Types of tattoos, examples of artistic tattoos
Tattoo (tattoo, in popular language - tattooed) - the process of applying a permanent (resistant) pattern on the body by the method of local injury of the skin with the introduction of coloring pigment into the subcutaneous tissue; the patterns on the body themselves, 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 everyday life and society. The tattoo has distinctive features, subdivided into types, styles and methods of production.
Types of tattoos
The traditional trend, formerly fashionable in Europe and America of the 1930s and 1950s, still remains on the ridge. Butterflies and anchors, sea tubes and ships, small symbols and girlish “baubles” - all this replicated monotony can be considered as art except in the framework of pop art, which, as we know, is very closely associated with mass culture. There was nothing in common with self-expression and there is not, on the contrary: it is a complete rejection of individuality. Such tattoos were performed solely because similar ones were noticed on someone, which means it is “fashionable”.
Many drawings, styles, popular with our ancestors, to this day provide food for fantasy to tattoo masters. And not so long ago, almost pristine "ethnic" drawings came into vogue. Exact repetitions, of course, are rare. Too simple motifs and compositions. But styling is attractive to many people who have decided to decorate their bodies. Masters of modern tattoo skillfully combine the style and the idea of ancient peoples with modern fashion.
One of the most interesting trends in ethnic tattoo are considered Scythian. Samples of true skin images of Scythians were found during the excavation of the Pazyryk kurgans in the Altai Mountains. It was from there that archaeologists found the embalmed body of a Scythian leader, completely covered with intricate plots. Images covered the chest, back, both arms, and both lower legs. Burial time of approximately V - VI century BC. After analyzing the instance, the scientists concluded that the tattoo was made by impaling. For tattoos, the Scythians used the same animal style known all over the world for gold jewelry. The body of animals depicted ancient artist divided into two parts. Rear, absolutely simple, performed schematically. The front was richly decorated with intricate ornaments, and presented the beast as a mythological creature of enormous size and the same power.
This group includes elements of the tattoo of the Papuans of New Guinea, other tribes of Indonesia and Australia. Although the species itself is not so widely distributed, only its individual elements can be seen on the bodies. Tattoo Papuans can be interesting because it rarely wore a mystical, deep meaning, and more often pointed to the social status of a member of the tribe. The drawing was mainly applied to the body of women, whose status and occupations were more permanent. Men preferred temporary coloring. Characteristic features of this type are simple geometric shapes combined into plain patterns. The style of tattooing was also unique: the skin was cut, and a dye, usually soot, was rubbed into the fresh incision.
The Celtic style at various times was greatly influenced by different cultures and modified. Initially, it consisted only of plant motifs: intricate 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 extant elements, stylized household items, fairy tales speak about the kinship of the style with the Byzantine, Slavic tattoo. However, it is worthwhile to compare the ancient Celtic cosmogony with its vegetative basis, and even more so with “animal” motifs, we will find a number of inconsistencies. The reason is not even in foreign details, but changes in their predominance. The so-called "weave" was known throughout Eurasia since ancient times, but the Celtic cultural area has always kept aloof due to its special "tree" preferences, which manifested itself in unique elements - knots and weaves. But where, among all this flora, came animal beasts? I do not since then, when the Scythians and the Celts met in full war paint? At the same time, a layer of Gothic and Slavic tribes performed on the historical arena with solo numbers. The Indo-Aryan Vikings, settled in the north of France, absorbed, like a sponge, local customs and some time later the Romanesque style was added to Celtic art. So, go and figure it out - what is there and how much of a stranger? However, one of the masters explained: no one even now can really prove that the Celtic tribes had “branded” tattoos, rather, it is a mixture of several similar styles, including the Byzantine ones, which received one capacious name - the Celtic style. Byzantine, in turn, echoes the Slavic. And it is not known yet who has learned more from anyone ...
The main motifs of Japanese tattoos were often ancient tales and legends associated with the sea, and the main characters were carps, dragons and samurai. According to one theory, the Japanese tattoo "iridzumi" was borrowed from China, where it was known in the XI century BC. According to another, the tattoo penetrated to Japan in ancient times thanks to the Ainu, who lived next door to the Japanese, from 70 to 250 BC. 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 Senoiatar, who composed a poem in their honor. The Japanese tattoo, like many others, went through ups and downs. The peak of its popularity came in the Edo era, and the fall - in 1868, after the ban issued by the ruler of the Meiji era - a zealous Confucian.
However, between these periods lies a whole layer of creativity, about which the masters still speak with particular pride.
The most prominent feature of “Japaneseism” in a tattoo is its vastness. The tattoo, which the master consistently, for several years, applied to the body of a person, in the end, resembled a composition in the form of "kimono" or "open coat". Such a tattoo tightly covers the torso, leaving an empty space in the center of the chest and abdomen. In the upper part it reaches the elbows, filling the forearm, in the lower part it ends at the hips. The principles of composition, formed in the middle of the XIX century, are still followed by the Japanese today:
- Asymmetry, in contrast to the meticulous symmetry of the famous Maori classic tattoo from New Zealand;
- The introduction of a variety of small motifs, which sometimes twist the main motifs and tightly fill the surface of a fragment of the body;
- The figurative nature of the leading motives;
- Outlining most motifs with a distinctly outlined decorative outline; the old masters considered the edges of the composition to be the most valuable places and shaded them in order to make them similar to the compositions of uekioe;
- filling the surface of motifs with colors of intense saturation that contrast with each other;
- the use of means of expression peculiar to the tattoo, which nature has pushed. For example, to give a picture on the body a visual effect that emphasizes movement, knowledge of the placement of the muscles was used. Such muscles during their tension and relaxation, as it were, gave the whole composition movement, making it very expressive. Nipples and navel were not used to emphasize humorous accents in the drawings, which was very popular in European tattooing for criminals, but as necessary elements of motifs, for example, as the dragon's eye or the center of the flower;
- dynamic interpretation of some compositions (for example, samurai martial arts) and at the same time static interpretation of others (for example, figures captured by the geisha charm);
- filling empty seats in the composition with geometric patterns or excerpts from Buddhist texts;
The themes of Japanese tattoos abound in a variety of motifs that 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 have their own symbols:
- chrysanthemum - a symbol of perseverance and determination;
- peony - a symbol of wealth and success in life
- Sakura flower, in which "the petals fall even with a light breath just as meekly as a samurai gives 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 the tattoo should include:
- a dragon, symbolizing power and strength, but at the same time uniting fire and water, that is, connecting opposites;
- carp, symbolizing courage, bravery and posture stoic;
- tiger - a symbol of fearlessness.
Of particular note are numerous marine and generally aquatic motifs dictated by the fact that the daily lives of many Japanese are closely connected with the sea. That is why a wave motif appears in a Japanese tattoo, often next to various water creatures, which serves to enrich the background and underline the texture of the body. The leading religious themes were figures of minor Buddhist gods, there were also mythological figures, folk heroes, saints, samurai and monks, courtesans, geisha, actors of the Kabuki theater and sumo wrestlers. A characteristic feature of the Japanese tattoo has always been the representation of the personalities embodied in the portraits from the point of view of "three-quarters" and never frontally, which is consistent with the principle adopted in the "Ukiyo". A significant number of motives of the Japanese tattoo is attributed to borrowing from a great nation-neighbor. However, the strength of the effects of Chinese tattoos on Japanese is much weaker than the influence of the technique of Japanese wood engraving.
Japanese traditionalist tattoo artists are still avoiding the electric typewriter, which, in their opinion, reduces the tattoo artist’s prestige and makes it difficult to achieve the necessary dexterity. During tattooing, they use bamboo sticks with needles attached to them. From one to four needles are used to apply the pattern, and a set of thirty needles in the form of a beam is used to fill the pattern surface. Such a bunch of needles is called "hari" and punctures the skin at a rate of about 90-120 shots per minute. Simultaneous injections of a large number of needles help the pigment to penetrate the skin more actively. The execution of large compositions is broken down for several weeks, or even months - the client is difficult to endure the pain, besides the psychological and physical stress of the tattoo artist, who cannot rush into such work, push events, is very great.
All his work is divided into five phases, each with its own specifics:
- “Suji” - a sketch of the motive and the entire composition is applied to the skin using black ink or a special dye.
- “Otsumi” - with the needles with the needles fixed on it, the outline of the drawing is selected and fixed.
- "Bocasi" (shading) - is based on the impaling of the skin with a large number of needles, collected in a bun. This facilitates the achievement in the applied composition of the desired filling color and tone.
- “Tsuki-hari” (“tsuki” - punching, “hari” - a bunch of needles) - shallow needles pinching of individual fragments of the pattern, without shading it. The needles are driven into the skin with the help of light strokes to the base of the palm, after which the needles are additionally pressed a little deeper into the body.
- “Hane-bari” (“hane” - rebound, “bari” - tattooing process) is that during the impalement of the skin a slight swing is given to the arm.
The depth of sticking 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 often, Japanese tattooists use black and red pigments, less often - bronze and only in exceptional cases green and yellow.
The popularity of Japanese tattoos grew thanks to the well-known dramatic actors, who saw in it not only artistic merit. But a new way to achieve expression on stage. It was not without reason that she was always perceived as the art and form of body decoration, and the tattoo owners themselves as objects to be admired.
At the end of the XVIII century, the outstanding actor Nakamura Utaemon IV could boast of one of the most beautiful tattoos. Following the example of the actors, fashion for beautiful tattoos gradually began to take hold of some circles of the Japanese aristocracy.
The period at the turn of the XVIII - XIX centuries can be called the golden age of Japanese tattoo. Erected to the rank of exquisite art, it has become a kind of a sign of beauty of the body and a subject for reflection.
A tattoo in Japan has always helped a man to demonstrate true male qualities, testifying to his endurance. But there is also a variety that stands out in this row: women's tattoos are “Kakushi Boro”, performed by rubbing rice powder into the cuts on the body. Japanese women resorted to the services of hori (tattooers) to depict on their delicate skin proof of eternal affection for the beloved. They loved the “negative tattoo” for its special properties: imperceptible to others, the pattern on the body appeared only after drinking, bathing, or during intimacy.
Today, the previously lost tattoo traditions in Japan are gradually returning. This is due to the popularity of the tattoo among the Yakuji - Japanese gangsters, organized in gangs. By making a tattoo for themselves, the yakuji seem to exclude themselves from the normal world and at the same time strengthen the syazi in the criminal gang itself. The difference between “civil” and “criminal” tattoos is significant because of their preference for iconography and the motives of Japanese gambling. And yet, real masters are in the land of the rising sun. Most of them still use bamboo chopsticks with needles attached to them. The originality of the Japanese tattoo, as well as the engravings of the school "ukiyo-e" or the theater "Kabuki", fascinates the Europeans.
Many masters are trying to reproduce in their works the features of the Japanese style: intense, contrasting with each other colors, artificially created asymmetry, thoughtful composition, symbolism of images. But only a few manage to achieve an amazing expression of hori-mono - artistic tattoo of the Land of the Rising Sun.
Polynesian (Polynesian style)
At the beginning of our century, tattooists first turned to tribal tattoo ornaments - this is how the popular language “tribe” appeared today. In all likelihood, the tattoo in Polynesia is as old as its culture itself. The procedure for drawing pictures on the islands of the Pacific Ocean has long since been worshiped as a religious rite. Therefore, only priests could decorate the bodies of tribesmen. The priest artist was universally respected and received valuable gifts for his efforts. A special house was built for him, divided into cabins, in which patients were sometimes delayed for several weeks and even months - until the masterpiece was fully completed. And all this time, prayers and chants were not interrupted around the "shaman's" house. They sang that "the masters of higher beautiful drawings" will make a wonderful tattoo only to those who pay well, and the rest "do not have such beauty forever." The Polynesians used plant thorns, fish or albatross bones, shark teeth, or fragments of seashells to make the pictures.
The abundance and refinement of underwear patterns were considered signs of noble birth, so only leaders and their closest relatives had the right to cover the whole body with patterns. Those who were frightened of a painful rite were awaited by cruel punishment in the next world.
Women also went to suffer for the sake of beauty. “We just have to have several lines on our lips,” beautiful islanders were convinced, “because when we grow old our lips will wrinkle and we will become very ugly.” And indeed, without a pattern in the corners of the mouth of the New Zealand, no one would marry. One of the leaders of the Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand, became rich on the sale to Europeans of the heads of his subjects covered with tattoos.
New Zealand researcher D. Cowan presented Māori as "outstanding face sculptors in the entire history of mankind." “Moco”, in his opinion, was worthy of attention because it was performed with the help of special small chisels that left wounds on the face, and not through the use of impaling techniques, which Maori used to tattoo other parts of the body. In the method of execution of the "Moco" (except for residents of the Marquesas Islands, it was not known to any of the Polynesian tribes), one can see analogies with the technique of wood carving. The signs embodied on the buttocks and thighs of people were most often spiral motifs and other broken lines, which were closely associated with patterns that were widely used in woodcarving. The Polynesians tattooed the whole body, while among the Maori, only certain parts of the body were taken away for tattooing, the prevalence of the tattoo on the skin was limited. In men, the tattoo was made on the face and the area from the waist to the knees, in women - only on the face. However, other Maori women wore Moco men's tattoos. The classic type “Moko” had the following motives:
- spiral patterns on the chin, called pu-kauvae;
- series of parallel rounded lines from chin to nostrils (rerapehi);
- two large enlarged spirals on the cheek (pae-pae);
- spirals on the nose, called rerapi and pongyanga;
- a series of curved lines radiating from the nose, they went above the eyebrows and went down to the ears (tivkhana).
The pattern on the upper part of the forehead was called puhoro, and in the lower part it was titled. The rich ornament "Moko" consisted mainly of a spiral, waves, ribbons and a meander, creating a composition. A characteristic feature of the "Moko" was a symmetrical arrangement of motifs.
In addition to the lower parts of the body, men also tattooed their breasts and wrists, which helped determine the position held in the social hierarchy. It happened that a tattoo was decorated with intimate places and even tongue.
Some researchers of Maori tattoos emphasized the dependence of the degree of diligence in the implementation of "Moko" from the public rank of its owner. The most complex and technically modified tattoos were in persons of high origin. The complete absence of “Moko” on the face deprived a member of the tribe of the rights to perform public functions and in fact reduced him to the position of a slave. Such men were often called papa-tea, which meant “empty face”.
It is thanks to “Moko”, the tattooed design on the face, that this nation became famous all over the world. Once a European artist tried to paint an old Maori. When he finished, everyone was surprised by the similarity of the picture with the original. Only the native himself was dissatisfied: he took the canvas and on the reverse side depicted an ornament: his own “Moko”. “That's how I look,” explained the Polynesian, “and your daub is senseless.”
And, nevertheless, despite the skill that the Polynesian priests achieved, in fact, they remained only skilled craftsmen, bound by the traditional motifs of their people.
Slovenian (Slavic style)
The modern Slavic ethnic style, like the Scythian, is at the stage of formation, but the fact that people are interested in them is not unimportant. 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 him, as repeated attempts were made to verify this in other Slavic regions. At the end of the 10th and 10th centuries, tattoos were found mainly among the population of the Catholic religion. Practically every adult girl or married woman had images of garlands, twigs, ornamental crosses on her chest, shoulders, palms, up to her fingertips, less often on her forehead. Male Catholics tattooed her off to, but went to this procedure much less. Most readily, putting shoulders and forearms under the image of crosses. However, the cross is not the only motive, there were also tattoos in the shape of a heart, a crown, an anchor or initials, which indicated the secular origin of their carrier. The Catholic population of Serbia and Herzegovina at the end of the last century had tattoos as often as the pectoral cross itself. And this priest was encouraged by Catholic priests who wanted to prevent the parishioners from converting to Islam. After all, Bosnia in those days was a province of the Ottoman Empire, and most of the population adopted the religion and language of the Turks. Only the non-erasable cross on the body, forbidden in Islam as a symbol of Christianity, kept the Bosnians in the bosom of the Catholic Church.
The fashion for tattooing among the European aristocracy was introduced by Edward VII, at a time when he was still the crown prince of Wales. While on an unofficial visit to Japan, he visited the famous tattoo artist Hori Chiyo to put a dragon on his royal personage, a symbol of faith and power.
As soon as the sensation became known, it was followed by princes, lords, secular ladies and the nouveau riches who did not want to fall behind. Among those who did not escape this tattoo epidemic were the Russian grand dukes Alexei and Konstantin, the Austrian archdukes, the royal couple of Greece, the king of Denmark, Sweden, and Norway.
Among the fans of the tattoo was the last Russian emperor Nicholas II. During a trip to the East, he did several tattoos for himself and most of all conquered his spouse with the fact that he applied her name, Sasha. Even the mother of the future premiere of Winston Churchill, Lady Randolph Churchill, could not resist making a narrow bracelet on her wrist.
Cyber (cyber - style)
In our years, along with the flourishing of ethnic motifs, new -directions, such as “cybernetic” (cyber), which are a close fusion of the natural and the artificial, alive and not alive, appear more and more clearly: sketches of human joints with mechanical connections, ornaments made of microcircuits, computer characters of fantastic TV series, other space and mystical motifs inspired by the man-made XXI century and psychotropic drugs, urban ideas.
A direct successor of the decorative art direction in the tattoo, this style was born in the late 70s of the twentieth century. Most likely, the tattoo artists themselves, engaged in innovations in bodimodification, and cyber-punks suffering from chemical dependence, were the flagships of "cyber". Certainly, the images for the characters from modern futuristic films (“Creature”, “Alien”, etc.) served as a prototype for “living canvases”. Stylized ornamental plots of ethnic trends became another symbol of cyber-accessory. Mechanical articulations, ornaments of computer signs, Giger canvases, stylization of body parts under mechanical devices, urban plots and simply sets of geometric shapes. Monochrome painted hands (each - in its own color) - all this can be safely attributed to the cybernetic style. In contrast to the “classics”, from which, according to the cybers, mothballs just blows already, the quality and idea of the image and here is entirely dependent on the master. The client is simply unable to convey what he wants to capture on his body. But he knows for sure: he will be valuable to his descendants only by being the carrier 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 - statues, symbols of fertility, painted with ornaments. These simple patterns are based on cruciform and rhombic figures, spirals, dots and commas. This partly repeats the features of ethnic style. The western part of the Slavic population drew inspiration from another source - in Orthodox manuscripts and books, also framed with a kind of border of sophisticated graphics. So they laid, apparently, the beginning of this type of tattoo.
The Russian style has just started to make its way, being distinguished by a mixture of motifs of Russian fairy tales, Palekh, Gzhel, stylized book graphics of Bilibin and the Vasnetsov brothers. Recently, in the catalogs of Russian tattoo salons appear plots inspired by the epic epic of the artist Vasiliev. How big the error is when transferring the pattern to the body is another question, but one thing that is important is that we are trying to delve into our own, and not someone else's story.
As if strung on an Old Slavic rod, this style has not even gained a definitive name; tattooists still argue to be called Russian or Russian. However, as well as the art 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 XIX century, characteristic of Slavic epic folklore. But since a negative interpretation from the “healthy” half of society is inevitable, it is obvious that no one will look for special historical roots here, but, most likely, will highlight the criminal criminal background. However, while this did not happen. And we still have a chance to find supporters of a new direction, especially valuable for patriotically-minded groups.
Modern has learned a lot in the art of Japanese prints, which is the basis of modern Japanese tattoos. From here more compromise decisions in drawing.