MIDDLE EAST'S KING OF INK
not yet thirty years old, hazim G. naouri (who uses the artist name huzz) has developed an impressive career in tattooing. he initially became interested in the art form as a child in the late 1990s, when he saw tattoos on the imported american television show Kung Fu: The Legend Continues (1993–97).
at the time, there was no tattooing taking place in his native Jordan, but questions about tattooing lingered in his head.
ever the artist, huzz excelled in art classes at secondary school and ‘drew with [a] pen for anyone who liked art on their skin, school uniform, even shoes’. several years later, he took the opportunity to get tattooed by a travelling lebanese artist
and acquired a dragon tattoo in the middle of his back. huzz realized that he could do better and began to experiment with tattooing. Crafting his first machine from ‘a car dynamo, spoon, sewing needle and a pen’, he began tattooing his friends and gained a reputation in amman for being ‘the first person to give proper tattoo designs to people’. a nascent business started to evolve out of his parents garage.
by 2006 huzz had received tattoo following blood-borne pathogen certification; he opened a shop in 2007 (the first
in Jordan) and acquired equipment via mail order from the united states in 2008. after ‘nine long years of tattooing alone’, he attended an international convention in China in 2010. there, huzz recalls: ‘after meeting international artists like the legendary paul booth and being exposed to several art styles, I went back to the Middle east with full power to tattoo people on a different level’. later he travelled to the united states to attend another convention where, after meeting artists such as ‘bob tyrrell, rich pineda and other perfectionists’, he was inspired to teach tattooing to others. he now mentors four artists in his amman shop, owns shops in other parts of the Middle east and travels regularly to tattoo and teach in the region.
huzz has pioneered a particular skill for arabic calligraphy. the graceful black lines of these tattoos form elegant visual images and patterns, which provide a way for those of Muslim heritage to get inked in a non-representational way that aligns with Islamic tradition and teaching. however, he also enjoys tattooing a wide range of images and comments that he has been ‘forced to master all styles and tattoos based on all tastes’ because for many years he was the only person working professionally in his part of the world. his portfolio, therefore, features everything from black and grey portraits and geometric blackwork to full-colour work. huzz also creates
art in a variety of other media, including elaborate airbrushed designs that envelop cars and motorcycle helmets, as well as grafitti and painting on both canvas and glass. a multitalented artist, his love for tattooing is only one way in which he fulfils
a mission that he describes as ‘my responsibility to allow people to express their thoughts on any surface’.