photo: Georg Schober
A tattoo is an irreversible act bound to a body and a life, and who better to remind us of this than Berlin-based tattoo artist Valentin Hirsch? It’s not easy to establish yourself as a tattoo artist these days, especially with the new wave of styles, technique and talent the past few years have brought us. Hirsch found his niche in the form of haunting animal motifs, geometry and avant-garde collages, all brought to life with beautifully refined dot work and clean lines. 2010 marked the transition from illustrations on paper to skin, and this change in medium acted as the distinctive turning point in the artistic development of Hirsch’s work, which resulted in tattoos drawn with disturbing symmetry and abstraction. His first monographic book SYMMETRIES highlights the transition from drawing to tattooing as an inevitable next step in his evolution as an artist, which is defined by consistency and reinvention in equal measure, with an essay by Gunter Damisch and an interview with the artist by Uta Grosenick. Click on to see more of his designs and find out how you can get a copy. On Saturday, June 27, 2015 Valentin is celebrating the release of the book together with iGnant.
Some harrowing some calm, Hirsch’s designs come from many different sources of inspiration. (A personal favorite is his realization of Kafka’s Metamorphosis, a story in which the protagonist wakes to find himself transformed into an insect-like creature.) Dot for dot, Hirsch constructs his monstrously graceful creations with geometry, beasts and shockingly comely skulls which form their own entity as they sprawl into one another. Organic, life-like lines meet sharply edged boundaries to create an inimitable style that makes Valentin Hirsch’s work extraordinary. In early 2015, Hirsch and his team began crowdfunding SYMMETRIES, a 200-page book of tattoos, drawings and etchings that give insight to the artwork Hirsch was dedicated to during his time in Vienna. The book uses a minimalist design to present a gallery of Hirsch’s work, drawing a connection between tattooing and fine art. The crowdfunding campaign was a huge success, putting SYMMETRIES into publication. You can get your own copy along with etchings, stickers, screen prints and more starting June 12th, 2015.