Fabric-design-esque Backpiece

Most of the tattoo artists specializing in geometric designs seem to draw heavily from math and sacred geometry (often centered around swastika mysticism), and as much as I consistently enjoy that, I’m always very excited to see the boundaries of modern blackwork and neotribal being expanded with other influences. I don’t want to put words in his mouth — and I am planning on updating it soon, but much earlier in Vincent’s career we did an interview which you can read here — but in this gorgeous backpiece by Beautiful Freak‘s (beautifulfreaktattoo.com) Vincent Hocquet I’m seeing fabric design playing a role as well, and the textures and level work in the faces makes me think of printmaking as well. There’s more as well, maybe in the general layout, that I can’t quite put my finger on but very much sets it apart from similar “texture collage” tattoos. Great work as always. Zoom in for a closer look.

backpiece by vincent hocquet

Update: Vincent just showed me some of the source artwork, a Mayan “Mask of Death and Rebirth” from Tikal, 900 AD. I love the way he’s adapted it for the tattoo.

This Maya mask shows the different stages of life as part of a never ending cicle of human evolution through life and the afterlife as it was understood by the mayas. The mask has three layered faces, each representing one particular stage of life. The inner face represents the beginning of life at birth. The middle face is the most important one since it represents the adult stage when the person comes into his full potential and most of his life experiences happened. The outer or third face represents the end of earthly life. This sacred time was viewed by the Maya as the end of one cycle and the beginning of another one. Death was followed by lavish preparations for the next life.

mayan-mask

A Red and Black Geometric Dance

It’s common these days to see geometric tattoo projects that use multiple patterns puzzle-fit up against each other, but I really like the way that this works when those patterns are done in different colors — red and black in this case — to push them onto different layers visually. It both strengthens each individual piece of geometry, and helps them work together as well. Vincent Hoquet (note his new URL of beautifulfreaktattoo.com) has been featured regularly on ModBlog, and while it’s getting a little dated now I want to remind you that I did a lengthy interview with him in 2008 that you can read here.

More Amazing Blackwork

The blackwork tattoo masters have been uploading some great work today, so I want to feature three more great pieces (see mountains more in BME’s tattoo galleries). From top to bottom, the geometric back burst (note the subtle variations in weight that really play with your eye and separate the artist from the tattooist) by Vincent Hocquet (beautifulfreaktattoo.comedit: note the updated URL), a great backpiece and more by on artist Pinke Leenders (tattoopink.be, photo by Reginald Tackoen), and a wonderful scalp piece extending down the neck and chest of Christ Wentworth by Joe Munroe (joemunroe.co.uk). So much talent out there today — tattoo patrons are very lucky art collectors — that there’s no excuse for not wearing a great tattoo.

greatblackwork1

greatblackwork2

greatblackwork3

Stars and stripes

Alright so this isn’t a patriotic tattoo, but it is an unbelievable rendering of a starburst/flower with some stripes underneath it.  If you haven’t guessed by now, the artist is Vincent Hocquet, who is consistently sending in mind-blowing designs.  This one in particular was done at the Sydney tattoo convention a few months back.  As anyone who has been to a convention knows, the floor of the convention is a pretty hectic place, and for Vincent to put out such a precise and detailed piece is just a testament to his skill.

Vincent works at Beautiful Freak Tattoo in St. Idesbald, Belgium.

A mask of knowledge

I could be completely wrong, but I believe that this tattoo is a depiction of a Rahwana mask.  Rahwana, or Ravana is a hindu deity with a very contentious background.  To some he is an evil deity, yet to others he signifies knowledge.  In most depictions he has 10 heads, but he is known to be shown with only one, like the example below.  I mentioned yesterday how well Vincent Hocquet can blend in religious imagery into his abstract pieces, and this shows he can tackle these images on their own.  It’s hard to see without zooming in the photo, but the vast majority of this piece is done with stippling, a technique that a number of artists have been using when approaching similar subject matters.

Building on greatness

We’ve established in the past that Vincent Hocquet’s dotwork pieces are mind-bendingly awesome.  Today we’re going to look back on a piece that was first featured last August, and how far along it’s progressed since then.  So here’s how the sleeve started out.  A massive undertaking that blended geometry and flowers to create a beautiful image.

Then again, back in March, we saw this same sleeve, but the focus was on the latest addition, an all-seeing eye on the chest.  It also gave us a chance to see just how detailed the sleeve itself was.  What we thought was initially solid shapes turned out to be dotwork that was conforming to a perfect geometric shape.

Which brings us to today where the latest addition has taken the piece from his right shoulder, all the way across his chest.

Given how much blank skin there is on that lucky guy, I’d imagine we’re in for more from Vincent.  Be sure to check out more of his work in his BME portfolio gallery.