When you think of Italy's incredible artists, a tattoo artist might not be the first thing that comes to mind, but the photos below may elicit a similar reaction as some of Italy's more well-known art: awesome. Scroll down for information on booking Alex's services and to read his "bio and thoughts".
Information on booking Alex
Alex doesn't schedule appointments, but puts clients on a waiting list, which is currently about a year out. But if you're traveling to Italy and want to see him, let him know your dates as soon as possible and he'll try to accommodate your schedule. Or, if you just want to see his work and won't be near Grado, where he's based, check the schedule on his website to see whether you can cross paths in another Italian city or a Tattoo Expo. You can contact him at email@example.com or follow him on his Facebook page.
Biography and Thoughts, by Alex De Pase
My name is Alex De Pase, and I graduated in 1975. I started teaching myself to tattoo at age 15 and since then have never stopped trying to improve, both technically and artistically. In 1997 I opened my first tattoo studio. After the first few years I saw such an increase in work that I moved to a larger studio with more equipment. From the very beginning, I’ve studied drawing, painting and art in general, and I’ve continued to research and understand the fundamentals of tattooing.
For a long time I tattooed every type and style of image, but finally decided to focus on realism. I think that realism is actually the point of departure for every artist. Until an artist can really see all the detail that our already-perfect reality offers, he can’t take the next step, which is to reinterpret that reality according to his own preferences.
I love realism because the goal is to perfectly examine and reproduce details, light, and depth. To me, one of the most fascinating things about realism is that even though it might seem like a mere reproduction of something that already exists, it’s actually much more than that. I don’t agree that creating art based on realism is solely technique. The artist must master a very complex technique, but must also have sensitivity, be able to apply his own interpretation, and have the capacity to perceive color, detail, and atmosphere, among other things. Every artist’s outlook and views are expressed with the reproduction of images, and give a certain atmosphere to each tattoo.
The more interested someone is in his surroundings, the more he is able to internalize and gather the essence of things. The consequence of this is better results. For this reason every realist artist feels a huge amount of gratification at the end of every piece of work, but it's a fleeting gratification, because very soon afterwards, in the artist's eyes, this same work of art is old and therefore could be improved. If an artist doesn’t feel this way, it doesn’t mean he’s reached his peak; more likely he’s stopped thinking.
Therefore, for me and for many artists in this area, it’s a race without end in that I realize that even a “perfect” reproduction will never be as beautiful as reality, at least for the moment….
Tattooing is extremely fascinating precisely because it’s a real art form in which one can express themselves 360 degrees, just as through painting. I think what is missing in tattooing right now is the freedom to unchain oneself from the icons, the styles and the subject matters which for years have characterized the art but don’t necessarily belong to the artist's culture.
All photos by Alex De Pase
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