Just when you thought Jersey City had it all, something new comes along that feels like it was just meant to be — as if it’s existed there this entire time. Located in Downtown’s own “Flatiron” building (160 Newark Avenue), home to the former Grove Street Bicycles shop, is where you’ll find Roses and Rebels. High up on the second floor, the tattoo parlor-meets-art gallery recently opened its doors for the first time but has already made a huge mark on the city—and its people.
Founded by Hudson County entrepreneur Darren Conway (Pier 13 and Gringo’s) and award-winning tattoo artist/former “Ink Master” contestant Christian Masot — the two turned their long-time friendship into a business venture with the help of Conway’s innovative vision and Masot’s immense talent.
As the owner of Hawthorne’s Silk City Tattoo, as well as Roses and Rebels, you could say Masot knows a thing or two about what makes a successful shop. He’s been tattooing since he was a teenager, taking an apprenticeship right after high school, and later appearing on season 10 of Spike TV’s “Ink Master.” Roses and Rebels is the artist’s first project that he’s taken on from the ground-up, but he’s confident that Jersey City’s surrounding art scene is the perfect venue for a shop like this.
A departure from your typical tattoo studio, the space itself is sun-filled and complemented by wall-to-wall exposed brick and wide-planked hardwood flooring — almost reminiscent of an Urban Outfitters, but like cooler. There are no separate rooms or closed off corners, everything at Roses and Rebels is out in the open from their local artwork on display to the tattooing stations themselves.
As individualized as the studio’s interior is, with hand-built furniture by Masot and one-of-a-kind flea market finds, the work they’re doing is equally as unique. You won’t find a laminated book full of diamonds, crosses or flowers — the artists at Roses and Rebels encourage custom collaborations that’ll please both newbies and seasoned vets alike.
Along with tattooing, Masot is also well-versed in live painting and his hopes going forward is to bring that talent and energy to the shop and the people of Jersey City. Roses and Rebels will also serve as a pop-up destination for gallery events in the future, and a platform for showcasing local artists and their work.
To see what they’ve been up to, check them out on Instagram at @rosesandrebelsjc