Maria Tash - Career

Career

After studying in London, and gaining a BSc in Astronomy from Columbia University, Tash worked as a computer instructor to Russian refugees before deciding to pursue a career as a body piercer. She studied Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating in 1993. After studying with Fakir Musafar, she opened her first studio in East Village, Manhattan in 1993, the second piercing studio to open there and since 2003, the oldest studio in the city.

Since the '90s Tash has been consulted as an authority on body piercing and modifications in various publications such as the New York Times, Vogue, The Village Voice and The Daily News; and on television programmes including The Today Show, and the Tyra Banks Show (where she carried out a piercing live on an audience member). When consulted, Tash often speaks out against unsafe piercing practises, and emphasises the importance of hygiene, such as using autoclaves for sterilising piercing tools. She also insists that clients should be fully informed about procedures before having them done. She also appeared in a series of three video clips for the Haute Mama online magazine where she explained the impact that pregnancy can have upon body piercings. She also argues that traditional Asian, American and African body modifications reflect ancient concepts of beauty, and that their continued use should be viewed as a homage to indigenous civilizations and their cultures which colonialism attempted to suppress.

In 2004, she opened a second piercing studio and jewelers called Venus by Maria Tash on the Broadway (New York City). While Tash's best known work is jewelry for navel piercings, she also designs nose-jewelry and necklaces, earrings and finger rings. Her jewelry is inspired by traditional Indian designs, and has been seen on celebrities including Britney Spears and Jessica Alba. Some of the more high profile piercings Tash has provided include Christina Aguilera's nose piercing and Mickey Rourke's eyebrow.

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