Kahlil Rintye

By Sofia Mella

Kahlil Rintye’s sense of humour is a whimsical one. A quick perusal of his website is testimony to that. His home page appears to be the control centre of a space ship and the galactic hum of Star Trek circa the 60s transports you to a more galatic time.

Kahlil works at Ed Hardy’s Tattoo City in San Fransisco. Other than that we know very little about him and we did not seek to uncover the Gorn’s secrets. Instead we asked him some inane questions to accompany his glorious art.

TTH: Hilary or Obama?
KR: Obama.

TTH: New Kids on the Block are reforming for a world tour. Who's your favourite New Kids?
KR: I feel the exact same way about them all.

TTH: How did you get get into tattooing?
KR: A salty old tattooed sailor took pity on me and showed me the business.

TTH: Who would play you in a movie of your life?
KR: William Shatner. From ten year old Kahlil till now.

TTH: What's your favourite lunch?
KR: The kind I have time for.

TTH: Who are some of your favourite tattooists?
KR: Those folks... there's a bunch, but Mr. Kuronuma is top of the heap...

TTH: What inspires you?
KR: People that have held on to their personal idealism. We may operate in a cynical world, but I think if you truly
let go of that easy-to-berate idealism that we all have at our core, you'll die inside and just turn into
a fucking salesman or worse. Keep your aim true.

TTH: What was your adolescence like? What sucked about it, what ruled?
KR: The during part sucked... the end part ruled.

TTH: What are your favourite deities to tattoo?
KR: These days, Fudo Myoo and Kannon.

TTH: Have you ever had a run in with the law?
KR: Oh, never ever. Really!, really.

TTH: Do you ever read bus or train timetables just for fun?
KR: I SAID I never had a run in with the law! Yeesh!

TTH: Have you ever had an existential crisis? If so, what was the outcome?
KR: I got into tattooing.

TTH: Collared shirts or t shirts?
KR: T shirts. Relentlessly black ones. Hi Ed.

TTH: Complete this sentence: On Sunday mornings I...
KR: get ready for work.

TTH: Have you ever seen a UFO?
KR: ...look, I signed a confidentiality agreement...

TTH: Do you think there's some personality trait that sets tattoo artists apart from other people?
KR: Problems with authority. A willingness to directly inflict pain.

TTH: What do you think America needs right now?
KR: A time machine. Don't get me started.

TTH: What do you think tattooing needs right now?
KR: Mystery.


an art history course. Myself included.

TTH: If you could be someone else for a day who would it be?
KR: Joseph Campbell.

TTH: Kahlil Rintye - What is the meaning of life?
KR: Do no harm. Stand up for yourself. Follow your dreams. How the hell would I know?


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