Rogue: Tastemaker Profile: Brian Keith Thompson - World's Top Piercer

Tastemaker Profile: Brian Keith Thompson - World's Top Piercer


When I first step into Body Electric off Melrose Avenue, I am overwhelmed by the sound of loud buzzing. There are 5 people getting tattooed behind the reception desk. I sit down next to a FedEX delivery man (still in uniform) and a 40-year-old mom (reading a Pretty Little Liars script)— typical Hollywood. Minutes pass by, and the studio continues to fill with people of all creeds, from all walks of life. After 20 minutes of ardent people-watching, I sit down with Body Electric’s owner, Brian Keith Thompson.

Brian is unique in that, while he owns a tattoo shop, he’s not a tattoo artist. The former marine, turned business owner’s personal 30+ clients a day, including stars like Scarlett Johansson, Beyoncé, Bella Thorne and Pia Mia, come in because of his skill as a piercer, and a sharp eye for trends. This year: multiples and upper lobes; last year: the septum. According to Brian, this influx is happening now more than ever because of social media, “Trends take off faster and are more short-lived now because of social media. Tattoos are like a marriage, piercing like a mistress. You can change it, you can get rid of it, and alternate it- as jewelry styles change you can adapt and flow with those changes. A tattoo is a tattoo. Thompson claims, “You will be dated by the tattoos you get if you are doing it for a trend.”