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Keith ‘Bang Bang’ McCurdy Debuts Smart Tattoo Ink

One tattoo artist is kicking off 2024 with a bang.

Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, tattoo artist to the likes of Rihanna, Selena Gomez, Lady Gaga and others, has formed a company called Hyprskn around a new innovation he’s dubbed “Magic Ink.”

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The tattoo ink, which utilizes nanotechnology so that tattoos can appear and disappear, is being unveiled Wednesday.

“The permanence of tattoos are in the definition of a tattoo,” McCurdy said. “So, thinking of it as both a tattoo artist and a tattoo client, we’ve worked on a formula to get it where it is today. It’s a controllable formula where you can choose when it’s activated and when it’s deactivated.”

Recipients can use two wavelengths of light — “one light of a certain nanometer will activate, and one light of a different nanometer will deactivate it,” McCurdy said — which will be available in the form of a stylus called the magic pen. “It almost feels like a pen where you can write on your own skin, and then flip it over like an eraser.”

McCurdy teamed up with University of Colorado, Boulder professor Carson Bruns, who had given a TED Talk on UV light-activated tattoos. “You can even choose in what way it’s activated, and you can even change the picture inside of your skin,” McCurdy said. “This speaks against the permanence of what we know about tattooing today.”

He sees myriad opportunities, including tattoos using Magic Ink and traditional tattoo ink. Hyprskn will be selling the ink to different tattoo artists globally, and bringing it to market required adding medically minded members to his team. “There’s a board-certified dermatologist and dermatopathologist on our team. A medical doctor has reviewed it all, and this really started with safety,” McCurdy said. “The particles are essentially a PMMA, which is the same polymer in dermal filler. It’s actually tested further in the body with better bio-compatibility than tattooing inks.”

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