Thursday December 13, 2018

Myriad shades of body art!

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By Meghna Nair

While sailing through the impressionable stages of life, we come across many ideas which become symbolic to our identity. We try to shape this thought through many channels. Some breathe life into such ideas through ink, and one such form is BODY ART.

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These days, it is increasingly becoming a fad. An increasing number of people are now getting inked and every tattoo has a story behind it. For some, it is reinforcing their own identity, like wearing your true self on your body, whereas for others the reason could be as simple and superficial as fashion because tattoos any day paint a pretty picture.

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Irrespective of the reason, the process of getting inked is not pleasant. Despite this, the number of people getting inked is constantly rising.

“Needles are painful and some people prefer pain. It is a sadomasochistic rush. The same reason why people like bondage, sadism and masochism- it is a release,” says Akash Shukla, a PRINT journalist from Lucknow.

Bracing pain and overcoming your fears can, at times, make you feel invincible. Some people are afraid of needles and the pain associated with it. Getting a tattoo can have a cathartic effect on some. Some people have an affinity for symbols. They hold certain symbols close to their hearts and these symbols have a profound meaning for them. For some, it could be a five-point star, for others it could be a gun, and for some others it could be a dove. Whatever it may be, there would be some strong leanings behind it.

“I lived all my life in Kolkata and have never moved out even once. So when I left home for Delhi, owning up to all my responsibilities also gave me a sense of freedom. All our lives we aim to be free. This was my first step to freedom and that is why I chose to get inked,” says Roshni Chakrabarty, who has got ‘freedom’ inked on her wrist.

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People also get inked to make a statement; to stand apart from the rest of the society. Sometimes, it is because they don’t feel they fit in and neither do they feel any necessity for it. The society sees it as a sign of rebellion, whereas the person sees it as a sign of liberation-being in harmony with one’s true self. The best example of this can be bikers and wrestlers.

On the other hand, tattoos have a rich cultural significance in India. An essay titled “A Tale of Tattoosby Mark Hawthorne on Hinduism Today says tattoos are seen as “another step towards spiritual development.” In the essay, he states “Anthropologists believe tattoos are a part of the evolution of a tradition that views the voluntary endurance of pain as a way to tap into a primal urge for meaning and belonging. And sacred symbols, from cave paintings to mandalas, are as old as the struggle to understand our world.”

In Northern India, one can see many people who have tattooed names on their forearms. Generally people have their own names tattooed on their forearms. Written in Devnagari script, the names inked on their skins would provide reinstatement of the identity to that person. Sometimes people also choose to get the names of their beloved inked on their skins.

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Getting a name inked on the forearm is not restricted to the ancient times alone. David Beckham who has a big tattoo of his wife Victoria’s name inked on his forearm has inspired many others to make a beeline for the same trend. Saif Ali Khan caused quite a buzz in the media for branding a forearm name tattoo of his lady love Kareena Kapoor Khan.

Deepika Padukone, also known for the RK tattoo on the nape of her neck, is one of the celebrities who have followed the trend of getting the initials/name of their beloved ones inked on their skin.

Getting inked is no longer a mere fashion statement. For some people, it could be superficial or a fetish which one can get over with, but for others, it carries a profound meaning which echoes in their personality or what they want to achieve in life. Like art, it can transcend boundaries of reason and cross over to spiritual realm; relevance and meaning to the significance of body art is open-ended and subjective, waiting to be deciphered.

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Upscale Tattoo Parlors Around The World

In Orlando, Florida, the Brazilian-based Tattoo You has grown considerably notable in the tattoo world thanks to artist Felipe “Fe Rod” Rodrigues

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Here's an article on "Upscale Tattoo Parlors Around The World".

In the 2000s, a different breed of tattoo shops opened. These were more upscale and a lot more attractive to celebrities and to people willing to drop a big chunk of change for a gorgeous piece of body art. The tattoo has become modern and these artists with their shops opened up in areas that stand out. Around the world, specialized artists with their global recognition has made their mark (not pun intended) with these incredible, fancy parlors.

Asia

British artist Rob Kelly moved to Hong Kong in the 1990s and opened his Black Out Tattoo shop in 2010. Kelly’s reputation as an artist intent on raising the standards of body art is well-known and his Sheung Wan-based shop is a clean, hip place for fresh bodily art. In Tahiti, an area where the natives pride themselves on tattoos as part of their ritual, Mana’o Tattoo Studio is acclaimed for their realistic work depicting Polynesian-style artwork. In Tokyo, where Japanese tattoos also have had a long history, Honey Tattoo uses traditional techniques for expansive bodily work.

Europe

Tattoo artist Angelique Houtkamp is based in Amsterdam’s Salon Serpent, a part-body ink, part-art shop near the Rijksmuseum and the Van Gogh Museum. One of Ms. Houtkamp’s known talents is tattooing realistic nipples for those who have had a breast removed following cancer. Another tattoo studio and café of notice is AKA Berlin from artist Peter Aurisch and others who have developed a minimalist technique to their work; they also sell their designs on t-shirts that sell quite a lot. And, in Liege, Belgium, Calypso Tattoo has been the top center in the country for tattoos.

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The tattoo has become modern and these artists with their shops opened up in areas that stand out. Pixabay

North America

Black Line Studio tattoo parlour in Toronto has become a big centre for work thanks to the growing clientele that has included numerous celebrities such as Johnny Depp and Justin Bieber. On the Lower East Side of New York, Bang Bang is a shop where it is so popular, there is a waiting list and also has collected a notable list of celebrities putting down thousands of dollars for work by artist Keith McCurdy including Miley Cyrus and Rihanna. In Orlando, Florida, the Brazilian-based Tattoo You has grown considerably notable in the tattoo world thanks to artist Felipe “Fe Rod” Rodrigues.

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This last place is not in one singular spot, but an exhibition that appears all over the world from Los Angeles to London. New York artist Scott Campbell’s Whole Glory features a simple premise: customers stick their arm in a hole in the wall (a glory hole, if you flip the words around) and pull it out when the tattoo is completely finished with whatever design is there. It is a creative idea that adds to the experience of getting permanent ink on the arm. The parlors mentioned above take the process to a new level with eye popping designs and settings not like any other tattoo piercing parlor.