Chris Guest is the fine artist known for his stunning paint depictions of the tattooed community. While he also holds regular painting workshops around the UK and US, his instagram features mesmerizing, quick timelapse tutorials. His site also holds all of his incredible work to view.
This London-based artist creates his masterpieces “in a classic figurative tradition, coupled with a contemporary twist, utilising classical drawing and oil painting techniques, learnt at London Fine Arts in Battersea,” per his site. Guest began painting and drawing from a very young age, and first started making money drawing portraits of music icons for his classmates at just 14-years old. At age 18, Chris began showing his work in galleries in Cornwall, and has since exhibited extensively throughout the UK and the US.
George Klauba, a once tattoo artist, is back on the art scene as an acclaimed painter. His incredible work is sought after by collectors, both locally and abroad. His newest series of paintings feature permanent body art.
Klauba, who grew up in Marquette Park and joined the Navy out of St. Rita High School, worked in a tattoo shop on Archer Avenue in the ‘70s. Showing off a tattoo he got back in 1957, Klauba tells WTTW, “It’s pretty faded right now, just as much as I’m faded.”
They also point out: “If you’re younger than 60, George Klauba has tattoos older than you.”
Nicolas Amiard, graphic designer and artist from Paris, admires all styles of fine art as well as tattoo art. For his series "The Art of Tattoo" Amiard combined his two loves, giving the tattooed community and the “posh” community something to enjoy together.
Californian oil painter Steven Chapman depicts tattooed people in such a beautiful light. The raw, but refined take on all walks of life with a wide array of body art is captured with such detail and precision. Chapman’s works is beyond gorgeous.
Born in Poland, Joanna Pilarczyk developed her skills during 10 years of studying art at both college and university. She obtained her MA degree in Visual Arts Education from the faculty of arts at the University of Zielona Gora, Poland in 2008. She moved to London in 2012 and became an illustrator and Fine Arts Tutor running her own mini art school. This contemporary artist creates stunning pieces with various traditional and digital media such as oil painting, acrylic, watercolor and charcoal. She captures the tattooed community with such elegance and beauty.
Christian Rex van Minnen
Oil painter Christian Rex van Minnen’s provocative style evokes emotions of disgust and curiosity simultaneously, a juxtaposition he’s perfected over the last decade. See our full exclusive with the artist bringing trashy tattoos to the fine-art world, to learn how he developed his graphic approach and to uncover his growing fascination with ignorant style tattooing.
Coming from New Orleans, Craig Tracy credits his city’s vibrant culture for his vibrant work. While his take on painting body art is a more literal approach, we can’t keep him off the list, because his work is so incredible. Tracy now bodypaints exclusively, and operates the very first bodypainting art gallery.
Many tattoo artists never dream of leaving their careers behind. However, after 14 years working to become a world-renowned realism artist, Mike Dargas said goodbye to the tattoo world. Dargas’ decision came with the purpose to channel his energy toward large-scale hyperrealism paintings, showing his collections in prestigious galleries around the world. See our exclusive with Dargas, to find out what led him to make such a drastic career change and what his process is for creating these incredible paintings.
Jeff Musser earned his bachelor’s degree in graphic design, and went to spend two years at an ad agency in Chicago managing creative for McDonald’s Happy Meals. “Despite a respectable salary, Musser was anything but happy,” his statement reads on his site. “I feel that certain memories about my life are meant to anchor me, to keep me from drifting into severe depression and fear. Other memories, if clung to desperately, over time, will petrify me. And yet memory, the faculty of recall, is constantly under threat from new experiences. This change, this faculty of recall, is where my process of painting comes in.”
Painting tattoos helps him manage his depression, just as a tattooed person may manage their inner battles with tattoo art. “Native Californian birds and plants, symbolic of freedom and happiness from my childhood, grow from old wounds,” he adds. “Bold colors coupled with realism and abstraction are employed to seduce, engage, destabilize, and create new memories, new realities on the canvas.”
Australian artist Annemarie Holloway specializes in figurative, portraiture and landscapes. While all subjects she depicts are beautiful, we are biased towards the tattoo portrait paintings.
Shawn Barber’s take on contemporary tattoo culture through painting and portraiture is achieved through a mixture of careful brushstrokes and dripping pigment. This fine artist’s large-scale work can be measured at 6 feet tall, with varying sized canvases within his gallery of 1500 paintings he’s completed since 1997.
Born in Frankfurt Germany in 1980, Pete Tapang did not study art in school or begin sketching at a young age. He believes that art is from the heart, saying: “No one can really teach you how to do it, only guide you.”
Tapang draws women because he finds that subject “the most beautiful creation that God made.” He adds, “Throughout the years I have spent drawing, I realized that every artist has a job to do and I believe that my job as an artist is to cause a little trouble and get people to think a little bit. A man once told me that in a world of media bombardment, it's truly a great thing when a simple drawing can still shock and provoke an audience. It shows that the art still has power.”
Ohio-based painter Frank Oriti paints stunningly realistic portraits of the tattooed community, that impressively capture the beauty of permanent body art.
Widely regarded as the godfather of British Pop art and the Young British Artists movement, Peter Blake creates paintings, collages, and prints that blend modernity and nostalgia. Though best known for designing the album cover for the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, we are highlighting Sir Peter Blake for his latest portraiture collection set of 10 ‘Tattooed People’ prints.
David uses his career in tattooing as a baseline for stories. From struggling as an artist, to mastering a craft, his journey has always included people. This could be why his oil paintings are so captivating. Per his site, it reads: “A ‘client’ to one, is a ‘patient’ to another. Learning how to gather a story and understand a context enables us to see everyone as individuals: as people that matter. This affects our process—our art, designs, products, writing, diagnosis, research and communication.”