tattoos

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Design

Bold Line Drawings Layered on Top of Deconstructed Images of Fruit, Flowers, and Animals in Tattoos by Mattia Mambo

April 30, 2019

Kate Sierzputowski

Mattia Mambo creates graphic interpretations of his clients’ favorite fruits, celebrities, and animals in minimalist tattoos. The designs use thick, rounded lines to highlight the shape of an object or face, with bold splashes of color creating an abstracted version of the subject underneath. Sometimes the Milan-based tattoo artist transforms the shape of a word into a pictorial representation of an animal, like in his sloth tattoo below. Other designs borrow from classic art historical references, such as René Magritte’s famous painting of a pipe, or Frida Kahlo’s recognizable flower crown and facial features.

Mambo shares with Colossal that he attended art school but was self-taught as a tattooer, and he developed his destrutturato (unstructured) style by chance. “What inspired me most has probably been my passion for graphic designs and logos—I love simple shapes. Every day I’m encouraged by the objective of simplifying each image as much as possible and making it clear and intuitive using only few black lines. But both black lines and colors are fundamental: the colors tell what the black lines can’t do.”

You can see more of Mambo’s two-part tattoos on Instagram.

 

 



Art

Dazzling Jellyfish, Snakes, and Turtles Glow with a Multitude of Colors in Vibrant Tattoos by Zihee

March 4, 2019

Anna Marks

Eye-popping giraffes, tropical green leaves, and snakes entwined in floral motifs jump out in Korean designer Zihee Tattoo’s ink-based creations. Inked on wrists, elbows, and thighs, Zihee adds a vivid splash of creativity to human skin, emphasizing the vibrancy and delicacy of natural forms. Brimming with every color in the rainbow—including lilacs, crimson reds, and sunflower yellows—Zihee’s work celebrates her interest in nature, while shading together pigments seamlessly. In her leaf tattoos, cool blues flow into luscious greens, reflecting how light manipulates the organic forms’ color as it lands upon them in nature. You can find more of Zihee’s work on Instagram.

 

 



Design Illustration

Technicolor Tattoos Mix Psychedelic Graphics with Memphis-Inspired Patterns

October 30, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Oregon-based tattoo artist Dave, a.k.a. Winston the Whale, uses a wide spectrum of colors in his trippy tattoos. The works merge a 60s aesthetics with inspirations from Scandinavian folk art to Memphis design. Traditional floral and vine motifs border prismatic mouths and starry-eyed bats, while other pieces focus more on an 80s appeal with graphic grids and squiggly yellow lines. You can see more psychedelic compositions and brightly colored animals on Dave’s Instagram.

 

 



Art

Geometric Shapes and Angular Faces Combine in New Salvaged Wood Murals, Assemblages, and Tattoos by Expanded Eye

October 8, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Expanded Eye (previously) is an arts collective formed by London-based artists Jade Tomlinson and Kevin James that utilizes a wide range of media to explore human consciousness and connectivity. The pair use salvaged wood to create colorful assemblages, sculptures, and public murals each designed in their unmistakable geometric style. Natural elements such as plants and birds are common motifs in their three-dimensional works. These images also cross over into their long-running tattoo practice which combines illustrated doodles, architecture-inspired renderings, and triangular patterns.

The duo is currently in Lisbon for a three month residency at WOZEN, which wraps up next month. During their stay they have been exploring the socio-economic and environmental pressures of the community, and creating work that seeks to address local issues of over-consumption, waste, and gentrification in Portugal’s capital. A cumulative exhibition titled No Future Without Memory will open at the space on November 9, and include the many large-scale three-dimensional works the pair have made during their time at the studio. You can follow more of their work on Instagram and Facebook.

Image by Sylvain Deleu

Image by Sylvain Deleu

 

 



Illustration

A Beetle Tattoo Spreads its Wings in Tandem With its Owner’s Arm

September 18, 2018

Laura Staugaitis

Brazil-based tattoo artist Menace turned the crook of a client’s arm into a fluttering beetle. In one arm position, the cleverly-placed black ink design appears as a beetle at rest with its exoskeleton sealed off. When extended, the client’s inked arm reveals a beetle with its delicate wings outstretched and its striped abdomen exposed. The dynamic design was created at the recent Expo Tattoo Floripa on the Brazilian island of Santa Catarina. You can see more of Menace’s work on Instagram. (via Boing Boing)

 

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Illustration

Delicate Flowers Juxtaposed with Modern Dystopian Imagery in Tattoos by Lena Lu

August 22, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Russian tattoo artist Lena Lu focuses her needle on monochrome tattoos that combine botanical and insect illustrations with modern objects such as jeeps, soda cans, and crumpled take-out bags. One piece in particular features a trompe l’oeil flower that appears to be secured to her client’s inner forearm with bits of electrical tape. The adhesive looks faded and raised at the points it crosses the thorny rose, and extra strips lay flat both above and below the three-dimensional flower. You can see more of the artist’s tattoo work on Instagram. (via Booooooom)

 

 



Illustration

New Psychedelic Tattoos Splashed with Neon Detail by Joanna Swirska

May 21, 2018

Kate Sierzputowski

Wrocław-based tattoo artist Joanna Swirska, aka Dżo (previously), produces nature-based tattoos through her own psychedelic lens. In one work a crystal-studded snail inches across ombre leaves, while in another, a ginkgo tree sprouts from the palm of a poised hand. Human forms are often overlaid with plants or animal motifs, such as her Frida Kahlo tattoo above which features the detail of a deep red bird mask inked across the painter’s face.

Dżo initially studied painting, and made her switch from canvas to skin about five years ago. You can follow more of her recent work on Instagram, and buy prints and other merchandise based on her tattoo designs from her online shop. (via Cross Connect Magazine)