David Minozzi: The artist will see you now

Bill Fallon, Nov-09-09, 09:43 AM

Westchester County Business Journal

The artists in David Minozzi’s family go back 10 generations and include Flaminio Innocenzo Minozzi, an architect and painter who lived from 1735-1817 and whose “Arch of Titus” falls under the heading of masterpiece and hangs in London. When his works sell, they do so via auction in the company of heavyweights such as Marc Chagall. David points out with evident pride that Flaminio Minozzi occupies a spot near Michelangelo on an alphabetized list of great artists. “Pretty good company,” he says, displaying the list.

Even today, his family’s business – Minozzi & Sons in Yonkers, N.Y. – where he worked as a youth and into his 20s, continues in the artistic vein, making cemetery monuments. The “sons” are Minozzi’s father and uncles. The memorial to Rocky Marciano in downtown White Plains, N.Y., featuring an engraved nod to regional boxing legend Stephen Acunto, is a Minozzi & Sons effort.

An artistic bent is a must for Minozzi, who uses his drawing skills in reverse to remove tattoos as part of his Dermacare franchise in White Plains.

Some tattoos:

• were clearly conceived with the assistance of Bud Weiser and Johnny Walker, like the full-lizard armpit-to-wrist model that, when sobriety sets in, takes a year to remove;

• were thought out properly at the time, but lacked staying power (like the former lover who has gone away); or

• were a bad decision from the get-go (like gang symbols).

One Minozzi client thought enough of a Bronx weekend at Fordham University to have a ram tattooed on her ankle, but rosy memories of Rose Hill proved fleeting and Minozzi removed the image.

“They’re cheap and easy to get put on,” he says. “It takes longer and is a little more expensive to get taken off.” Depending on the scope of the tattoo, anywhere from six to 10 visits may be required to expunge the likes of Jimmy Buffett’s “real cutie, a Mexican beauty, how it got here I haven’t a clue.” A visit costs $200 to $400.

Minozzi himself followed the family’s artistic path through much of his life. As a boy growing up in Dobbs Ferry, he worked at Minozzi & Sons in the design and stenciling aspects of the monuments, a job he always loved.

Today, he is a chiropractor and dermatological laser specialist. At night, he keeps his medical credentials in gear, taking courses toward a registered nursing accreditation at Concordia College in Bronxville, N.Y.

As any casual observer has noted, there are a lot of tattoos that should go away, including a robust number that feature spelling errors or dubious Occidental writing that supposedly translates as “fortitude,” but don’t bet the farm on it.

There are six weeks between removal treatments. Pale greens and blues are the toughest colors to remove. Black is the easiest color to erase. Homemade tattoos are easier to remove than professional ink jobs because the pros’ equipment gets the ink deeper into the skin. Minozzi does not have one, but his business will apply “permanent makeup” tattoos to augment lips and eyes.

Minozzi’s mother is Mexican (his father died 11 years ago) and he speaks Spanish fluently. At least some of his business comes from the Hispanic community. “People who have come here to make a new start will come in and say they would like an old tattoo removed. I also see some gang signs people want removed. They don’t tell me what they are and I don’t ask, but they appear to be gang symbols.” Minozzi has been featured in both El Diario and El Aguila, respectively New York City’s and Westchester County’s Spanish-language newspapers.

One client arrived with José tattooed on her backside. The ink was barely dry; two weeks old. “And she was with her boyfriend. Only his name was not José; it was Jesús. She said Jesús didn’t like looking at it.” Business is brisk enough that Minozzi recently offered a two-for-one removal sale.

Some removals are more solemn, as with a woman who had an image of her deceased daughter tattooed on her only to cry every time she looked at it. Minozzi removed it.

“I love helping people – helping them improve themselves. It makes me feel good to know I’ve helped them. That’s why I got into the healing arts.”

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