Saturday, February 8, 2014

[Magazine Review] Inked Australia/NZ Inked Artists Volume 6

I know I've said it before and I'm sure I'll keep saying, but time and time again Inked Artists blows my mind. 
The artwork and the quality of tattoo artists chosen to grace its pages is a reminder that true talent always rises to the top to receive the attention it deserves.

This twice-yearly publication should be your bible for tattoo artists to add to your wishlist. 

There are plenty of black and grey portraits in this issue, beginning with the work of covergirl Kimberley Purton (p.10). Others worth a mention include Tye Harris (p.40), Fernie Andrade (p. 58) and Harley Kirkwood (p. 94). Their tattoos are so clean that they look just like a black and white photograph. It really amazes me what can be done with so few colours.

Benjamin Laukis (p.14) is simply a freak of nature. He dominates the tattoo competitions at every expo he attends and it's no surprise why - his work is unbelievable. Whenever I see his Oswald Cobblepot (The Penguin from Tim Burton's Batman Returns) tattoo, I am in awe - he's just as ugly in tattoo form as he was in the movie, and for that, I LOVE it. 

Typographic tattoos are a huge favourite of mine at the moment. Maybe it's studying graphic design and looking at fonts all day, but there's something so simply beautiful about just a nicely tattooed word (or words). Big Meas's (p. 32) fancy font work is especially appealing to me.

Back when I first began looking through tattoo magazines and looking online, I came across Kamil Terczynski's work and was mesmerised. That was when artists like him were beginning to be recognised for their work outside the realm of traditional tattoos. Kamil's pieces are still unique and visually stunning, with my favourite being the Predator on page 39. It's funny how I'm always drawn to the tattoos of characters from movies I watched as a little kid.

Being the owner of a Japanese tattoo, I just love seeing all the different artists interpretations of Japanese culture, in tattoo form. When done right, Japanese themed tattoos are beautiful, but what is the most satisfying is seeing people asking for different creatures, other than the traditional dragon, tiger or koi fish. Jess Yen (p. 52) has stayed true to Japanese tattoos but put this almost playful spin on it. There's more emotion on the faces of the dragons, koi fish, neko, and the hannya, almost as if interacting with the people viewing the tattoos.

But really, there's not much point just reading about me talking about a magazine - go out and buy a copy for yourself!

Special mentions

The sacred geometry and dot work tattoos by Alex Arnautov (p. 72) and Michael E. Bennet (p. 100).

Working on skin, a flat surface it takes skill to add dimension to tattoos, however the tattoo by George Mavridis on page 87 just messes with your mind. The depth of the cubes just makes you want to reach out and touch it.

Timmy B's (p.136) messed up, evil-looking animals are so creepily cute.

I still feel like the eyes of the suspicious looking doll by Andy Engel on page 145 are staring at me.

One last thought...

I see some people shitting on traditional tattoos for being too simple and easy compared to that of a portrait. A good point to remember is that they style of tattooing one artist produces makes them no less talented than an artist producing another style. Sometimes the simplest tattoos are the most difficult as every single element has to be perfect, and if it's not, everyone will notice.

It's easy to write an artist off and say their work is shit simply because their style is not to your tastes, but tattoo artists themselves are their biggest critics. There's a reason why only certain artists succeed and that's because tattooing is not easy. Forget the bickering and arguments and just appreciate the art.


Get all 12 issues of Inked Australia/NZ, Inked Girls and Inked Artists magazine straight to your door for just $99. That's a huge saving of over $68 and means you'll never miss an issue again.

Australian Tattoo Expos

If you read Inked Australia/NZ magazine, then you have no excuse not to know about the tattoo expos happening across Australia in 2014. First up is Sydney in March, followed by Perth in June, and for the first time in Adelaide this August, and ending with Melbourne in December.

Keep yourself informed by liking Australian Tattoo & Body Art Expo on Facebook, or check out their website. 

And for all my Melbourne readers, don't forget about the Rites of Passage Festival which returns to the Royal Exhibition Building in April. 


Twitter: @Inked_Australia

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