The 19-year-old singer was photographed armed with a needle apparently as he etched a cartoon portrait of a muscled mouse and the word “Swaggy” on a man’s calf.

In the photo, obtained by the New York Daily News, the man appears to be Bang Bang, real name Keith McCurdy, a Manhattan-based tattoo artist who has inked big names like Rihanna, Chris Brown and Katy Perry.

Photos show the pair posing after Bieber finished the job, with McCurdy pointing to his calf and Bieber sporting plastic wrap around his arm after getting a fresh tattoo of his own.

Bieber reportedly had the word “Believe” tattooed on his right forearm during the same session in June 2012.

According to the publication, the pop star could face a $US2,000 ($A1,922) fine from the New York City Health Department if he was unlicenced when he tattooed his pal.

The tattoo drama is the latest in a string of controversies for Bieber.

The teen star has been accused of assaulting a fellow resident of his gated Los Angeles community and is currently being investigated by local police.

He’s also been slammed for attempting to smuggle a pet capuchin monkey through customs in Germany. The primate was seized after Bieber failed to secure the proper paperwork and remains in quarantine in the country.

A Britney-esque meltdown and ritual head shaving is just around the corner.

Image: New York Daily News