Two years ago, Scott Campbell traveled to Mexico City with the intention to photograph prison tattoo culture. But once he arrived, plans changed for the famed artist, who owns Saved Tattoo in Brooklyn. He was in high demand. As you might imagine, getting tattoos in prison is not an easy or comfortable process. With the absence of modern, hygienic tools, inmates would MacGyver makeshift machines out of toothbrushes, electric razors, phone chargers or whatever else they could find that might help them get their next inking (which could land them a month in solitary confinement). Inspired by the inmates’ creativity given the restrictive culture of prison, Campbell decided to ditch his original plan and instead build and use his own contraptions to ink prisoners.
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