Roberto Maxwell, Tattoo Artist, 10th Street Tattoo, House founder of the House Akcros, Pittsburgh’s Vampire House, long-time South Side resident.
Roberto Maxwell is as colorful as the South Side itself. Not only has he tattooed locals and celebrities alike, he has also started what we believe is Pittsburgh’s first and only Vampire House. If you see him in the shop, say hi to Roberto. But, if you see him in House of Akcros, you can call him Armond.
How long have you been a tattoo artist?
I’ve been tattooing since 1998.
What’s the strangest thing someone has asked you to tattoo on them?
I had an older woman ask for a penis shaped rockets ship to be tattooed on her thigh
I know you’ve tattooed the late Mac Miller. Have you done work on any other celebrities?
I tattooed the big shark on Wiz Khalifa’s back as well.
Who are some artists that you look up to?
There are a couple who come to mind, Steve Soto and Victor Portugal are a couple.
Now. About House Akcros…
I had always embraced the Vampire culture—I researched Vampire houses in other cities and how they structured themselves as a family. There were a few friends I talked to about creating a Pittsburgh Vampire house and, to my surprise, people were into the idea. From that, House Akcros was born.
You mentioned your goal was to protect the others. How do you see yourself and House Akcros as doing this?
By “others,” we mean people outside the norm or mainstream. We want to be welcoming and provide a safe space for everyone: women, people of color, LGBTQIA, young/old or anyone who might feel they don’t belong, hence the term, the “others.”
What’s your favorite part of living in the South Side?
There is always something happening!