agents tend to think I'm a little odd for putting something so huge and "unprofessional" on my body. Oh, and I'm 32.  

Tattoo: My name, in Russian, means "love." And this goddess is named Kurukulla, (also known as the Red Tara) and is the goddess of love in Tibetan lore. I loved that she is known to be both enchanting and erotic at the same time. She also is wise, a symbol of perfection, and stands on the a corpse that symbolizes ego -- which is essentially the root of all evil.  Crushing the ego; that was one of the most powerful images to me. It sounds cheesy, but in my business, people walk around with huge egos all day and they feel like if they don't act self-important, then they won't be a successful agent. My approach has always been to remain down to earth and even though I had been thinking about this piece for years before I became an agent, this was the confirmation that I needed that this piece was truly the perfect one for me - a reminder that a big-ass ego doesn't actually bring you happiness.
click to enlarge tattoo_luba.jpg
 

Comments: Mostly, people are just in awe of its beauty and the

intricacy of the artwork.  As the color gets filled in, people tend to

become even more excited about it and look forward to seeing it come

together piece by piece. People that aren't "into" tattoos are

impressed at the size of the piece. People that are into tattoos just

want to know how long it took and the people that really know tattoo

art and artists are in awe that it was done by Grime. He has a three-year wait list these days, but I was fortunate enough to have a piece

done by him about 12 or 13 years ago before he became so well known. So

those that are on his waiting list tend to get a little jealous that I

didn't have to wait the full three years. I've never really gotten odd

comments -- though a friend did once ask "what's on the other side"

when he saw a photo of it.

click to enlarge ram_tattoo.jpg

Other Tattoos: The other tattoo I have is a ram on my ankle. I'm

an Aries. That was the first piece Grime did for me. It was actually a

cover-up of a guy's name that I got when I was 16 years old and very,

very stupid. And am I planning to get more? Has anyone ever answered

"no" to that question?

My next piece will be on my lower stomach -- cherry blossoms, maybe

coming out of the fog.  I'll let Grime figure out how to give that one

life and character. I know they're somewhat of a "standard" image for

tattoos, but I love that in the Chinese culture they symbolize the

sensuality of woman, and in the Japanese culture they symbolize the

fragility of life -- something I try to never forget.  We're here

today, but no one knows about tomorrow, so do what makes you happy

today! 

I'm not sure what will come after that; I might take a break for a few

more years. Tattoos are permanent, and I love them as art. But because

it's not like an outfit that I can just change whenever I want, and I

had my first "accidental" tattoo when I was 16, I tend to take my time

to really think about the pieces and commit to them before getting them

inked on my body.  

ETC: I guess if you looked at me fully clothed, you'd probably

not guess that there's any ink on me.  I'll probably keep it that way

for some years since I don't think it needs to be someone's first

impression of me.  But the art -- it's a part of who I am, and I think

that once you get to know me, my pieces aren't a surprise.

Luba has promised to send us a photo of the finished piece, so stay tuned for a follow-up post!


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Andy Wright

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