For as long as man has existed, we have known art in the natural world we occupy. The inspiration for creation is all around us, from the tallest peaks of a mountain range tickling the heavens, the awe striking grandeur of our vast oceans, the scientific phenomenon that is life, treading all upon this Earth in its variation, the gentle breeze that bares no physical form, but so easily moves around us, and tenderly caresses. Art can be a direct word spoken to manifest an idea, and inspire creativeness in a written word, or a painting. Beauty is seen in art for the purpose it holds, and the stories it tells.
Chico’s Marked 4 Life is a name associated with art. A place where ones envisioning can be created and brought to life, to be dawned as an one sees fit, in a matter suited to their individuality. Miami, being a culturally diverse city, has become accepting of such displays of individuality over the last few decades, and Chico’s has become a hot spot for those seeking to bring theirs forward.
In older cultures, tattoos told stories of a person’s life, a representation of ones journeys, or important milestones in a their lives. As we evolved, so did this art-form, and we have been able to create reimagining’s on our skin perfectly, detailed and immaculate copies, manifestations of something more significant, in ways that could never have been imagined. Though the stories are not told in the traditional sense, still one can be seen. Thanks to Chico and his team of elite artists, telling our stories on skin became much easier to acquire.
Chico Cortez, proud owner of Chico’s Marked 4 Life (M4L), began tattooing in 1997 in people’s homes as well as his own. A native of New York state, he found his passion in this particular form of art. He came to Miami in 2000, still a struggling artist and single father, trying to provide for his child. He found success early on, and was able to open his first tattoo shop in 2003. In this time, he became a teacher and retired his machines, finding his passion for teaching to be greater, and seeing the potential of his students to outweigh his own gifts.
Through the years, he found continuous success and was fortunate enough to take on more apprentices, and open several more shops throughout the city. As is the difficulty of any business, some shops were not as successful as foreseen, and shops were retired. Currently, he has 3 active shops which are The Kingdom, The VIP Room, and of course the original Chico’s M4L, which one can find dozens of very talented, and eager artists.
In the past years, Chico has become a known name in the community. Not only because of the masterful artwork performed at his shops, but in the contributions he personally makes in his community. He is beloved by his friends and family, and is welcoming to strangers and their needs. Chico is an individual that believes in his city, and makes himself available to its needs as much as is in his power. BV305, along with Chico’s M4L have come together to make an impact!