Degrees of black

With another piece out of Scarab Body Arts in Syracuse, NY, Nik Moore sent in this incredible blackwork shoulder.  At first glance it may seem to be a straight black and white piece, but if you look close you can see how he worked greyscale into some of the designs in order to create some depth.

You can check out more works by Nik in his BME portfolio gallery.

A Touch of Abstract pt. 1

While browsing the tribal and blackwork galleries I discovered a pair of images that go outside the normal ideas of what is tribal/blackwork.

For the most part, the style is predominantly known for its use of clean lines made of heavy bands of black ink.  Not saying that the entire genre is made up of that, but for the majority of people, that is what comes to mind when the topic comes up.  In this post, the first of two, we’re taking a look at a tattoo by Magnutze.  Right off the bat, the dotwork design in the middle stands out, as well as the red lines across his torso.  While at first glance they could be mistaken for cutting scars, they’re actually part of the overall tattoo design.

As with all abstract pieces, the reactions tend to be mixed.  To some, the deviation from the norm is refreshing, while others just don’t like the aesthetics of it at all.  So what are your thoughts on this particular piece?

Later today you’ll get a look at another piece that is from a similar artistic vein, although executed differently.

Time for the guys to shine

Last week there were a lot of requests for posts of BME Girls, but amongst the comments were a number of requests for some BME Boys.  This week, I’m happy to oblige.

Unfortunately the image was uploaded to the miscellaneous tattoo gallery anonymously, so until someone identifies that backside, it’ll remain nameless.

So just a reminder to everyone, when you upload pictures to BME, make sure you fill in all the boxes so proper credit can be assigned.

Is that a giant snake or are you just happy to see me?

The gang from Kipod Tattoo Studio in Tel Aviv have done it again.   Last time we saw something from them it was a large bio-mech peice.  This time we’ve got a pretty big tribal-ish snake that looks a little angry.


Now I know what you’re thinking, “big deal, he’s got a snake on his ribs and chest, I’ve seen bigger snakes than that in my backyard.”  Well you honestly don’t think this is the entire snake do you?  Keep on reading to see just how big this cobra is.

Continue reading

Mandala in ink

The art of a sand manadala is tied deeply to Buddhist spiritual beliefs.  As you can see in the video above, the time and dedication required to create a mandala takes years of study.  Each grain of sand is delicately placed to form a detailed image created in a geometrical design.  After taking a look at the following image sent in by Punktum, I immediately thought of the sand mandala.  (Click the picture to see the full sized image)


With the design being so geometrical and comprised of mainly dotwork, you can easily see where the comparison comes from.  The art of tattooing is no so dissimilar from the process involved in creating a sand mandala.  Yes one is a strictly religious and spiritual practice, but they both employ the usage of a fine material to create something larger.  While the monks use grains of sand, the tattoo artist uses small needles.  In both cases the smallest details matter, as each line and color must be placed in a specific location to create the overall design.  It was really difficult to select just one image of Punktum’s so here’s a second one, just to give you an idea of how detailed these designs are.


If you have some time, please check out the tribal and blackwork tattoo gallery today, you won’t be disappointed with what you find.

Trifecta complete!

A polymath is a person whose expertise spans a significant number of different subject areas. In less formal terms, a polymath (or polymathic person) may simply be someone who is very knowledgeable. Most ancient scientists were polymaths by today’s standards.

The terms Renaissance man and, less commonly, Homo Universalis (Latin for “universal man” or “man of the world”) are related and used to describe a person who is well educated or who excels in a wide variety of subjects or fields. The idea developed in Renaissance Italy from the notion expressed by one of its most accomplished representatives, Leon Battista Alberti (1404–1472): that “a man can do all things if he will.” It embodied the basic tenets of Renaissance humanism, which considered humans empowered, limitless in their capacities for development, and led to the notion that people should embrace all knowledge and develop their capacities as fully as possible. Thus the gifted people of the Renaissance sought to develop skills in all areas of knowledge, in physical development, in social accomplishments, and in the arts.


When I started writing today’s posts I had noticed that a few of the images I has selected were all from the same artist.  We’ve already seen Gabor Zagyvai’s scarification work, as well as one of the suspensions he performed recently.  Now for the final part of the trifecta, I present one of his tattoos.


This piece, entitled “Abstract Mistycism” (not my spelling), was part of the large image upload that Gabor sent in recently.  This leg piece is just breathtaking in it’s intricacies.  I love how you can get lost in the images, especially considering the monochromatic nature of blackwork.

I was to talk about the term “Renaissance Man”.  The wiki definition above gives us the classical definition, and for the most part that definition still works today.  I think that Gabor is a good representation of the Renaissance men and women that are so prevalent in the modification community today.  While classical artists tend to favor one medium over other others, what we are seeing now is a large percentage of the modification artists branching out from one particular form of modification.  Scar artists are also tattoo artists, piercers also suspend people, and even more, like Gabor, cover every aspect of the modification spectrum.

This then brings up the argument, is it now necessary in today’s world to become a master of multiple genres?  Is wearing just one hat enough these days to become successful, or should artists work towards perfecting their art in different mediums?  I guess the more important question is, have we as a community raised our expectations to the point that artists feel they must diversify to meet the needs of their clientele?

What do you guys and gals think?  Does the future of modification lie in artists becoming polymaths, or are there enough people out there that specialization is still the preferred way to go?