Hendrikus Johannes Everhardus “Henk” Schiffmacher is a tattoo artist, painter, writer, collector, world traveler. Born in 1952 in Harderwijk and grown up in a catholic butcher’s family, Schiffmacher displayed talent and love for drawing at an early age.
Following stints in various jobs, including employment by “Nieuwe Revu” as a photographer, Schiffmacher soon decided to travel. During his travels, he became fascinated by the subject of tattooing, investigating the history of the subject; upon his return to Amsterdam this fascination led him to open a tattoo parlor. Schiffmacher opened “Hanky Panky“, his first tattoo shop, in 1979, after being introduced to the world of tattooing by Tattoo Peter (Peter De Haan). Hanky Panky, the tattoo shop, soon became and still is one of the world’s most famous tattooing studios and was located under “The Other Place” bar in the Red Light District of Amsterdam, at 141 Oudezijds Voorburgwal.
Many international film and rock & roll stars stopped by his shop to get inked in those days: the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain, Willy de Ville and Herman Brood to name a few. Henk also organized some of the first international tattoo conventions (located at “Paradiso” and “Beurs van Berlage“, in Amsterdam), setting up new standards for the organizers to come. He has written several books including the tattoo bible 1000 Tattoos edited by Taschen. For several years he operated looking for the promised land of the tattoo world: a unique museum dedicated to the art of the tattoo. The first tattoo museum (located in the Red Light District) opened its doors in 1996 and lasted only few years, the second one’s life was even shorter: it opened in November 2011 and closed his doors in April 2013. Located on three floors of the two traditional Amsterdam 19th C. houses, in Plantage Middenlaan, the new ATM was baptized “The Tattican” and for one year was considered the real tattoo Mecca for the tattoo lovers from all over the world. Too good to be true, the museum closed his door due to the bankruptcy of its financiers, “Partners aan het Werk“, after a legal fight for having the collection safely back to Henk’s hand.
Nowadays Henk, keeps tattooing part-time at Schiffmacher & Veldhoen “Home of the original Hanky Panky” located in Ceintuurbaan 416, Amsterdam. But above all Henk is head over heels in love with his life partner and painting buddy Louise van Teylingen.