On the identical weekend of “Black Friday” and barely weeks away from Christmas, the Lisbon Tattoo Rock Fest held its occasion on that lengthy weekend on the “Tejo Sala” convention constructing, which is annexed to the Altice Enviornment and with a lovely view of the Tagus / Tejo river.
Getting into the Lisbon Tattoo Rock Fest, there have been quick variations from 2018 — fewer tattooers within the conference house, and fewer spectators. The excessive price of the cubicles was addressed by Portuguese tattooists, and the music on audio system throughout stage performances and tattoo contests was extraordinarily loud, making it difficult for anybody to work. However, this particular conference has at all times been devoted to “Tattoo” and “Rock,” so clearly music can be part of it; nonetheless, it created a divide amongst spectators coming in for one factor or the different.
Above: One a part of the “Ascendus” physique suspension efficiency.
Prime to backside: 1) The work of Ruben Fernandes, 2) a collaborative leg tattoo by Joao Dias and Theo Pedrada, and three) a stylized portrait by Diogo Aime Minhoto.
Specializing in what mattered to us: tattooing! We noticed attention-grabbing physique artwork by Andre Lucas, Juda, Ruben Fernandes, Marta Bala, Diogo Aime Minhoto, Mia Casquinho, and had in-depth conversations with Alexandre Abreu who was not too long ago the subject-matter of an acclaimed Shawn Barber portray, Alberto Solposto who continued engaged on a two-year bodysuit challenge, Andy Kemp who charmed us with an ink-wash-painting-like tattoo, and Mauro Amaral who spent all-three-days pigmenting a sleeve.
Prime to backside: 1) Tattooer Alexandre Abreu engaged on a large-chest piece, 2) a portray (“Alexxx Abreu in Movement”) by Shawn Barber, 3) a close-up of the chest piece by Alexandre Abreu on the Lisbon Fest.
Famend visible artist Shawn Barber did a portray of you and displayed it on the 15th London Tattoo Convention. What was the expertise like being the topic?
Alexandre Abreu: Earlier than the portray made by Shawn Barber, it was the expertise of a getting the bodysuit [on me] by Filip Leu and Vlady [from Positive Vibration]. It was due to that, that Shawn Barber needed to make the portray of me. It was like a dream for me for to get the bodysuit from Filip and Vlady. Numerous ache additionally, however yeah, [a good experience].
How lengthy did it take to get your entire physique tattooed?
Between the 2 tattooers, it was seven classes. They have been actually fast!
Your portray was hung subsequent to Shawn Barber’s artwork piece of legend Lyle Tuttle.
Sure, sure, sure! He made these work for the London Tattoo Conference. He made the portrait very nice of Lyle Tuttle. And I do know he has one other one full-of-details as a result of he [knew Lyle] and was in his studio. There’s additionally one other portray in Lyle Tuttle’s yard. It’s a caravan, a gypsy caravan, within the yard [sic]. I find it irresistible! It’s my favourite as a result of I’m type of gypsy too. Once I was youthful, I lived within the truck for like 10 years.
So, you’ve type of settled down from touring?
I settled down. I’ve two kids. I dwell in a small city in Portugal. It’s referred to as “Lousã,” up within the mountains. However I nonetheless go to numerous tattoo conventions. Final yr, I used to be in Taiwan — a very nice expertise in Asia. It was my first time there and I beloved it. After which I went Japan. I did a tattoo conference in France (my buddy organizes it).
There’s loads of occasions in France. Is it the Paris one?
It’s the primary one. He made this one in 2005. It’s in Nantes. It’s fairly large the Nantes Tattoo Convention in France. And it’s a great tattoo conference. And I began with this one, and I by no means stopped. And now he make ones in Desalt, Paris, and London. And people are very good.
You’re acknowledged to your tattoo work, however now you’re additionally identified for what you might have in your physique due to that portray.
Yeah, it’s humorous as a result of once I present the tattoo, folks typically say, “Oh, you might have this one?” They knew the [bodysuit] tattoo, however didn’t know the man who had it. So it’s good!
A have a look at the “Huge Bang” sleeve (nonetheless to be completed) by Mauro Amaral.
The “Huge Bang” — you’re tattooing one thing totally different in the present day.
Mauro Amaral: My previous buddy [client] was like, “No bro, please don’t put faces on me!” I usually deliver faces [portraiture] to the topics of my tasks. This time, I used to be already imagining aliens, UFOs, some cows getting kidnapped and stuff like that. I simply bought all of the creation from the explosion of the Huge Bang — including that nearer to the shoulder, after which taking place [the arm] with the DNA and cosmic spirals and ending with a easy tree.
It does have a really summary look to it.
Since you’re trying nearer at only one half. This can be a zoom … a close-up proper now of the explosion. There’s the primary planet that explodes, and for me, perhaps you don’t see that, however I see it somewhat bit like a Satanic moon, like a darkish facet of the moon … I like hiding some [visual] info.
How lengthy do you suppose it can take to complete this entire tattoo sleeve?
At this conference, we’re going to attempt to do the surface of the arm. Yesterday, I did the forearm in 9 hours and in the present day I’ve the highest half … So from the elbow to the shoulder, I consider that it’s take until 11pm tonight … I simply hope the noise of [hardcore band] Madball doesn’t … [pauses]
However as a complete, how lengthy, what number of classes?
It’ll take 21 hours [of tattooing] to point out it right here at this Lisbon present. Then going to my store to make extra — one other three classes to do the within in a quieter and calmer [environment].
You’re acknowledged to your photorealistic work, and not too long ago utilizing neon (type of lighting results). Is that your tendency for 2020?
No, no, no! Once I began fascinated with utilizing neons, there have been artists extra well-known than me doing the identical factor. On the similar time, once I was doing neons, [some] began doing them too. An necessary factor in my profession is that I don’t have a factor of making a mode. I usually do what my purchasers need, [i.e.] if I like their thought (with my methods and if it’s one thing that I’ll have enjoyable doing). All my awards, and all of the issues I did in my life, have been with a briefing from the shopper. I’ve by no means mentioned “Bro, do that. I’ve concepts.” I do conceal some stuff right here and there [in the compositions], however I at all times observe the briefing of my shopper, or I simply don’t settle for the work.
A number of years in the past we had spoken on the Setubal event, and also you mentioned that you just have been attempting to do much less saturated tattoos, however now, you’re including much more shade to them. So what’s happening?
In Portugal, I’m nonetheless not doing colours. In case you go to my store, I by no means do colours. More often than not I’m doing black and grey. I submit loads of colours [on Instagram], as a result of I’d like to do extra shade tattoos, however folks simply don’t ask for it that a lot. I believe there’s this trend, or a wave of black and grey proper now.
Andy Kemp’s accomplished work on the Lisbon Tattoo Rock Fest 2019.
You accomplished this tattoo sleeve in two days, right here in Lisbon.
Andy Kemp: Yeah. We began yesterday and completed up this afternoon. A stunning piece that me and Sandra have been engaged on for a few months now. I’m very impressed by conventional Japanese and Chinese language watercolor work. Just a bit nod to the historical past of a tremendous artwork and portray.
It’s a standout tattoo at this occasion; fairly unconventional.
I’m formally skilled in tremendous arts, so bridging the hole between tremendous artwork and tattoo has been one thing that I’ve been keen about from the-first-day-I-had-a-tattoo-machine in my hand. This type, I’ve been growing for the final three-and-a-half years, and eventually bought to a stage that I’m very proud of. (The way in which issues are composed, and the compositions are usually quite a bit simpler to develop and create now.) I simply love the best way I can play with totally different textures and methods to create one thing that may be very distinctive and totally different from all people else.
Tattooing has been on the radar of some artwork galleries and museums. Have you ever tried to strategy a few of these institutes to exhibit your work?
Portugal is somewhat bit closed with that also, sadly. One in every of my ambitions for the 2020 is to start out reaching out much more and going into Northern Europe, doing a little conventions up there, attempt to get a bit extra of a contact, connections in that type of space. However yeah, it’s undoubtedly an space of alternative and it’s one thing that I will likely be trying into.
You additionally do conventional work.
I do. I don’t have a lot time for it. Nicely, fortunately, it depends upon your viewpoint, however yeah, I do some canvas work once I can.
A bodysuit that’s nonetheless in growth, already two years within the making by Alberto Solposto.
Please speak in regards to the bodysuit you might have been growing for 2 years in your shopper Joao Lopes.
Alberto Solposto: It began with Joao’s again, he requested me for a dragon [design], and I replied, “Would you like one other dragon like all of the others? Or would you like a dragon tattoo which you could see like 10 meters away?” The shopper didn’t even hesitate and let me work within the measurement I believed can be preferrred [for him]. We ended up bringing this scale of parts to the remainder of the physique — at all times with the intention of making nice [visual] affect and that the weather might be simply learn from far and close to (with smaller parts and textures because the viewer approaches it). A challenge of this dimension is a huge degree of dedication — each for the shopper and tattoo artist. I’ve been fortunate that Joao cannot solely deal with the entire strategy of tattooing, however desires to make fixed progress of his bodysuit.
At this occasion, you might have been inking Joao’s leg. Clarify about your progress and inspiration for this piece.
Initially, I used to be simply going to do the Kapala (Tibetan cranium) on the higher leg. However Joao confirmed enormous resilience as soon as once more, and the subsequent day, I made extra progress on the decrease leg with water component and Chrysanthemum. The inspirations (and references) of my work come from classical bases of Japanese, Chinese language, Indian, Tibetan portray and illustration, in addition to tattooing of Filip Leu, Ichibay, Pino Cafaro, Grime…
You’re tattooing within the sales space subsequent to Alexandre Abreu, who you appear to be getting together with. How lengthy have you ever identified him?
I’ve identified Alex’s work for a number of years now, via social media channels, however personally I simply had the pleasure of assembly him final yr on his strategy to the tattoo expo, Taiwan I Love Tattoo. We shortly established a great relationship — he’s a relaxed individual, good power, and has a lot information of the tattoo world and tales to share.
Spectators watching “Ascendus,” body-suspension efficiency on stage.
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