December 8, 2021

Cortland artist wins title of Ink Master

Earns $100,000 for tattoo work

Joe McIntyre/staff photographer

Josh Payne of Ascend Gallery tattoos a client in Cortland.

CORTLAND — Cortland tattoo artist Josh Payne won the season finale of the TV show “Ink Master” on Tuesday night on the show’s season 10 finale, taking the title “Ink Master.”

Payne, a tattoo artist at Ascend Gallery at 15 Central Ave., went head-to-head against fellow artists Juan Salgado and Roly T-Rex, to create a 24-hour chest tattoo depicting a battle scene between an eagle, snake and dragon.

Competitor who were eliminated in prior weeks made up a jury to pick one of the two final artists while the judges picked the second. The jury selected Salgado to go to the final two, while the judges picked Payne.

“For me, as big as Josh went, it lends it to be a lot more readable,” said Judge Oliver Peck about Payne’s tattoo.

By winning season 10 of Paramount Network’s Ink Master, Payne, who has been tattooing for 15 years, received $100,000, a feature article in Ink Magazine and the title of Ink Master.

The three “Ink Master” coaches — Steve Tefft, Anthony Michaels and D.J. Tambe — also went head to head with two tattoos for the chance to win $100,000. D.J. Tambe, Payne’s coach, came out on top after his colorful head tattoo and tattoo a full-bodied snake beat out both Tefft’s and Michaels’.

Payne, 31, is originally from Newark Valley. He competed against 24 other tattoo artists to reach the finale. When his name was annoucned, Payne ran to his coach, DJ Tambe, and gave him a hug. He gave his competitor, Salgado, a hug, too.

Three judges preside over the competition show:

• Dave Navarro — musician, filmmaker and artist, with Jane’s Addiction and Red Hot Chili Peppers.

• Chris Nunez — “Miami Ink” tattoo artist.

• Oliver Peck — Elm Street Tattoo tattoo artist.