Knots, keys, insects, and magic numbers: the work of Toulouse-based Guy le Tatooer is full of secrets. Too studied and obsessive to be dismissed as a meaningless †Δbleau of woo-woo symbols, Tatooer’s work radiates power, magic and history. The style seems to be inspired by retro tattoos (especially, it seems, this image of Maude Wagner, a circus performer who became first female tattoo artist in the United States, and her partner, legendary tattooist Charlie Wagner) as well as the anatomical drawings of Ernst Haeckel, traditional Mehndi patterns, a page or two from Histoire de la Magie, and much more.
Guy le Tatooer’s work was recently exhibited at the Gimpel & Muller gallery in Paris. For the exhibition, le Tatooer created silicone casts of his arm and tattooed them using the traditional electric system method. The tattooed arms were displayed in glass-covered, velvet-lined boxes with ornate carved frames, resembling fancy display cases for pressed butterflies.
Recently, Berlin-based tattoo arts collective AKA released a pack of temporary tattoos that includes an extra-weird design by Guy le Tatooer, as well as pieces by several other talented tattoo artists. More images of le Tatooer’s work, and a video, after the jump!