Scratcher’s Paradise

When I first saw some of Sven’s tattoos posted on Facebook with the title “Scratcher’s Paradise” I asked myself what kind of ignorant art-unaware fool would think this was bad tattooing? It took me a minute before I realized that’s actually the humorous name of this German tattoo studio which you can find online at All of the photos in this entry are by Sven, but the other artist at the shop, Marco, is also very talented. But I like Sven’s work because it’s a brilliant fusion of modern fine art and “trash” tattooing and urban street art, but at the same time seamlessly fusing it with traditional tattoo influences in a way that is very rare in modern tattooing. Sven’s work really stands out from the increasingly large crowd of tattoo artists exploring new flavors of the tattoo artform. His shop is based in Berlin, but Sven tours and guests regularly — for example he’s at Xoil’s Needles Slide in France in October — so you can get in touch with him at [email protected] to make an appointment.

Click to zoom in to see the pictures larger, and visit them on Facebook or on the web for more.

PS. It was mentioned to me that there are a number of German artist are working in this general style — I was thinking that one of the reasons that we see such art-conscious work coming out of Germany, France, and Belgium for example is that these are cultures that are deeply aware of fine art history and traditional fine art skills, but are also very forward facing cultures. If I was an anthropologist or sociologist or art historian or something I think it would be a fascinating thing to write a book exploring how national cultures express themselves in the body art world. Anyway, if you like what you see in this entry, you should also check out the work of Peter Aurisch.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

8 thoughts on “Scratcher’s Paradise

  1. Thank you for featuring so many amazing artists from Europe! Finally I can actually imagine being tattooed by one of the artists featured on modblog, rather than wishing from afar and regretting that I don’t live in the US :D

  2. My word. This is fucking fabulous. I think I’ve just found the style I’m looking for, for my chest dragon face.
    Back to the drawing board!

  3. Pingback: BME: Tattoo, Piercing and Body Modification News » ModBlog » Ink Slashes Over Blade Slashes

  4. your PS resonates a lot with me. i’ve been fascinated with the work of these European artists and i think the notion of art-conscious yet forward facing is quite fitting. i love visual art that displays unfinished work, sketches, and the personality of fast expressive lines by individual artists. and i think this -even though it could be designated as a “style”- has also become part of the visual vocabulary of western art. the individuality of the line is what i enjoy when i look at Egon Schiele or Picasso or Derek Hess (i guess the list could be endless but you get the idea) and it’s the same i’m liking so much about these tattoos. thank you, and keep them coming. :)

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