Takahiro Horitaka Kitamura has been tattooing since 1998. He was the curator of Perseverance- Japanese Tattoo Tradition Today, a six month museum exhibition held at the Japanese American National Museum in Los Angeles. He has also lectured at the Asian Art Museum of San Francisco, UC Santa Barbara and conferences held in Italy and Hawaii. He is the co-founder and co-director of the annual Bay Area Convention of the Tattoo Arts and the owner of State of Grace tattoo shop in San Jose, California. His graphic designs have been used by Nike SB, Bacardi, Orenchi Beyond, and many other companies.
I am merely a man; suffocated by art. I am a southern California native who loves life and all of the art in it. I grew up with a pencil in hand and an unrelenting passion for illustration. The excitement of making art and exploring all mediums has never withered. I fell in love with tattoo art and culture at a very young age and received my first tattoo at the legal age of 18. I am now 28, and my love of art and tattoo is more intense than ever.
I did my first few tattoos in 2006 while studying art in college. I began tattooing full-time in 2007 and haven’t slowed down. I am self taught, but I credit all of the people I’ve worked alongside, over the years, for teaching me everything I know. In the summer of 2011, I competed in and won the title of the reality television show, “Best Ink”, a tattoo competition which aired on national and international television. I am fortunate enough to be an award-winning artist and to have had my art and tattoo work published in several magazines and books. I constantly strive to progress and to stay versatile as an artist. The art of tattooing is sacred to me and I am honored to be a part of such an amazing community of artists.
When I am not tattooing, I am usually working on new art or traveling the world with my beautiful wife, Lisa, and our daughter, Hendrix Rose. I enjoy surfing, traveling, good food and great company. I also stay very busy as CEO of Prophets & Poets, a modern art patronage that gives back to the art community by promoting all mediums of art with the world.