SESSIONS: Frankie Caraccioli’s Death in Paradise Tattoos

SESSIONS: Frankie Caraccioli’s Death in Paradise Tattoos

Tattoos of the Grim Reaper have never been so laid back.

Who doesn’t want to die chilling on the beach, the sunset reflecting off their shades and a warm breeze gently blowing through their hair? There’s no better way to bite the dust. 


Frankie “Death Cloak” Caraccioli knows the value of giving up the proverbial ghost in the place that you love most. He illustrates the various idyllic ways to die in his signature “Death in Paradise” tattoos. 


“I did my first Death in Paradise tattoo at the Pagoda City convention last year. A client liked the skull I use for my logo, so I drew it with the sun and palm trees,” Caraccioli explains. “After that, people saw it and started to ask about the design, and it just took off from there.”

Caraccioli’s unique spin on the Grim Reaper has become extremely popular. Fans actively seek him out to get one of his Death in Paradise pieces, rendezvousing with him during guest spots and conventions or traveling to the shop where he works, Port City Tattoo in Costa Mesa, CA.


Given how cool they look, the popularity of his reapers is not that surprising. They’re done in the traditional style and feature highly stylized skulls that reside over minimalist, blackwork landscapes from inside sun-shaped silhouettes. Instead of wrapping his reapers in stuffy black robes, he imbues each one with a rad sense of fashion, decking them out in shades of all shapes and sizes — aviators, blades, John Lennon specs, Ray-Bans, 3-D glasses, you name it. 

“Clients are the ones keeping my Death in Paradise tattoos going. I do lots of other tattoos, but recently, there’s been a wave of them. Collaborating to come up with the designs is the best part,” Caraccioli continues. “That’s how all the different landscapes happened. One of my clients told me, ‘Well I don’t live by the beach, I live in Montana,’ so we put his reaper overlooking some snow covered mountains.” 


Wherever it is, paradise isn’t really paradise without a little R and R. Caraccioli illustrates this by having his reapers partake in what his client’s enjoy most. He’s done surfer-themed depictions of Death, a tattoo of Death puffing down a joint, and even Death on his way to a Yankees game. 


“The best part about doing [Death in Paradise tattoos] is that it brings in new clients. I’ve done a lot of their first tattoos using the design,” says Caraccioli. “It’s a gateway to people getting more tattoos, and I love that it’s often chosen as an introduction piece.”


At the rate he's creating these tattoos, before too long, the Grim Reaper will have had an endless summer of his own, living out his innumerable days in the sun on people's skin.  

To see more tattoos of what could one day be your final destination, make sure to visit Caraccioli’s Instagram. You can also pick up Death in Paradise apparel here. Should you want a reaper to chill on your body until you die in your own personal paradise, get in touch with Caraccioli. He can be reached at frankiecaraccioli@gmail.com.

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