The first thing you notice about Alex Minsky are the tattoos. Both of his arms are covered from knuckle to shoulder, an intricate tribute to his younger brother linking the two sleeves across his chest. The right side of his torso is filled in with a barren tree, the trunk drawn in the shape of a Fender guitar. The ink that starts on his left thigh culminates in an “I’m With Stupid” tat stretching across the top of his left foot. The space above his underwear line has a simple request for all who happen to get the opportunity to catch a glimpse: “Don’t Laugh.”
Point is, there’s not a lot of real estate left on his body for more ink. There is, in fact, only one area on his body void of tattoos of any kind: His right leg. And that’s because it was amputated back in 2009.
Minsky, a former Marine, was three weeks into his first tour in Afghanistan when his Humvee ran over a roadside bomb. After 47 days in a coma, 17 more months in the hospital, and a dark period of depression that ultimately led to a court-ordered sobriety, Minsky began hitting the gym twice a day, six days a week in order to get his mind right. And since, it’s become more than just a way to distract him through the day. It’s become his life. “Work for me is being in the gym,” says Minksy. “I’m active, running around all day.”
All those hours in the gym””as well as a fortuitous chance meeting with a fashion photographer””has led to Minsky becoming a self-employed multi-hyphenate, spending his hours working as a fitness coach, bodybuilder, and model. Pretty much anything that requires him to stay on his feet and run around. But even with all of that success, there was still one gap he wanted to fill in: That empty space on his right leg.
Now, with the help of UNYQ, Minksy finally has some ink there.
Minsky worked with UNYQ’s graphic designer to create a custom-made prosthetic covering for his right leg. The design is an interpretation of cover art for the album “The Phoenix Throne” by the Chicago-based metal-core band Dead to Fall. (Minksy already has the cover art for the band’s other albums tattooed on his body.) And it completes a vision he had for the leg before his life took a detour. “This is what I was going to put on my real leg,” says Minsky.
The reason why he would choose an image of the mythical bird rising from the ashes seems obvious, but the effect that the imagery has had on other people who see him working out at the gym has been anything but. “It certainly catches people’s attention,” he says with a laugh.