Body art goes mainstream

Driving through the midtown section of Kansas City, you might not be surprised to see a sign for Whispering Danny’s Exile Tattoo Parlor. After all, it’s a transitional neighborhood where you might expect to see tattoo shops. What might be surprising, however, is that some of Danny Kobsantsev’s clients are middle-aged university professors.

Kobsantsev, who goes by the name Whispering Danny (an acknowledgment of the tracheotomy that gave him his quiet, gravelly voice), says that he is currently “inking” professors in the fields of logic, mathematics, journalism and statistics—hardly the edgy crowd usually associated with tattoos. According to Kobsantsev, there is no usual crowd anymore. His parlor draws clients from all over the city and from all walks of life. People come for tattoos for all kinds of reasons.


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