An exciting painter, tattoo artist and new dad, Chris Dingwell, recently rolled into Brooklyn on his way to a painting jam, and I managed to pin him down for brunch to chat about his work, tattoo law, convention gossip and convince him to be in my next tattoo book. [He didn't have much choice in the latter as he was in my hood, and I know people who could help me be very convincing.]
Chris works expertly in a variety of styles, and I particularly dig the work in which he takes his own unique painterly approach. Here's what he says of his portfolio:
"The simplest way that I can put it is to say that my work is about taking things apart--visually that is. Obviously, to me at least, my tattooing is very different from my painting for the simple reason that the tattoos I create are for other people; they are my client's ideas. It's simply my job to take their ideas, disassemble them, work out the most visually interesting parts, and re-assemble into a cool tattoo. Unlike other tattoo artists who become known for doing a signature type of tattooing, or a signature style--Traditional,
Bio-Mech, Pin-up, what-have-you--I strive to apply myself to a wide range of ideas, images and styles. Every client is different, and every tattoo idea as well, so I try to work as broadly as possible. In the end, my work still looks like mine, but I hope it expresses as much of the client as well by the end of the process."
"My paintings, and my most painterly tattoos, are much more abstract and personal. It's not just about taking things apart visually, but physically and psychically. Someone once told me they thought my portraits looked as if I was peeling someone's layers away like an onion, and that to me is the perfect metaphor for what I am trying to create with my work, no matter who or what the subject is."