05 May 2010

Body Ink

I am something of a body modification enthusiast. In this area I'm most into something less conventional; scarification. I admire the complexity that it carries in its history and also its contemporary form.

Tattoos, though, are a different horse all together. Or, you could say, scarification is the horse and tattoos are its embellished cousin [read: zebra]. I find that among tattoos, the ones that impress me the most are those that catch me by surprise because they take the art form in a new direction. The examples that follow are some of my all time favorites.

Monochromatic Tattoos:
The use of bold, solid black can make much bigger impact than color, which gets busy. It takes skill to impress through minimalist simplicity, and these kinds of tattoos are much sleeker looking. This approach contradicts the sailor inspired tradition of overly busy, carnival-esque tattoos.

What I love about this tattoo is the fact that it employs precision to create an effect of something messy. The genius is that it uses clean and intentional lines to portray disorder.

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Bold monochromatic silhouettes create stark boundaries.

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This one's just too cute.

Outline Tattoos:
These tattoos have a sketchy, less finished quality about them. When color is incorporated, it is in a lighter form reminiscent of water colors.

Cthulu. Yep. From Seirn on deviantart.com. I particularly like the tentacles.

Some current trends in tattoos that are on the borderline of being over done, but are still good. These things were impressive the first couple times running into them, but are quickly losing their novelty. Another danger of imitation, of course, is that quality can suffer in copycat versions.

Flying bird silhouettes are a neat concept, and they can be elegant and delicate if well executed.


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A variation on that theme.

Tree/branch tattoos, often cherry trees, look especially nice when well placed on the body.


Text/literary tattoos , particularly in typewriter fonts, are another theme that looks good but is getting overdone.

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The ever famous blue screen of death tattoo.

Yet as much as I observe and admire, I'm still too ambivalent to get a tattoo of my own...

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1 comment:

  1. Having a tattoo of Cthulu is funny, but not attractive to me. The ink blot cracked me up, and I actually appreciated the little birds on her shoulder. Petite, understated, and interesting. I'm not usually a fan of tattoos--but I could imagine getting one like that. (Not really. But if I did get one, it'd be like that).