So you’ve found yourself in Europe, and whether you’ve gone over with the intention of getting a new tattoo or you’ve suddenly got that spur-of-the-moment need to get something to commemorate the adventure tattoo, it’s probably good to know the best places across the continent to get yourself inked.
‘Cos Lord knows you don’t wanna cop a dodgy tatt and have to deal with it all the way home on a flight.
Instead, make a note of these excellent artists from London to Kiev, and everywhere in between.
Classically trained in visual art with a lineage that includes greats like Da Vinci and Jean-Léon Gérôme, Buri is the owner of Icelandic Tattoo Corp, and has some very clean, crisp work that harks back to the traditional work of artists like Norman Keith Collins (Sailor Jerry). Buri’s style extends out from neo-traditional to Japanese, watercolour, blackwork, and realism. A real jack of all trades.
Brody approached tattoo work as more of a ritual – a connection between physical and spiritual bodies, where skin is a canvas and ink is an expression of identity and owning oneself wholly. Brody’s work involves a lot of patterns and symmetry, and results in strong, clean, and bold lines. UNIVERSE Studio is a LGBTQI+ safe space, where people are able to get work done with no judgement or prejudice about their gender or sexuality.
A mix of new school and watercolour is what gives Emil’s work that bit of an edge, and makes the work look like it’s painted on the body instead of being etched into the skin. Working out of London’s Cross The Line Tattoo Studio, Emil’s work features striking, bright colours, and pushes the boundaries of what can be done with new technologies of tattoo ink and art.
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Fine lines and delicate work has been on the rise in recent years, straying further away from the traditional work of thick lines and and block colours. Tanya DSM’s work is a stellar example of this, with her pieces looking more like it should be hung in fine art galleries across the world. She’s currently working in New York, but she’ll be back and destroying it at Sang Bleu in Zurich for a short stint in October.
Finally finished this Last Judgement backpiece for Selina. It took over 25 hours and was quite the challenge to design and tattoo. I would love to do more large scale works. Thanks so much Selina for your trust and commitment and for traveling from Switzerland to get tattooed. #lastjudgement #backpiece
An ex-pat living the dream over in the UK, Toby’s neo-trad style is detailed and gorgeous. He’s got a keen eye for bringing pieces to life with shading and his animal portraiture is something really special – animals are tricky to get right, it’s all in the eyes. Toby’s based at Seven Doors Tattoo in London, and is a little home away from home.
Enter Stage Left, the tattoo power couple. AL and OD travel and work together around Europe (they’re currently working out Witch Wood Tattoo in Kiev, Ukraine) taking their blackwork and trad pieces along for the trip. Simple and effective, AL/OD are the “tattoo family” you should track down while you’re on your travels.
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If you’re into more abstract pieces, then Luca is who you should be going to. Currently based at Built Strong Tattoo in Milan, Luka channels the contemporary side of the art world in his work, using bold blocks of colour and blackwork to turn his clients’ skin into something straight from 50s Art Deco advertising.
Back at Sang Bleu in Zurich, you can find yourself some more abstract work – this time from Paolo Bosson. Minimalism at its finest, Paolo works absolutely freehand on each of his tattoos, which gives him that an upper hand in creating very one-of-a-kind pieces that could be a very good ‘hey Mum I went to Europe, look what I did’ to take home.
Sasha’s work is nothing short of gorgeous. Her use of minimal black line and instead creating pieces that look more like vector art – using shades and tones of the same colour to produce shadow and complexities. Sasha is from Rome, but like a lot of other artists, she’s constantly travelling around, working tattoo expos and guest spots in different studios. She recently finished up at stint at Mad Fish Tattoo in Moscow, Russia, after featuring at the Moscow Tattoo Convention in June.
You now have no excuse if you ever come back to this glorious land with a bad tattoo you copped in some dingy back alley shop. I won’t hear a bar of it.Image: Instagram / Sasha Unisex