Get ready for an influx of Nets tattoos.
Chris Torres, former bad boy on the TLC television show “NY Ink,” is opening what he said will be Brooklyn’s biggest tattoo parlor right in the shadow of the Barclays Center in the first week of January, following his tumultuous ride as a reality star.
“Before my name was recognized throughout the country, I could have opened up any regular shop,” said Torres, 37, who appeared on two seasons of the reality series. “After that, it would have been a bad look to do it on a low level. I had to kick it up and do it on a high level.”
Torres will lead a group of around eight artists at his new Red Legged Devils Studio — named after Brooklyn’s volunteer militia regiment in the civil war — on Flatbush Avenue near Sixth Avenue. Having grown up in Midwood, Torres is no stranger to the neighborhood, which he believes is busy enough to grant him loyal customers — even at a going rate of $200 per hour.
“This area here is more of a community,” he said. “You have people that are walking by here every day.”
The tattoo artist said his experience on “NY Ink,” which chronicles tattoo artist Ami James as he opens and operates a shop in SoHo, was bittersweet. Though it catapulted him to fame, he claimed he was unfairly portrayed as a rascal as a result of a long-standing feud with James, and received a torrent of hateful messages on Twitter and Facebook as a result.
“[The producers] told me I was going to be a bad guy on the show,” Torres said. “People thought I was one thing, and I was not. They did not like me for it. If I were a lesser person, I would have jumped off a building by now.”
Still, Torres admits that his career exploded after the show, and he would not have been able to open his Flatbush Avenue shop without the notoriety of his name.
“It gave me something to look forward to, to show the world I am a tattoo artist and what I am capable of doing,” he said.
Red Legged Devils Studio [229 Flatbush Avenue between Dean and Bergen streets].