Ink Master interview: Gary Parisi on that epic showdown with Josh Payne


Gary ParisiGary Parisi showed himself to be a forced to be reckoned with on Ink Master; unfortunately, though, sometimes you do your best work and you don’t get recognized for it quite like you deserve. That’s what happened to Gary on this past episode, which saw him eliminated after a tattoo face-off with Josh Payne that was controversial in terms of the result

So what does Gary think about his elimination in retrospect and what is his relationship with Josh? In this exit interview he talks about these subjects and so much more.

CarterMatt – It stinks to go out of the competition in any way, but are you glad you got to leave at least in pretty epic fashion?

Gary Parisi – It does suck to leave the competition early, I did expect that at all, I expected to stay till the end if not win the whole enchilada haha, but I did go out with a bang of epic proportions! I was never on the bottom ever, and I was just getting comfortable with the competition and showing what I am capable of.

There was a lot of drama around Josh this season, but during the final face-off there did seem to be respect between the two of you. What was your relationship like with him on the show?

There definitely was a lot of drama circling around Josh, but he kinda did that to himself; however, he and I did have a huge respect for each other and we became great friends, even though we were on opposing teams. We are both great artists outside of the show in the real world, we have lots of mutual friends, we are both on the same pro team and sponsored by Fusion Ink, and have been tattooing in this industry for a long time. We connected very well and grew even more respect for each other as we competed against each other.

Were you surprised to be eliminated in the end?

I was definitely surprised to be eliminated at the end, I honestly thought my tattoo was better and more pleasing to the eye. I do photo-realist tattoos, that’s my #1 specialty, and I know that the first thing you look at when you look at something are the eyes, then your eyes go to nose and mouth, then all the rest is a blur. People don’t look at a tiger and ‘study the whiskers’ to make sure they are perfect. Sure, artistically I could have made those whiskers look amazing if I had more time, normally doing a photo realist tiger portrait that size should have been a 12 plus hour tattoo. That’s why there were flaws in both of our work, but to have a crooked eye when it’s the first thing you look at was a HUGE FLAW, as well as the overbite he added to the image. His reference did not have an overbite and in my opinion as an artist, he should have been the one to go home. My whiskers are fixable, the crooked eye is not, he cut someone in a challenge before ours and technically should have went home for that as well. I lost 2 teammates for cutting there canvases prior to him cutting his canvas, so in all fairness he should have went home too. I never cut anyone, and my work on the show was getting progressively better, I wasn’t ready to go home, and I especially didn’t deserve to go home on the the tattoo I did.

You seemed okay with being selected by Steve, but in retrospect do you wish that you had campaigned harder for someone else to compete in the face-off?

I was definitely ok with being selected by Steve to fight for our team. Ultimately that’s exactly what I came there to do: battle to win! Either way you look at it, it was going to come down to that anyway; it should have been at the end of the season, though. I’m a fighter, and I love a good competition and I’m definitely confident in my work. I was totally confident that I could beat Josh, that’s what I came there to do. In reality I did beat him; my tattoo was way better!

What sort of bonds did you form with everyone else on your team?

I got along with everyone on my team great!! We all became family, but the one person I really bonded with the most was Roly. We had a lot of things in common, like we are both shoe heads, we collect shoes of all sorts, we both love Disney World. He is from Florida and goes to Disney World as often as he can with his wife and little girl; me, my wife, and daughter go at least twice a year! We both like cracking jokes and just having fun, he’s a rad dude and we still talk almost every day!

Was there any sort of style you wish you had a chance to do this season, but didn’t?

Yes. I missed out on the portrait challenge that happens on every season, I think I would have really shined and possibly won tattoo of the day since that’s what I do, I would have loved to show the world my real strengths as an artist by tattooing the hardest style there is out there.

Finally, do you have any interest in being on Ink Master again?

Let me put it you like this, I WILL DROP EVERYTHING I’M DOING AT ANY GIVEN MOMENT FOR ANOTHER OPPORTUNITY TO BE ON INK MASTER AGAIN! No question or doubt in my mind, I am built to compete, I belong on that show, and I think after being eliminated for a great tattoo, and the track record I had up to my elimination, I definitely deserve another shot to show and prove I without a doubt have what it take to be Ink Master!

Want more Ink Master news?

Then be sure to like CarterMatt on Facebook right now! Note that the latest episode review is going to be posted the moment after it airs. (Photo: Paramount Network.)

Love TV? Subscribe to our YouTube for video updates!


Want more news? Subscribe to the CarterMatt Newsletter!