Minka Sicklinger, Closets
Minka Sicklinger
"I go deeper and deeper inside of myself to find the darkness." Minka Sicklinger

"I don't see things in boxes," Minka told us, with her shoulders marked by haunting romantic images of crows that she dreamt about before getting them done. In Carlos Castaneda's books, Minka explains that crows are depicted "as the most powerful bird because they have no natural enemy except the eagle, and they can naturally sense the energy that is building up in any sort of situation that is about to unfold. So it’s about carving your path around those obstacles and those potential negative situations." Sheathed in jaw-dropping ancient-mosaic tattoos that are an accumulation of her life story, Minka's fortitude is palpable. Though her indigenous Australian/Papua New Guinea roots are omnipresent -- with her rich, tribal bone necklaces, patterned frocks, and symbology-infused artwork --  Minka knew she had to leave home in order to pattern her own destiny.

Minka's defiance of confining categories led her to New York (via Mexico) where, after many ups and downs, she is in her creative splendor, enchanting the NY tattoo art scene. The contrast of being branded in ink while in a vintage fur stole and high-top Nikes is just a hint of her Gemini brain. "Everything is narrative for me. When I was styling, it had nothing to with that season's runways, it was here is this character and here is the discourse running through the six-page layout."  Fed up with fashion industry's "egos and transient trends," the lover of artifacts taught herself how to tattoo out of a "disgusting" Brooklyn apartment. Rather then plow the traditional path of apprenticeship, Minka captured a chair after the owner of a tattoo shop saw the work she did on a mutual friend and gushed, "I need to meet that person, I've never seen anything like that tattoo."

"To live is to be willing to die over and over again," Minka tells us, quoting the Buddhist monk Pema Chödrön. Connecting Buddhist philosophy to tats, Minka announces, "I believe a lot in the ritualistic and energetic value of tattoos. If someone doesn’t have some sort of connection to their tattoos, then it’s just a weird blob on their skin. And I don’t want to be responsible for that."


Elisa & Lily

Video Edited by Adaeze Elechi.

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  • Venus Robertson

    She sounds amazing. Thanks for interviewing her! Should include the artists own pages or links...no? 🙂

  • Angela Casserly

    Love her, not only is she beyond inspiring, she's a big supporter of female artists! great interview.

  • mlle p

    Beautiful tattoo work - some major museum in NYC should really do a big show on the history of tattoos from ancient to modern day.

  • anna

    you are so 'on trend' that if you could see yourself as I see you, you would be devastated . You are utterly brainwashed into believing you are individual, you are a walking, breathing cliche.

    • rach

      come on, don't be a dick..

    • Often times, being "on trend" is a complete and utter coincidence.

    • Guest

      Why are you on this site if you're gonna slap people for being themselves?

    • flowmow

      yeah, I'm sure she would be DEVASTATED some shallow d-bag thinks she is "on trend."

  • ondine

    WHY does this woman have reason to be devastated? She seems so sweet and down to earth. And she reads Carlos Castenada. And she is creative! I assume she would be a lovely friend to have.

  • Christi

    I immediately stop listening to these people once they start talking about "collecting indigenous artifacts." The colonialism and appropriation is strong with this one.

    • Just because she used the word "indigenous" doesn't mean she's being disrespectful of the culture.

    • Durumu

      lulz, so she isn't allowed to appreciate various cultures w/o some wanker labeling her a colonialist? Appropriation is a word people like to throw around to make themselves feel superior, everything in life is appropriated. I'm Persian so I guess I can't wear lederhosen? OMG APPROPRIATION!!! GET THE TORCHES AND PITCHFORKS!!!

    • Durumu

      Oh no! GUYS, I just realized, my dog is a Lhasa Apso! They're originally from Tibet - IMAMONSTER! I would perform seppuku to atone for my ignominy, but it's a Japanese ritual, so I can't!

  • She's stunning, I love the sounds her jewelry make when she movies.

  • she owns so much pieces that I love!

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