Gorilla Head

My personal taste for tattoos can be summarized by the following thread on Last Sparrow Tattoo, paraphrased here:

“I recently came out as an atheist. I wanted to make a symbol that showed the positive side of my beliefs and the beauty of a finite life.”
 — Original Post
“I vote for a Jesus head with a dagger through it.”
 — Another Guy
Bold, as many people on the Internet will tell you, will hold.

I love the negative space of a well-planned sleeve. If you can’t recognize a tattoo from 10 feet away, it’s not worth getting. Negative space is a huge aid in this.

Todd Noble
Stuart Cripwell

I think about starting a leg sleeve pretty often. Being that I am Chinese and an obvious person, I think it’d be awesome to decorate my legs with a depiction of the zodiac race. Being that I am American, it’d also be awesome to get an American Traditional interpretation of these creatures.

I don’t know much about American Trad as a craft and an art, but I love the simple meanings behind traditional symbols.

This is the first in a twelve-part series in which I post pictures of and make creepy comments of the animal expertise of tattoo artists I admire.

Let’s start with this year’s zodiac animal: the monkey. Interpreted in the American traditional style?

The fierce gorilla head. Greggletron, at Scapegoat Tattoo in Portland, has an intense, colorful, surreal, almost grotesque style. The example above is a pretty conservative version of the stuff he does. Put a dagger through the head, and pop out the eyeballs with blood spurting out; that seems to be more his thing.

Chad Koeplinger, the world traveller, seems to favor the good ‘ol gorilla head. I love his tattoos inspired by Southeast Asian tattooing, including this version of the gorilla. Bold, mystical, colorful, fast, Asian influenced — this guy is great.

Closer to home, Dan Santoro at Smith Street Tattoo Parlor in Brooklyn does it thick and traditional, including this King Kong. All the tattooers at that shop are traditional masters and “dope as fuk”. This is most likely the place I’ll go when I get started (maybe) this year.


This post was inspired by continuous, dorky lurking on the Last Sparrow Tattoo forums. 😬
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