Taos resident and local tattoo artist Daniel "Dano" Sanchez has died from complications of COVID-19, according to several friends and a fundraiser organized in his name.
Sanchez, 48, was the third person from Taos County to die from complications of the disease in a week's time as of Monday (Sept. 27). The New Mexico Department of Health reported on Friday (Sept. 24) that a woman in her 40s and a woman in her 60s also died of the disease. On Wednesday, the NMDOH announced a man in his 40's with underlying condition had died of COVID-19 complications. As of press time, it could not be confirmed this was Sanchez, or if he had been vaccinated against the virus.
He worked at Magical Tattoo, a local ink shop located on Camino de la Placita in Taos, where he designed lifelong works of art and made a name for himself with his artwork. According to a GoFundMe page started on Monday to raise money to support his family and cover funeral costs, he is survived by his wife, Ashley Sanchez, and children Dylan, Ashton and Rowan.
Sanchez gained influence not just as a talented tattoo artist, but as a concert promoter as well. He helped to organize Monolith on the Mesa, a multi-day festival experience at the Taos Mesa Brewing Mothership highlighting "heavy psych… sludge…. [and drone] music," according to their website.
"Dano's vision was an inspiration to me and those around him," said Jayson Wylie, owner of Taos Mesa Brewery of his collaboration with Sanchez. "He will be sorely missed."
Roman Barham, who co-created Monolith on the Mesa with Sanchez, described the loss the community felt when word of the tattoo artist's death spread. "He was truly an inspiration to be around and he was such a special person," Barham said. "He loved music, art and his family so much. He was beloved throughout the state of New Mexico, [and] he laid his footprints in the art and music scene."
Many more people took to social media this week to share memories of Sanchez and the works of art he created for them.
Frank Andrade called Sanchez "the truest definition of a tattooist you'll ever know; an outlaw; a gentleman; a wizard … There won't be another DANO SANCHO!"
Mariel Vigil said Sanchez's death is "a huge tragedy that is hitting hard for many people. Dano was a great guy, a survivor and super funny dude! He was super talented; all my work was his ideas. I told him what I wanted and he pieced it together."
Others said how important his tattoo work was to their lives and just how far it has spread. "We are from France and will never forget Dano. All our thoughts to his family and friends," commented Caroline Navarro on the GoFundMe page.
"The tattoo world lost a very talented man," commented Mariah Martinez.
"To lose Dano is an epic loss to this earth," commented Christina Hunt, who described him as "such a beautiful, kind and generous person."
"He was positive, passionate, supportive, giving, creative, funny and cool. I'm so sorry for his family and friends. He told me how much he adored his family and I know how special he was to all who knew him," said Ryan Jones.
The GoFundMe page made to help support Sanchez's funeral costs and family has raised $27,443 of an $18,000 goal as of press time. The page can be accessed at bit.ly/3m73d0V.