Premiering Tuesday, February 25, the new season of the Spike TV reality series puts 17 artists through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity.

Ink Master Season 4 contestants and judges
January 13, 2014

NEW YORK, NY — Spike TV's hit original, and the first tattoo reality-competition series, "Ink Master" returns for a fourth season starting Tuesday, February 25 at 10 pm ET/PT, and this time it's going to be a street fight. Tattoo artists from around the country will battle it out in permanent ink and sometimes with each other for a $100,000 grand prize, an editorial feature in Inked and, of course, the bragging rights title of "Ink Master."

Each week "Ink Master" puts artist through a series of tattoo challenges that are not only designed to test the artists' technical skills, but also their on-the-spot creativity, where they must create and execute an original tattoo by command on a "Human Canvas." Each episode focuses on a different and distinct style of tattooing including realism, black and gray, geometric, neo-traditional, Asian and cover-up, among others. The masterpieces these artists create will last a lifetime, but so will their mistakes.

After every challenge, the contestants face a tough panel made up of series host Dave Navarro (Jane's Addiction) and world renowned tattoo artists Chris Nunez ("Miami Ink") and Oliver Peck (Elm Street Tattoo) who are joined by a roster of guest judges including CC Sabathia, Rob Zombie and Brandon Rios.

Once again the Human Canvases, who volunteer their bodies to be tattooed by the "Ink Master" contestants, will have a say in who gets sent home. The Canvases will form their own jury, deliberate as a group and pick one artist per episode who will be up for elimination. In the jury room, viewers get an inside look at the heated arguments and wicked emotions as the Canvases defend or abandon their new ink and artist.

A new twist for Season Four is that the winner of each week's Elimination Tattoo challenge will also get to put an artist up for elimination along with the Human Canvas jury and the series judges.

In the season opener the artists put ink-to-skin right from the get-go. There are seventeen artists standing, but only one — Kyle Dunbar who was voted back to compete in the Season 3 finale — with a guaranteed spot this season. It's a cut-throat competition for the remaining 15 spots as artists take part in a "tattoo convention" and "show your artistic style" challenges.

The "Ink Master" Season Four tattoo artists are (listed in alphabetical order):

David Bell (@davidbelltattoo) — Owner/artist at TLA Tattoos in Fredericksburg, Va.

Ashley Bennett (@ashleybtattoo) — Artist at Body Graphics in South Windsor, Conn.

"Gentle" Jay Blondel (@Gentl_jay) — Artist at Alchemy Tattoo Arts in North Bellmore, N.Y.

Lydia Bruno (@inkbyLydia) — Co-owner/artist at Unique Arts Studio in Glens Falls, N.Y.

Damon Butler (@hautedraws) — Manager/artist at Extreme Fantasy in Abington, Mass.

Keith Diffenderfer (@kdiffenderfer) — Artist at Honor & Iron in Rehoboth Beach, Del.

Kyle Dunbar (@InkbyKyleDunbar) — Owner/artist at Almighty Tattoo in Flint, Mich.

Jim Francis (@tattooedjim) — Owner/artist at Milwaukee Ink in Milwaukee, Wis.

Walter "Sausage" Frank (@Sausagekingtat) — Artist at Club Tattoo in Las Vegas, Nev.

Halo (@tattoosbyhalo) — Owner/artist at Black Lotus Tattoo Gallery in Severn, Md.

King Ruck (@therealkingruck) — Owner/artist at Black Spade Tattoo & Red Elephant Tattoo in Las Vegas, Nev.

Matti Hixson (@mattihixson) — Artist at Trinity Tattoo in Va. Beach, Va.

Bubba Irwin (@bubbairwin) — Owner/artist at Old Town Ink in Scottsdale, Ariz.

Scott Marshall (@smarshalltattoo) — Artist at Roselle Tattoo Co. in Roselle, Ill.

Melissa Monroe (@Monroever) — Artist at Homeward Bound Tattoo in Port Wash., Wis.

Roland Pacheco (@Roland_Pacheco) — Owner/artist at Xisle Custom Tattoo in Hawi, Hawaii

Randy Vollink (@randyvollink) — Artist at Club Tattoo in Scottsdale, Ariz.

"Ink Master" was Spike's highest rated original series in 2013. Season three was its highest rated and most watched ever, averaging 2.1 million viewers and dramatically broadening the audience in its timeslot, posting a +243% increase with Men 18-49 and +257% with Persons 18-49 compared to the year ago time period. In its Tuesday 10-11 PM ET/PT slot, "Ink Master" ranked among the top 5 in all key demos and the live finale was the #1 original program in the time slot among P 18-49. During the season, Cross Platform Video Views per week were up +38% versus the prior season.

"Ink Master" is produced for Spike by Charlie Corwin's Original Media, with Charlie Corwin and Andrea Richter as executive producers of the series.

Sharon Levy is Spike's Executive Vice President, Original Series with Chris Rantamaki is the network's Senior Vice President of Original Series. Kevin Bartel, the Vice President of Series Development, oversees production of "Ink Master" for Spike.

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