Since 2008, Manhattan Avenue has been home to the well-respected tattoo studio, Three Kings Tattoo. As the shop has grown in popularity over the years, co-founders Alex McWatt and Matthew Marcus have expanded the brand, opening studios in Manhattan, Long Island, Los Angeles, North Carolina, Denver and London — but their most recent business development has a bit more of a twist. 

Photo by Fiona Winch

In an effort to support fellow artists and cultivate in-person connections, Three Kings Tattoo will soon be opening an exhibition space right next door to their Greenpoint shop. 

“One of the reasons I was really motivated now is that so much of our society and culture has shifted to the internet and over the last 10-15 years there has been a real decline in physical spaces that promote the arts and for NYC, that’s really sad to me,” said co-founder Matthew Marcus. “So a big part of the idea behind this space is that not only will we be doing gallery shows, but we will eventually showcase various forms of working studio art through merchandising, education, and other partnerships.” 

Sounds familiar? That’s because Three Kings originally opened up this exhibition space between 2015-2016, but closed soon after in part to rising rents and so that they could focus more on the ever-growing success of the tattoo parlor. 

Re-opening the exhibition space was always something Marcus and McWatt envisioned. Now, with fifteen years running Three Kings under their belts, they’re ready for this new adventure. With a desire to give other artists the opportunity to showcase their work and give creatives a space to discover one another, the pair have already scheduled two years worth of programming.


“We will feature monthly art shows and alongside those we will do regular lecture series, video and podcast production, printing, fabrication, merchandising and educational events,” Marcus continued. “I am hoping to curate a mix of established artists and young newcomers. My hopes are to create a space people want to hang out in and create a culture of tangibility, picking up on sensibilities that existed before the internet, social media, and COVID.”

Music lovers alike, the exhibition space will also be home to a curated record store opening this summer featuring the works of Sunken Temple Records, the Long Island indie record label run by Marcus’s long-time friend, Matt Messina. 

If you walk by 572 Manhattan Avenue, you’ll notice that the space is currently hosting a pop-up of the Brooklyn-based clothing line, Old Bones Society, with new releases designed by Matt Adamsons. The Old Bones Society pop-up will be open to the public from March 9 – April 1, Wednesday to Sunday from 12 – 8 pm. 

On April 20, the space will host their first art show “The Force of Other” featuring new works by designer and artist JK5. In 2023, the studio will also feature the works of Rich Hall, Deadly Prey Gallery, Nicole Salgar, Chad Chesko, Heath Nock, Liam Alvy, Sarah Schor, Rose Hardy, Daniel Trocchio, Davee Blows, and Michael Dubin. 

Keep an eye on the @ThreeKingsStudios Instagram to discover all that they have in store!

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