Types of tattoos, examples of Artistic Tattoos
Tattoo (tattoo, colloquially - tattoo) - the process of applying a permanent (permanent) pattern on the body by the method of local injury of the skin with the introduction of a pigment in the subcutaneous tissue; themselves patterns on the body, made in this way.
The process refers to the decorative modifications of the body. As a rule, the tattoo and its appearance are determined by the customer himself, or by the conditions of life and society. The tattoo has characteristic distinctive features, subdivided into types, styles and methods of manufacture.
Types of tattoos
Once fashionable in Europe and America 30-50-ies of the last century, the traditional direction is still on the crest. Butterflies and anchors, seaman tubes and boats, small symbols and girlish "baubles" - all this duplicated monotony can be considered art only in the context of pop art, which, as we know, is very closely connected with mass culture. Nothing to do with self-expression here was not and is not, on the contrary: it is a complete rejection of individuality. Such tattoos were performed solely because someone noticed similar ones, which means that it is "fashionable".
Many drawings, styles, popular with our ancestors, to this day give food for fantasy tattoo artists. And not so long ago the virgin "ethnic" drawings came into fashion. Exact repetitions, of course, are rare. The motives and compositions are too simple. But stylization is attractive for many people who decided to decorate their body. Masters of modern tattoo skillfully combine the style and the idea of ancient peoples with modern fashion.
One of the most interesting areas in the ethnic tattoo is Scythian. Samples of true skin patterns of the Scythians were found during excavations of the Pazyryk burial mounds group in the Altai Mountains. It was from there that the archaeologists extracted the embalmed body of the Scythian leader, completely covered with intricate plots. The images covered the chest, back, both arms and both legs. The burial time is approximately V - VI century BC. After analyzing the specimen, the scientists came to the conclusion that the tattoo was performed by stitching. For tattoos, the Scythians used the same animal style, known throughout the world for gold jewelry. The body of the animals depicted by the ancient artist was divided into two parts. The rear, absolutely simple, was executed schematically. The front was richly decorated with intricate ornamentation, and represented the beast as a mythological creature of enormous size and the same strength.
This group includes the tattoo elements of the Papuans of New Guinea, other tribes of Indonesia and Australia. Although the species itself is not so widespread, only its individual elements can be seen on the bodies. The tattoo of the Papuans can be interesting because it rarely had a mystical, deep meaning, and even more often pointed to the social position of a member of the tribe. Basically, the drawing was applied to the body of women whose status and occupation were more permanent. Men preferred temporary coloring. Characteristic features of this species are simple geometric figures combined into simple drawings. The peculiarity of the style was different from the method of tattooing: the skin was cut, and a colorant, usually soot, was rubbed into the fresh cut.
Celtic style at different times was subjected to a great influence of different cultures and changed. Initially, it consisted only of plant motifs: cunning twigs, leaves and flowers. Later, animals were included in it, and so harmoniously that they became an integral part of it.
A huge number of surviving elements, stylized objects of everyday life, fairy tales speak of the kinship of the style with the Byzantine, Slavic tattoo. However, it is worth comparing the ancient Celtic cosmogony with its plant base and, even more so, "animal" motives, - we will find a number of inconsistencies. The reason is not even in foreign details, but changes in their predominance. The so-called "weaving" has been known throughout Eurasia since ancient times, but the Celtic cultural area always stood apart due to its special "woody" preferences, which was manifested in unique elements - knots and weaving. But where did the animal faces come from among all this flora? Not since the pores, when the Scythians and Celts met in full war paint? At the same time in the historical arena with solo numbers there was a layer of Gothic and Slavic tribes. The Indo-Aryan Vikings, settled in the north of France, absorbed local customs as sponge, and after a while Celtic creativity was mixed with the Romanesque style. So, look, understand, - what's here and how much stranger? However, one of the masters explained: no one now can really prove that the Celtic tribes had "branded" tattoos, rather, it is a mixture of several similar styles, including Byzantine ones, which received one capacious name - the Celtic style. Byzantine, in turn, echoes the Slavic. And it is not known yet who took whom from whom ...
The main motifs of Japanese tattoos were often the ancient tales and legends associated with the sea, and the main characters were carp, dragons and samurai. According to one of the theories, the Japanese tattoo "iridzumi" was borrowed from China, where it was known as far back as the 11th century BC. On the other - the tattoo penetrated into Japan in ancient times thanks to the Ainu, who lived next door to the Japanese, from 70 to 250 BCE. However, the third version remains the most attractive for the Japanese themselves. This legend says that the mythical ruler of Japan, Jimmu (660 - 585 BC) wore such effective tattoos that he admired the queen Senoyatar, who wrote a poem in their honor. The Japanese tattoo, like many others, has gone by way of ups and downs. The peak of its popularity fell on the Edo period, and the fall - in 1868, after a ban issued by the ruler of the Meiji era, a zealous Confucian.
However, between these periods lies a whole layer of creativity, which the masters still speak with special pride.
The most prominent feature of "japanism" in a tattoo is its vastness. Tattoo, which the master consistently, over the years, applied to the body of a person, at the end, was like a composition in the form of a "kimono" or an "open cloak". Such a tattoo tightly covers the torso, leaving the space in the center of the chest and abdomen unfilled. At the top, it reaches the elbows, filling the forearms, at the bottom - ends at the hips. Principles of composition, formed in the middle of the XIX century, the Japanese continue to this day:
- Asymmetry, unlike the careful symmetry of the famed classic Maori tattoo from New Zealand;
- The introduction of many small motifs, which sometimes braid the main motifs and densely fill the surface of the fragment of the body;
- Figurative nature of the leading motives;
- The outline of most of the motifs is clearly outlined by a decorative contour; the old masters considered the edges of the composition to be the most valuable places and shaded them to make it look like a Ukiyo-e;
- fill the surface of motifs with colors of intensive saturation that contrast with each other;
- The use of original means of expression for nature, tattooed by nature. For example, to give the picture on the body a visual effect that emphasizes movement, knowledge of the placement of muscles was used. Such muscles during their tension and relaxation seemed to give the whole composition a movement, making it very expressive. Nipples and navels were not used to emphasize humorous accents in drawings, which was very popular in European tattooing with criminals, but as necessary elements of motives, for example, as an eye of a dragon or a flower center;
- dynamic interpretation of some compositions (for example, samurai single combat) and at the same time a static interpretation of others (for example, figures captured by a geisha charm);
- filling empty places in the composition with geometric patterns or excerpts from Buddhist texts;
The subjects of the Japanese tattoo abound with various motifs, which can be divided into four groups: flora, fauna, religious and mythological motifs associated with the extraordinary adventures of heroes and other personalities drawn from folklore. Among the presented plant motifs there are some symbols:
- Chrysanthemum - a symbol of perseverance and determination;
- peony - a symbol of wealth and success in life
- a cherry blossom flower, in which "the petals fall even in a light breath, just as uncomplaining as a samurai gives his life for his master." It is a symbol of passing time and the fragility of life;
- a maple leaf that carries associations like a red rose in a European tattoo.
The most popular representatives of the animal world in tattooing include:
- a dragon symbolizing power and strength, but at the same time uniting fire and water, that is, connecting opposites;
- carp symbolizing courage, courage and stoic posture;
- tiger - a symbol of fearlessness.
Special attention should be paid to the numerous marine and in general water motives, dictated by the fact that the daily life of many Japanese is closely connected with the sea. That's why in the Japanese tattoo often alongside various water creatures appears a wave motif, serving to enrich the background and emphasize the texture of the body. Leading religious themes were the figures of secondary Buddhist gods, met and mythological figures, folk heroes, saints, samurai and monks, courtesans, geishas, actors of the Kabuki theater and sumo wrestlers. A characteristic feature of the Japanese tattoo was always the representation embodied in portraits of personalities from the point of view of "three quarters" and never - front, which was consistent with the principle adopted in the "Ukiyo-e". A significant number of Japanese tattoo motifs are attributed to borrowing from a great neighbor nation. However, the impact of the Chinese tattoo on the Japanese is much weaker than the impact of the technique of Japanese woodcut.
Japanese traditionalist tattoo artists are still avoiding an electric typewriter, which, in their opinion, reduces the prestige of a tattoo artist and makes it difficult to achieve the necessary dexterity. During the tattoo, they use bamboo sticks with attached needles. To draw a picture, one to four needles are used, to fill the surface of the picture - a set of thirty needles in the form of a beam. Such a bunch of needles is called "hari" and pierces the skin at a rate of about 90-120 injections per minute. Simultaneous injections of a large number of needles help to more actively penetrate the pigment into the skin. The performance of large compositions is broken down for several weeks or even months - it's hard for the client to endure pain, besides, the psychological and physical stress of the tattoo artist is very great, which can not hurry up in such work, adjust the events.
All his work is divided into five phases, each with its own specificity:
- "Suzi" - a sketch of the motif and the whole composition is applied to the skin with the help of a black carcass or special dye.
- "Otsumi" - the tool with the needles fixed on it is allocated and fixed the contour of the drawing.
- "Bokashi" (shading) - is based on the stitching of the skin with a large number of needles assembled in a bundle. This makes it easier to achieve the desired filling in the composition with the desired color and tone.
- "Tsuki-hari" ("tsuki" - punching, "hari" - a bunch of needles) - a shallow piercing with needles of separate fragments of the drawing, without its shading. Needles are hammered into the skin with the help of light strokes with the base of the palm, after which the needles are further pressed somewhat deeper into the body.
- "Hane-bari" ("khane" - rebound, "bari" - the process of tattooing) is that during the piercing of the skin, the arm is given a slight swing.
The depth of piercing is precisely controlled. The use of this technique allows to achieve the best effects when shading the composition. "Hane-bari" is the most difficult in the technique of Japanese tattoo.
Most Japanese tattoos use black and red pigments, less often bronze and only in exceptional cases green and yellow.
The popularity of the Japanese tattoo grew due to the famous dramatic actors, who saw in it not only artistic merits. But a new way to achieve expression on the stage. It was not for nothing that it was always perceived as an art and a form of decorating the body, and the owners of the tattoo themselves - as objects that should be admired.
At the end of the 18th century one of the most beautiful tattoos could boast of the outstanding actor Nakamura Utaemon IV. Following the example of the actors, the fashion for beautiful tattoos gradually began to take hold of certain circles of the Japanese aristocracy.
Period at the turn of the XVIII - XIX centuries can be called the golden age of the Japanese tattoo. Raised in the rank of exquisite art, it has become a kind of sign of beauty of the body and a subject for reflection.
Tattooing in Japan has always helped a man to demonstrate truly masculine qualities, testified to his endurance. But there is another kind, which in this row is kept apart: female tattoos - "kakusi-boro", performed by rubbing into the incisions on the body of rice powder. Japanese women resorted to the services of chori (tattooists) to depict on their delicate skin a proof of eternal attachment to the beloved. They loved the "negative tattoo" for its special properties: the figure on the body that was inconspicuous for the surrounding people was manifested only after drinking, bathing or during intimacy.
Today, previously lost tattoo traditions in Japan are gradually returning. This is due to the popularity of tattoos in the yakuzi environment - Japanese gangsters organized into gangs. Doing a tattoo, yakuji, as it were, expel themselves from the normal world and at the same time strengthen the clay in the most criminal group. The difference between "civil" and "criminal" tattoos is significant because of the latter's preference for iconography and motives for Japanese gambling. And yet there are real masters in the country of the rising sun. Most of them still use bamboo sticks with attached needles. The originality of the Japanese tattoo, as well as engravings of the school "Ukyyo-e" or the theater "Kabuki", fascinates Europeans.
Many masters try to reproduce in their works features of the Japanese style: intense, contrasting colors, artificially created asymmetry, thoughtful composition, symbolism of images. But only units manage to achieve an amazing expression of the chori mono - the artistic tattoo of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Polynesian (Polynesian style)
At the beginning of this century, tattoo artists turned to tribal tattoo designs for the first time - so the popular language "tribal" appeared. In all likelihood, the tattoo in Polynesia is as old as its culture itself. The procedure for drawing drawings on the islands of the Pacific Ocean has long been revered as a ritual. Therefore, only priests could decorate the bodies of their tribesmen. The artist-priest enjoyed universal respect and received valuable gifts for his efforts. For him, a special house was built, divided into cabins, in which patients were sometimes delayed for several weeks and even months - until the completion of the masterpiece. And all this time around the house of "shaman" prayers and hymns were not interrupted. They sang that "the masters of the highest fine drawings" will make a wonderful tattoo only to those who pay well, and the rest "do not have such beauty for ages." Polynesians used plant spikes, fish or albatross bones, shark teeth or fragments of sea shells to perform the drawings.
The abundance and sophistication of the native drawings were considered noble birthmarks, so that only the leaders and their closest relatives had the right to cover the whole body with patterns. Those who were afraid of a painful rite, awaited severe punishment in the next world.
Women also went on suffering for the sake of beauty. "We simply have to have several lines on our lips," the beautiful islanders were convinced, "because when we grow old our lips will wrinkle and we will become very ugly." And indeed, without drawing in the corners of the mouth of New Zealand no one would have married. One of the chiefs of Maori, the indigenous population of New Zealand, has grown rich on selling to Europeans the heads of his subjects, covered with tattoos.
The New Zealand researcher D. Cowan represented the Maori as "outstanding sculptors of the face in the whole history of mankind". "Moko," in his opinion, was worthy of attention because it was done with the help of special small bits that left cut wounds on the face, and not through the use of stitching techniques, which the Maori used to tattoo other parts of the body. In the way of performing the "Moko" (except for the inhabitants of the Marquesas Islands, it was not known to any of the Polynesian tribes), one can see analogies with the technique of woodcarving. Signs embodied on the buttocks and hips of people, most often were the motifs of the spiral, other broken lines, which were in close connection with the patterns widely used in carving wood. Polynesians covered the entire body with a tattoo, while among the Maori, only certain parts of the body were taken for the tattoo, the prevalence of the tattoo on the skin was limited. Men tattooed on the face and area from the waist to the knees, in women - only on the face. However, other Maori women wore masculine tattoos. The classic type "Moko" had the following motives:
- spiral patterns on the chin, called pu-kauvae;
- a series of parallel rounded lines from the chin to the nostril (reperiha);
- two large enlarged spirals on the cheek (pae-pae);
- spirals on the nose, called rerupi and ponguanga;
- series of rays curving from the nose, curved lines, they went over the eyebrows and fell to the ears (tvhana).
The figure on the upper part of the forehead was called puhoro, and at the bottom - titi. The rich ornament "Moko" consisted mainly of spirals, waves, ribbons and meander, creating a composition. A characteristic feature of the Moko was the symmetrical arrangement of the motifs.
In addition to the lower parts of the body, men also tattooed their breasts and wrists, which helped to determine the position held in the social hierarchy. It happened that the tattoo was decorated with intimate places and even language.
Some Maori tattoo researchers emphasized the dependence of the degree of diligence in carrying out Moko from the public rank of its owner. The most complex and technically modified tattoos were in people of high origin. The total absence of "Moko" on the face deprived the member of the tribe of the rights to perform public functions and actually reduced him to the position of a slave. Such men were often called Papa-tea, which meant "empty face".
It is thanks to the "Moko", tattooed drawing on the face, this people became known throughout the world. Somehow one European artist tried to draw an old Maori. When he finished, everyone was surprised at the similarity of the picture with the original. Only the native himself was dissatisfied: he took the canvas and on the reverse side painted an ornament: his Moko. "That's how I look," the Polynesian explained, "and your daub is meaningless."
And, nevertheless, despite the skill that the Polynesian priests achieved, in fact, they remained only skilful craftsmen, bound by the traditional motives of their people.
Slovenian (Slavic style)
Modern Slavic ethnic style, like Scythian, is in the process of formation, but what people are interested in is no less important. There is an opinion that in its traditional form the tattoo of the Slavs is observed only in certain parts of Yugoslavia. It is difficult to challenge, as repeated attempts have been made to verify this in other Slavic regions. At the end of the 10th century, tattoos were found mostly among the population of the Catholic faith. Virtually every adult girl or married woman had images of garlands, twigs, ornamental crosses on the chest, shoulders, palms, down to the tips of the fingers, less often on the forehead. Male Catholics tattooed her, but went to this procedure much less often. Best of all, substituting shoulders and forearms under the image of crosses. However, the cross is not the only motif, there were also tattoos in the shape of a heart, a crown, an anchor or initials, which indicated the secular origin of their bearer. At the Catholic population of Serbia and Herzegovina at the end of the last century, tattoos were encountered as often as the cross itself. And the Catholic priests, who wanted to prevent the conversion of parishioners to Islam, encouraged this custom. After all, Bosnia in those days was the province of the Ottoman Empire, and most of the population adopted the religion and language of the Turks. Only not erased cross on the body, forbidden in Islam as a symbol of Christianity, kept the Bosniacs in the bosom of the Catholic Church.
Modus for tattooing in the midst of the European aristocracy was introduced by Edward VII, while he was still Crown Prince of Wales. While on an unofficial visit to Japan, he visited the famous tattoo artist Hori Chiyo to put on his royal figure a dragon, a symbol of faith and power.
As soon as the sensation became known, his example was followed by princes, lords, society ladies and those who did not want to lag behind the nouveaux riches. Among those who did not escape this epidemic of tattooing were the Russian Grand Dukes Alex and Constantine, the Austrian Archdukes, the royal couple of Greece, the King of Denmark, Sweden, Norway.
Among the fans of the tattoo was the last Russian emperor Nicholas II. During a trip to the East, he made himself a few tattoos and most of all conquered his wife by her name - Sasha. Even the mother of the future premier Winston Churchill, Lady Randolph Churchill, could not help not making a narrow bracelet on her wrist.
Cyber (cyber style)
In our years, along with the flowering of ethnic motifs, new directions are emerging more clearly, such as cyber, representing a close fusion of natural and artificial, living and non-living: sketches of human joints with mechanical junctions, chips ornaments, computer characters of fantastic serials, other cosmic and mystical motifs, inspired by the technogenic XXI century and psychotropic drugs, urban ideas.
Direct continuer of the decorative and artistic direction in the tattoo, this style originated in the late 70-ies of the twentieth century. Most likely, the flagships of the "cyber" were themselves tattooers engaged in innovations in the body modification, and suffering from the chemical dependence of cyberpunk. Specifically, the prototype for the "living canvases" were images of characters from modern futuristic films ("The Creed", "Alien", etc.). Another symbol of cyber-accessories are stylized ornamental plots of ethnic trends. Mechanical partitions, ornaments from computer signs, Giger's canvases, stylization of parts of the body for mechanical devices, urban plots and simply sets of geometric figures. Solidly painted hands (each in its own color) - all this can safely be considered a cybernetic style. Unlike the "classics", from which, according to the cybers, it's just blowing mothballs, the quality and idea of the image depends entirely on the master. The client simply can not convey what he wants to capture on his body. But he knows for sure: he will be valuable to descendants already by being the bearer of important information, because his body bears the imprint of history.
The ancient population of Eastern Europe left us a legacy of modest evidence of the Neolithic era - statuettes, symbols of fertility, painted with ornaments. At the heart of these unpretentious patterns lie cruciform and rhombic figures, spirals, dots and commas. In part, this repeats the features of the ethnic style. The western part of the Slavic population drew inspiration from another source - in Orthodox manuscripts and books, framed by a kind of border of sophisticated graphics. Here they are, and apparently put the beginning of this version of the tattoo.
The Russian style has only just begun to pierce its path, standing out with a mixture of motifs of Russian fairy tales, Palekh, Gzhel, the stylized book graphics of Bilibin and the Vasnetsov brothers. Recently, in the catalogs of Russian tattoo parlors appear stories, inspired by the epic epic of the artist Vasilyev. How large the error in transferring the picture to the body is another matter, but the important thing is that we are trying to dig into our own, not someone else's, history.
Like a strung on the ancient Slavic core, this style has not even acquired the final name, tattoo artists still argue to be called him Russian or Russian. However, like the artistic form - it is not known yet, what is more in it, Scythian animal grins. Altai ornaments of clothing or elements of traditional Russian graphics of the late nineteenth century, characteristic of Slavic epic folklore. But since the negative interpretation on the part of the "healthy" half of society is inevitable, it is clear that no one will look for special historical roots here, but, most likely, will highlight the criminal criminal background. However, this has not happened yet. And we still have a chance to find supporters of a new direction, especially valuable for patriotic-minded layers.
Modern has learned a lot in the art of Japanese engraving, which is the basis of the modern Japanese tattoo. Hence the more compromise solutions in the figure.