Results tagged “Alex de Pase”

10:27 AM
Tattoo above by Alex de Pase.

sugar skull tattoo.jpg
Tattoo above by Valerie Vargas.

Isnard Barbosa tattoo.jpgTattoo above by Isnard Barbosa.

Some of the most beautiful tattoos have been created honoring the art and symbolism of El Dia de los Muertos, The Day of the Dead -- Mexico's greatest celebration of life that honors the deceased. The Day of the Dead commemoration begins today through the weekend -- All Saints' Day and All Souls' Day in the Catholic faith -- and so it follows that religious iconography is ever-present. However, its roots can be traced to rituals practiced in ancient Mesoamerican civilizations, particularly through the presence of skulls and skeletons. It's this imagery, along with other elements of Latino culture, that have draw so many to translate these themes artistically in skin.

A big misconception is that the Dead of the Dead is a party, like Halloween, particularly as there are often parades and customs in celebration. Yet, the holiday is also quite solemn as families build altars to reflect on those who passed, offering gifts of sugar skulls to the dead and living, and visiting grave sights.

I was really fascinated to learn more about the Day of the Dead as I worked with Edgar Hoil on his books Latino Tattoo Art Collection and Day of the Dead Tattoo Artwork Collection: Skulls, Catrinas and Culture of the Dead, writing their introductions. As I noted in the latter book, what's particularly engaging is how the calaveras, literally, "skulls," are artfully manifested in various forms among the artwork. Many are familiar with the calaveras de azucar, the "sugar skulls," which are the edible offerings placed on altars, intended to bring forth life's sweetness to friends and relatives who have passed on.

"La Calavera Catrina," which originated in the works of Jose Guadalupe Posada, is another Day of the Dead icon. The Catrina is a wealthy woman in haughty dress depicted as a skeleton to denote that everyone, even the rich, face death. Satirical images of Catrina often demonstrate how the artists view death as something to be laughed at and not feared.

And of course, one of the most popular motifs that gets translated into tattoos are beautiful women with skeletal features transposed over their faces, bringing to mind the joy and suffering of love.

I've chosen a just a few tattoos to present here in honor of this day.

Day-of-the-Dead-tattoos.jpgTattoo above by Adriaan Machete.

79_Eva+Schatz+Tattoo+LaCatrina_Sonja.jpgTattoo above by Eva Schatz.

jun cha tattoo.jpgTattoo above by Jun Cha.
12:55 PM
Alex de Pase tattoo1.jpgI've been a long time fan of Italian tattoo artist Alex de Pase and his realism and surreal tattoos. I just received images of his recent work for my next book project and couldn't wait to share some with you. 

Alex is a self-taught tattooist who has had a passion for the art for over twenty years. Today, he has his own studio in Grado, a small island in northeast Italy, not far from Venice. He says of his early start in tattooing:

At age fourteen, I met a guy who had many tattoos all over his body, which meant one thing only twenty years ago: prison. In fact, this fellow learned how to tattoo in jail, and when he told me that he knew how to do them, I begged him to teach me everything he knew. He taught me the basic skills for tattooing by hand with a Bic pen melted with needles. It made quite on impression on me because, ever since, I have not stopped tattooing.

AlexDePase_bakcpiece.jpgEventually, Alex learned to work a tattoo machine, and studied everything he could get his hands on. After some years of doing every type of tattoo, he started focusing on realism and portraits.

This kind of style has the artistic expression that I prefer. It has no limits on technical improvement, although one of the most fascinating aspects of realism is not technique. It is more than a mere reproduction of something already existing. It also encompasses the artist's sensibility, personal interpretation, perception of colors, and so on. Each artist brings to the tattoo their own experience, imprinting a bit of themselves in the work.

Check his site to view more more work as well as his Facebook page for updates on his convention and guest spot schedule. He'll be in the US at the Paradise Tattoo Gathering, September 15-18.

alex de pase tattoo2.jpgSpecial thanks to Marco for his help with the images and biography.
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