tattoos

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Art Illustration

Miniature Scenes, Cross-Stitch Flowers, and Works from Art History Nestle into Eva Krbdk's Tiny Tattoos

May 3, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Havva Karabudak, shared with permission

Havva Karabudak, who works as Eva Krbdk, thrives on inking minuscule details. Focusing on innumerable lines and dot work, the Turkish tattoo artist (previously) illustrates textured florals in cross-stitch, realistic portraits of animals, and micro-paintings in the likes of van Gogh, Magritte, and Fornasetti. Many of the vivid renderings are small enough to fit into a perfectly round circle or a skinny stretch of a client’s upper arm.

Karabudak’s background coalesces in her tattoos, including her formal education at the Fine Arts Academy of Ankara in Turkey and her love of textiles. “It’s pretty customary for young women to learn (embroidery) from their grandmothers in Turkey,” a statement about her work says. “As a result, tiny cross-stitch patterns were among the first tattooing styles that Eva embraced.”

Karabudak just opened her studio Atelier Eva in Brooklyn, and although she’s currently booked, you can watch for openings on Instagram.

 

 

 

 



Illustration

Delicately Illustrated Tattoos Take a Whimsical Approach to Flora and Fauna

March 17, 2021

Grace Ebert

All images © Joanna , shared with permission

Polish tattoo artist Joanna Świrska (previously) stipples fur and inks subtle gradients to create fanciful scenarios of backpack-wearing kangaroos, cycling cats, and whimsical masses of tangled flora and fauna. Working as Dzo Lama, Świrska is known for her delicate illustrations that mix playful elements with the style of vintage botanical renderings, particularly the bold, black fern that recurs in her tattoos. Her ink-based pieces often cover an entire thigh or upper arm with precise lines and pockets of color.

Świrska tells Colossal that while her style is largely derived from nature, she also draws on the works of Paul Cezanne, Vincent van Gogh, and Paul Gauguin. “I like to combine non-obvious colors and create new combinations. I approach the form the same way. I like contrasts such as light-heavy, hard-delicate. A tattoo is an extension of our personality, and we, as humans, are multi-dimensional,” she says.

Based in Wrocław, Świrska currently runs Nasza Tattoo Shop and is working on opening another location in a mountainous enclave of Jelenia Góra. She sells prints, mugs, and stickers of her illustrations on Etsy, and you can follow her travels and information on available bookings on Instagram.

 

 

 



Art Science

Science-Inspired Ink by Michele Volpi Blurs the Line Between Tattoo and Textbook

July 29, 2020

Vanessa Ruiz

All images © Michele Volpi, shared with permission

One might learn something from staring at the tattoos of Italian artist Michele Volpi (previously). The composition, detailed dot work, and precise lines of his tattoos transcend both ink-infused skin and science textbooks. The Bologna-based tattoo artist relishes in scientific books—from Frank Netter’s painterly medical illustrations to the exquisitely rendered biological specimens and marine life of Ernst Haeckel. He often visits bookshops during his travels to discover and acquire these new sources of inspiration.

Volpi’s customers seek him out to tattoo an array of botany, astronomy, physiology, and chemistry-based compositions. Sometimes customers let him choose the branch of science, in which case he renders his favorite subject—anatomy. Even then, Volpi combines subject matter like in his tattoo comparing the shape of a human pelvis to that of a butterfly or another that features a human skull being stretched absurdly through a wormhole.

The artist tells Colossal that his “dream is to make a scientific book with all of my conceptual scientific illustrations that I love.” View Volpi’s body of work and booking information on Instagram. For those not ready for the permanence of a tattoo, there are prints of his pen-and-ink, anatomical illustrations available in his shop.

 

 

 

 



Art Illustration

Iconic Marble Sculptures Tattooed with Inky Backdrops and Floral Motifs by Fabio Viale

April 27, 2020

Grace Ebert

Viale’s Laocoön. All images © Fabio Viale

Italian sculptor Fabio Viale inks his marble reproductions of iconic sculptures with heavy scenes of ancient stories, swirling waves, and foreboding clouds. Each vine, flower, and dragon-based composition is settled on a darkened backdrop that tends to envelop an entire back, leg, or shoulder, triggering an uncommon amalgam of material and form.

Viale doesn’t paint the marble but rather infuses an arm or chest with color and pattern in a manner that’s similar to tattooing a human body. He collaborated with chemists to refine the blended technique and said that “not surprisingly, each natural material has its strong personality and difficulties connected to it.”

In an interview with designboom, the sculptor spoke about merging art history and what he terms the “‘criminal tattoo,’ imbued with symbols and representations that derive from artistic imagination.” Viale says that by reproducing classical works rather than creating his own busts and marble statues, he’s able to better understand the original artist and the sentiments behind the iconic pieces.

It is a meeting between life and death, between the sacred and the profane. A combination, the relationships between these two sets, results in a solid bond that creates energy: The preconception we have of classical beauty and the hardness inherent in a certain type of criminal tattoo provoke gasp and wonder.

In comparison to the original Roman sculpture, Viale’s Laocoön is missing one boy on his right side. The main writhing figure is covered from mid-thigh up to his neck and down to his forearms with dark illustrations that include the seven deadly sins in “The Inferno,” which was painted by Giovanni da Modena in the 15th Century. Both the sculptor’s “Venus de Milo” and pair of hands are covered in code often found marked on Russian inmates.

To follow Viale’s work that fuses art history and more contemporary ink-based illustrations, head to his Instagram.

Viale’s Laocoön

Viale’s Laocoön

Viale’s Venus de Milo

Tattooed Venus of Canova

Tattooed Venus of Canova

 

 



Art Illustration

Technicolor Animal Portraits Inked in Watercolor Tattoos by Sasha Unisex

April 24, 2020

Grace Ebert

All images © Sasha Unisex

Based in St. Petersburg, artist Sasha Unisex often begins a bold tattoo concept by painting a prismatic wolf or a cherry blossom-speckled origami crane with watercolor. She fills arrangements of stark shapes and precise gradients with crimson, cerulean, and tangerine hues. When the tattooist recreates her inky animals and florals on her clients’ bodies, the chromatic foxes and cats—which sometimes are outfitted with a plaid hat and pipe—look strikingly similar to the original watercolor paintings.

The artist often shares details about her travels and process, in addition to comparisons of her various wolves, cats, and lions, on her Instagram. If you’re not quite ready to commit to a permanent companion, though, Unisex offers temporary tattoos, prints, and apparel in her shop.

 

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Art

Fine Lines and Dotwork Form Surreal Monochromatic Tattoos by Michele Volpi

December 1, 2019

Andrew LaSane

Italian artist Michele Volpi tattoos highly detailed conceptual pieces using black ink and the negative space of his clients’ skin. With a surrealist style and a monochromatic palette, Volpi inks diagrams of insects, plants, and human anatomy that resemble vintage illustrations borrowed from science textbooks. With precise lines and controlled dotwork, each tattoo looks as if it were printed rather than done by hand.

Born in Sant’Elpidio a Mare, Italy in 1991, Volpi tells Colossal that he discovered the art tattooing 5 years ago and fell in love. While attending technical school, he also practiced various art styles to fulfill a desire to have his “fingers in many pies.” A friend recommended buying a tattooing starter kit, and Volpi said that it changed his life. After learning the basics and experimenting with techniques, the young tattoo artist found that line and dot work were among his favorites. “My style was influenced by geometries, nature, surrealism, and the sciences,” Volpi says. “I like to push my self every day finding inspiration from all around me and trying to go beyond the shallow in what I see. The world of art is endless and I can’t wait to discover it with my passion.”

Volpi also translates sketches to paper to create handmade works of art. To see more tattoos and for appointment booking information, follow the artist on Instagram. To browse and buy his watercolor bookmarks, head over to his Etsy store.

 

 

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