This isn’t the Super Bowl half-time show. A tattoo artist in Bayside is holding a fundraiser on Super Bowl Sunday for the Wounded Warrior Project. And he’s enlisted tattoo artists from around the country to paint helmets to be sold at the fundraiser.
“It’s a good kickoff to a Super Bowl party,” said Tom Murphy, who owns Mean Street Tattoo, where the fundraiser will be held. “And we’re just trying to raise money for soldiers.”
Tattoo artists from England, Canada and across America used their tat skills to make paintings on helmets. Murphy is hoping to sell the helmets for $500 each and he has a total of 26 inked helmets made by 18 artists.
Murphy thought of the idea after he noticed his neighbor was a Vietnam veteran and he began to think about the new generation of veterans coming home from Iraq and Afghanistan. He also thought the idea would be a good way to bring the tattoo artist community together.
“I want to grow a community,” he said. “And if we could bring a splash of color to the boulevard that would be great.”
Murphy contributed to the collection by drawing an American flag with the Purple Heart on a helmet. Some artists took a more expansive view on the soldier theme and drew things like a helmet from Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket.
Others strayed from the soldier theme altogether, with one artist drawing what Murphy described as an Elvis Geisha. Another helmet depicts a demon and the artist attached two deer antlers to the helmet.
“We hope this snowballs and the helmets sell,” Murphy said. “It’s for veterans, that’s all that matters.”