beneath the opus: jalani lion

[120 mm of jalani in his tattoo shop dark arts tatto in kingston, ny]

i first met jalani in the michaels parking lot. i had taken down an oversized canvas from a shelf that i saw he was eyeing and quickly and fiercely protected it as there were only a few left. when we got to the parking lot, we ended up being parked side by side, and he gave me a tip on how to transport said canvas back home since it ended up not fitting in to my car. in the parking lot meeting a conversation was invoked; i learned he was an artist, notably known for creating the black lives matter mural on the side of an old mechanic shop on broadway in kingston, ny. after following him on instagram i also learned he is a recording artist and tattoo artist.

[120 mm of jalani outside his tattoo shop dark arts tattoo in kingston, ny]

as i continued to watch his journey unfold, i watched him through the screen of my iPhone leave his current tattoo gig due to unjust circumstances that lead him to realize his employer was racist and homophobic. he quickly opened his own shop and i was officially intrigued by his integrity and hustle.

and so this interview was born. say hello to our first subject in the blog series “beneath the opus.”

as we take this moment to highlight artists of color in the hudson valley that are on the rise we passed the mic to jalani lion to answer a question or two. inside his tattoo studio the kingston bred local shares his music and the inspiration behind his drive.

follow jalani here and his tattoo studio here.

video shot & edited by ben duffy