Maria Tash

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Maria Tash
Born Maria Tashjian
West Islip, New York
Residence New York, United States
Education Columbia University, Fashion Institute of Technology
Occupation Jeweler and body piercer.
Known for Jewelry, body modification.

Maria Tash (real name Maria Tashjian) is an American jeweller who is considered an authority on the art of body piercing.[1]


After studying in London,[1] and gaining a BSc in Astronomy from Columbia University,[2] Tash worked as a computer instructor to Russian refugees before deciding to pursue a career as a body piercer.[3] She studied Jewelry Design at the Fashion Institute of Technology, graduating in 1993.[2] 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.[3][4]

Since the '90s Tash has been consulted as an authority on body piercing and modifications in various publications such as the New York Times,[5] Vogue, The Village Voice and The Daily News;[1] and on television programmes including The Today Show,[1] 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.[3][6] She also insists that clients should be fully informed about procedures before having them done.[3][6] 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.[7] 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.[8]

In 2004, she opened a second piercing studio and jewelers called Venus by Maria Tash on the Broadway (New York City).[1] While Tash's best known work is jewelry for navel piercings, she also designs nose-jewelry and necklaces, earrings and finger rings.[9] Her jewelry is inspired by traditional Indian designs,[10] and has been seen on celebrities including Britney Spears and Jessica Alba.[2] Some of the more high profile piercings Tash has provided include Christina Aguilera's nose piercing and Mickey Rourke's eyebrow.[2]


  1. ^ a b c d e QAPP. "15th QAPP (The Association of Professional Piercers) Annual Conference & Exposition Handbook". QAPP. p. 34. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  2. ^ a b c d Angrilli, Linda; Matthew Nadelhaft (2004). "Piercing Analysis". FIT Network Magazine. 
  3. ^ a b c d McShane, Larry (30 January 1995). "Pick a part, Pierce it: High fashion in the '90s includes lots of body art". The Item. Retrieved 24 November 2012. 
  4. ^ Becerra, Kate (September 2003). "Quest for a Bareable Belly". Beauty News NYC. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  5. ^ Garbarino, Steve (October 10, 1999). "PULSE; A Cubic Zirconia Wouldn't Do". The New York Times. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Schweitzer, Lisa (4 May 2010). "Tongue Piercing Ruptures Teen Girl's Vein - Just How Dangerous Is the Procedure?". Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  7. ^ Haute Mama. ""What happens to your body piercings when you become pregnant?"". Haute Mama. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  8. ^ Fecha, Domingo (25 August 2002). "El cuerpo retrabajado y transgresor ('The reworked and transgressive body')". La Ventana (in Spanish). Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  9. ^ Cusimano, Kathryn H. "Venus by Maria Tash". New York Magazine. Retrieved 25 November 2012. 
  10. ^ Pericone, Kathleen. "inked-people » Maria Tash". Inked Magazine. Retrieved 25 November 2012.