AKA Phoenix HORITAKA
Alex "Empty" Goldstein has been tattooing since 2002. He is an East Coast transplant to Phoenix, who also spent five years tattooing in San Francisco. Alex loves to make strong tattoos that have a folk characteristic and traditional recipes. He also enjoys the challenge of heavy cover-up work. Whether Japanese or American, or somewhere in between, Alex's tattoos are bright and bold with lots of heavy black, and they are built to last. Alex's schedule varies, but he is available by appointment most days. Email is the best way to contact Alex to get tattooed.
In 2016, Alex began to learn tebori, the hand poking method of traditional Japanese tattooing. Getting connected with a tattooer named Daruma in Chiba, Japan, Alex began to study with the instruction, support and guidance of a traditional tattoo master.
In 2017 Alex was given the working title of HORITAKA by Daruma Sensei. Horishi(Japanese term for tattooer ) are typically given a name by their teacher as a professional title. Horitaka is combination of "Hori"(meaning to carve, or tattooer, as used) and "Taka"(part of Sensei Daruma's family name). There are other tattooers who use Horitaka, so to be respectful and clear, Alex uses フェニックス 彫貴 , which is Phoenix Horitaka in English.
Alex is the only tattooer in the Phoenix area who does tebori tattooing with a lineage in Japan.
Alex uses traditional hand poke techniques that go back to Edo period(1603-1868) to color and shade, and in some cases, outline tattoos. These are transmitted by Daruma, and connect Alex to the lineage of Asakusa(old downtown) Tokyo tattooers that fills his imagination and his bookshelf.
Modern sterilization and safe tattooing practices are still used even with traditional equipment and Japanese supplies.
Alex prefers traditional motifs and designs, and uses the style and lineage of his teacher to carve his own version of this timeless art form, the Japanese bodysuit tattoo.