Jul 6, 2023
In the heart of midtown lies Rockefeller Center, where New York-based renowned tattoo artist and creator of the brand Girl Knew York, Mira Mariah, showed us around her gallery.
Tell us about Girl Knew York! How did your brand come to be?
I changed my Instagram name to GIRLKNEWYORK while I was still a tattoo artist because I thought it was clever and I knew that I wanted to create a world where girls got more tattoos and tattooing felt more like buying a painting at an artist's studio combined with having fun at a slumber party and for some reason, the name seemed to bring those ideas together for me.
Who are the women who inspire you?
I'm inspired by the women who make art and live artistically. Some of the women I use as inspiration and reference for in my work are other artists I like and friends and sometimes women from fiction.
Madeline Donahue, Frida Kahlo, Joan Didion, Margot Tenenbaum, Annie Hamilton, the goddess Persephone but also mostly the women I drink coffee with and show in the gallery, and who get tattooed by me, and my sisters and family.
If you were a color, what color would you be and why?
Right now, I’m navy blue but I’m usually chartreuse.
What has been the proudest moment for you in your art career?
I curated a show with an artist I really loved, Samy Baby. She and I tattooed together and she is really a lover of fine art, capital F. Her show was the most high-concept art I’ve ever really been close to. Her collection felt like a hall of mirrors that drew the threads between her love for art and her life as an artist. She explored the ways she's tried to get as up close and personal with art as possible through tattooing and traveling. The work referenced hundreds of famous artworks and reflected them back to one another through wearable sculptures, paintings, photographs, and drawings.
I am a really collaborative person, and Samy was really special to work with because she let me get really close to the artwork while it was being made and the whole experience felt like a friend trusting you to water their garden once in a while and then bringing you the flowers cut at the end of summer. Samy's show, "All Art Was Once Modern" opened at Girl Knew York Gallery - 10 West 51 Street.
Also like… having my own gallery at Rockefeller Center is a wild dream come true.
How would you describe your personal style?
I like playing with scale, I like dressing like a cool mom, and I like special items that look wrong but feel like home.
What is your favorite piece of art, film, or book you have seen or read recently?
I just rewatched Francis Ha in celebration of Greta Gerwigs big moment and I was so enchanted. That movie really holds up so well.