Realistic Trash Polka

Written by Fox on . Posted in blog

For some time now I’ve seen a new style in tattooing, a style that reminded me of the punk rock days, old school graffiti and the former Eastern block’s color pallet. A style that creates a perfect mix between grunge graphic elements, realistic portraits and typography. This was something amazing, that I’ve never seen before, after a little research the name Realistic Trash Polka came up.

This type of artwork reminisces of a World War II propaganda poster combined with a gruesome obituary, all put together in a collage surrounded by vintage and modern filigree and paint brush strokes. I’ve seen influences of this style in a few portfolios from artists in east and central Europe, and it really caught my eye.

Taking the research a bit further, a tattoo parlor named Buena Vista Tattoo Club came up many times. Buena Vista Tattoo Club is a german studio based in Würzburg. That’s when I discovered the founding fathers of this unique style were tattoo artists Volko Merschky and Simone Pfaff. As an artist Volko studied  interior design and Simone studied graphic design, they also did photography. Together they developed this new style containing halftones, color overlay, brush strokes, stains and vintage fonts that seem to come from an old typewriter in a black and white plus one color palette are the elements surrounding stunning realistic skulls and portraits, usually displayed on large skin portions.

In their shop you have two opportunities, the first is to give them total freedom to create the art freehand, but  as a customer you can also give a certain theme, maybe some keywords in combination with a song, poem or a quote. Out of this, the design will be created by these two artists from their understanding of the theme. By doing it this way, they can develop their own style and create completely unique designs that are sure to be one of a kind.

Working with moods, it’s more an abstract way of working, but that kind of input lets them give their best with your idea. Telling them exactly what you want in the design, that’s not how they work.

They also started a band together called, Dobbs Dead. As with Volko and Simone’s art, the debut Dobbs Dead album may not be for everyone. Much like ABBA and many other European bands that choose to perform in the English language. Haunting, heartfelt and dramatically understated because there are no drums, no bass, the sole power of the album comes from the poetic and lyrical capability. Feel free to check it out, as you may come to get your head around what they are trying to achieve. After all that’s how they Realistic Trash Polka reached the surface, through customers who were open minded enough.

Here are some of the coolest designs from these two amazing artists. Also you can always check out more of their artwork and music on the Buena Vista Tattoo Club official page.

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

   

Well, the tattoo designs we create don’t fit into any known or common styles, so we made up our minds to think of a term that would describe it best. We came up with Realistic Trash Polka because all in all, it’s a mixture of realistic elements combined with abstract or sometimes, graphic parts which represent the ‘trash’ part of the phrase. While this may be an unusual combination, it’s familiar from music, as a polka. So, the term polka comes from our inspiration from the music – especially from our own music and songwriting. Basically, Realistic Trash Polka is all of those things combined with what happens when we come together to create. It’s simply the two of us, our name, our brand and our style.

― Volko Merschky

 

Tattoo fact

Written by Fox on . Posted in blog

Tommy Lee of Mötley Crüe holds the record for highest altitude tattoo, having been inked at 45,000 feet in 2008.

Mario Barth of Starlight Tattoo gave the Mötley Crüe drummer a black and gray tattoo of a peacock on his right thigh, as they flew from Burbank to Miami in a private Gulfstream jet. The tattoo was said to cost $150,000 dollars.

This stunt landed Lee and Barth in the Guinness Book of World Records for “First-Ever to Perform a Tattoo in High Altitude.”

 

Gang tattoos: Skinheads

Written by Fox on . Posted in blog

Skinheads

  Skinheads are members of a subculture that originated among working class youths in the United Kingdom in the 60′s, and then spread to other parts of the world. The term skinhead comes from  their close-cropped or shaven heads.

The first skinheads were influenced by West Indian (specifically Jamaican) rude boys and British mods, in terms of fashion, music and lifestyle. Thus the original skinhead subculture was based on those elements, not politics and race.

In time, however, things have changed and attitude towards race and politics have become factors by which more and more skinhead gangs form themselves.

Though there are two kinds of skinheads, racist and non-racist, most people are unaware that most skinheads you will ever see are actually a part of the non-racist fraction. The image of the Non-Racist Skinheads was pretty much irreparably busted when the National Front in England started to enlist the more rowdy of the skinheads and the ones that were latently racist.

Skinheads are visually identified by their short hair and unique clothing styles. Fashion-wise, skinheads range from a clean-cut 1960s mod-influenced style to less-strict punk- and hardcore-influenced styles.

Tattoos on the other hand have been popular in the skinhead subculture since at least the 1970s revival. In 1980s Britain, dedicated skinheads had tattoos on their faces and foreheads, today this practice is not so popular and is mostly observed only with the incarcerated members of this culture.

The tattoos sported depend on the skinhead. The apolitical and non-racist skinheads tend to have tattoos that involve certain symbols common to the scene, like a laurel wreath that comes from the Fred Perry logo,national flags, anti-racist logos and drawings, Doc Marten-style boots, skinhead girls, brass knuckles, the logo for the Trojan record label, or the popular crucified skinhead. The crucified skinhead is symbolizing the damage done by the media pushing the idea of skins as racist thugs. But also, skins will get whatever appeals to them as individuals. Band logos, their children’s names, sacred hearts, hotrods, pin-ups and so on.

  A significant part of racist skinhead subculture is their dress and appearance. Racist skinheads typically shave their heads, much less common practice with the skinhead girls. Often wearing skinhead-related garb such as suspenders and work boots, symbolizing their working class inheritance.

They also tattoo themselves heavily with white supremacy and Nazi symbols. Some of the more popular skinhead tattoo designs are:

  • SS lightning bolts,
  • The Odin rune,
  • The Odin cross: this symbol has been used mostly by the KKK and Skinheads,
  • The Sun rune also known as Sol: often worn by Skinheads as an elbow web tattoo,
  • Crucified skinhead: symbolize the crucifixion of the working class,
  • The White Power Fist and the “Skin” Fist: symbolizes skinhead aggression,
  • Triskele: used to state white supremacy, association with the swastika and Nazi Germany,
  • 14/88: 14 stands for the “14 words” slogan(“We must secure the existence of our people and a future for white children.”) and 88 means “Heil Hitler,” as H is the eighth letter of the alphabet.
  • Swastika: a very popular design with the Neo-Nazi.
  • Group or movement, logos and titles.

      

      

      

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