Human Skulls, Serial Killer Art & Nooses – Inside Paul Booth’s Tattoo Studio
Paul Booth’s Last Rites tattoo studio is a real-life hellscape of macabre art and dark antiques. The legendary tattoo artist gave us an exclusive tour of his studio, where Booth’s subjects end up once they’ve booked a session.
Booth’s studio is cluttered with nooses, but there’s more behind the rope than morbid fascination. “I heard 13 loops is illegal because it tears your head from its shoulders. Some of mine have less, but most of them have at least 13,” Booth says. “When I hire somebody, I give them my rope speech. ‘Here’s the rope, you can climb it and succeed with me, or you can swing from it like a noose. It’s your choice.’”
The Last Rites studio is also home to some famous serial killer art. Booth owns an original John Wayne Gacy painting, showcasing the murderer’s fixation on death and violence. An outline Richard Ramirez drew of his hand is also on Booth’s wall, with lines like “Evil hands are happy hands” written by the infamous Night Stalker.
Most of the skulls found in the Last Rites studio are fake, but there’s one that’s 100-percent real. On his travels, Paul Booth picked up a traditional Tibetan skull, also called a kapala. Adorned with precious medals and intricate designs, kapalas are often found in Tibetan monasteries, used to hold dough cakes or wine. Much like communion, it’s used symbolically as flesh and blood offerings to the deities of Hinduism and Buddhism.
Allow Paul Booth to take you on a tour of his studio above and click here for more on Booth’s Last Rites.
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