Artists: Alex De Pase
39 0431 80220
Alex De Pase Tattoo Studio
Piazza Carpaccio 17
34073 Grado GO
FRESHLY INKED: What year did you start tattooing?
ALEX DE PASE: I started doing my first “homemade” tattoos when I was 14, 15 years old, so if I remember right it was 1990. Then seven years later, I opened my first shop here in Grado. My parents weren’t happy about this, but they always trusted in me, so they gave me their support. Then in 2003, I noticed that my shop was becoming too small, so one year later I opened a bigger one.
How did you get into tattooing?
It was my desire from the beginning, but at the time it looked unthinkable and seemed to remain an impossible dream. Then in a few years everything changed—the world that was prejudiced against tattoos and considered them taboo has passed. Now there’s a growing interest in and appreciation of tattoos as an art form that’s ancient yet still seems new to our society. In ’97, motivated by many requests, I decided to leave all “jobs” that do not belong to me to dedicate myself full- time to what had been, until that moment, just a hobby that fascinated me so much.
Where did you apprentice?
I learned as an autodidact, trying and experimenting on my skin—that is, on the skin of old friends—always trying to fill that desire for knowledge and improvement that characterizes my character. In fact, after 20 years since my first approach to tattooing, I try to raise the limits of precision and accuracy of my tattoos.
What conventions have you worked at?
I have attended many conventions, but those are my favorite: Tattoo Gathering, Roma, Milano, London, and also Trieste, a small city here in Italy not so far from where I live. Every convention is important, and I have good memories of them, especially because I come back home with a lot of experience.
How do you describe your style?
When I opened the studio, I did a bit of everything over time, perhaps for the stimulation that I found in their difficulties. I began to dedicate myself to work more and more realistic, and slowly people began asking me more and more. Today I devote myself exclusively to realistic subjects and portraits, but although a number of years have already passed since I started working only on this subject, I’ve never stopped evolving.
What inspires you as an artist?
Everything that surrounds me—the perfection and complexity of nature, the challenge in trying to find the smallest details, the subtle variations of color and volume. These are the things that push and influence my work.
What sets you apart from other artists?
What I try to do in my tattoos is convey the same emotions of the reference image and valorize the emotional aspect, trying not to make it plastic with loads of color. Using tones as real as possible, often giving impact to give more room for more natural color harmony.
What other mediums do you work in?
Beside the art of tattooing I also use paint; I especially like oil painting and airbrush. Both of them are good training and good exercise in order to achieve more technical skills, and they let you have an instinctive approach.
What tattoo artists do you admire most?
I do not have an absolute favorite—I admire and I like different tattoo artists, each for different qualities and characteristics. In every style of tattooing I find my favorite, from Oriental with Shige, to the exceptional compositions of Nick Baxter, the geometries of Mike Cole, the organic Guy Aitchison, the realistic Mike DeVries, and many others.