RU  UK  EN
Articles  >  Imagine  >  Art of Tattoo: Mesmerizing Magic of On-body Drawings

Art of Tattoo: Mesmerizing Magic of On-body Drawings

30.11.2016 | art
Coin jar of history of this art accounts for about 6 thousand years. Notably, this currently popular trade owes its emergence to happenstance... A prehistoric man once noticed that after any natural colorant had gotten into a place of a burn or a cut, very lasting drawings stayed on skin. From that moment on people began inflicting slight damage to themselves in order to decorate own bodies with ornamentation and stand out among others. Researchers discovered the oldest samples of tattoos during excavations of sacred Egyptian pyramids.

Nowadays tattoos come laden with less and less meaning being merely a trendy feature. One can frequently hear a phrase: “Want to get a tattoo but can figure out where and what kind”. But approach to such an important deed hasn’t always been so light-hearted…

Starting with times of prehistoric people drawings depicted mindset of a person. While uniting into tribes everybody tried to demonstrate belonging to a certain social group. And tattoo performed this function perfectly. Besides, certain patterns were invested with magic virtues and served as disguise during hunting. The art didn’t lose its popularity in times of totemism when tribes believed in magic powers of a certain spirit-ancestor that protected them during their entire lives. Its picture or name was inked on bodies: thus a guardian was always being near a person. Some peoples even used tattoos as some sort of method of secret correspondence: for that a necessary message was inked on a shaved head of a captive or a slave and later, when his hair would grow back to securely hide text of a letter, he was send to a destination point.

Not just images and its placement but also colors were of huge significance. For instance in Dayak tribes from Borneo they were sure that in heaven everything light becomes dark and vice versa. With this in mind it was customary to make tattoos in dark colors and shades exclusively. It was believed that after death they would turn light to shed it on the road to paradise. On-body pictures were used as punishment, too: in ancient China they marked military prisoners and slaves using tatted images on faces to make it much harder for them to escape and much easier to be identified. Tattoos were used for the same purpose by ancient Greeks and Romans.

Geographical spread of this art strikes imagination: almost every white-skinned people have covered their bodies with tattoos while dark-skinned ones replaced it with scarification. The culture reached the summit of its heyday in Japan. Tattoos enjoyed crazy popularity there among geishas who managed to bypass nudity ban with the use of them. Multicolored patterns on skin seemed like imitation of clothes. Only face, palms and feet remained non-tattooed. More to that, those were Japanese experts who first started to draw 3-D images: instead of flat shapes they began inking exceptionally realistic pictures. The art also enjoyed great popularity in the Land of the Rising Sun among members of Yakuza mafia and other criminals. In Africa tattoos were popular among representatives of both sterner and gentler sex. In numerous tribes they made cuts in skin to rub it with resin. It was customary for women to wear tattoos that pointed to their social and marital status. Male on-body pictures normally characterized their holders as brave warriors and skilled hunter.

Culture of painting bodies was brought to Europe by James Cook in 18th century. Or more precisely he brought a Polynesian fully covered in pictures. But it was since than when tattoos started gaining popularity in this part of the world. Another version exists saying that tattoos came to Europe from Australian Samoa Island, where they are till present days believed to be an attribute of high social rank of a person.

Extremely important moment in the history of tattoo is 1891 when an American Samuel O’Reilly invented electric inking device to replace previously used self-made tools and instruments. Entire Europe and America were flashing standard selection of pictures on their bodies before, but in 1950s-1960s new era in the art began. With consideration of global traditions (Polynesia, Far East, American Indians), new body painting experts began experimenting boldly. New schools, styles, methods and currents emerged. Tattoo application techniques broadened their abilities significantly. Idols of youngsters of those times began coming to salons with increasing frequency so fans followed their lead. The industry got mighty momentum. Starting with 1976, when the first festival of adherers of this culture (tattoo convention) took place in New York, such events have been held in many cities of both the Old and the New World several times a year. They determine and award winners in various nominations turning each fest of this kind into a bright artistic event.

It will be interesting:
SERGEI POLUNIN: BALLET, INTRIGUE, PROVOCATION
Ballet dancer Sergei Polunin, a native of Kherson, Ukraine, by chance enters the British Royal Ballet in London. He achieves a raving success, then disappears from view, and subsequently gains even greater public love. Today OUTLOOK continues the series of articles about successful Ukrainians!
Eastern music of Sufi: Qawali
‘Love evolves when one looks in the eyes of the person beloved seeing there God’, in such a way the lines of some Arabian song called Qawali is translated. The authorship of this chant is ascribed to Eastern strangers Sufi who tending to find the sense of existence strolled around the half an Earth bare-footed. In the travels they composed songs where they told narration describing what they had to endure.
THORNY PATH OF FLOWER
Traditional Japanese kabuki theatre has always been a mystery to the European mentality: only an expert on the culture of the Land of the Rising Sun can understand a play without guide’s tips.
THE GHOST BRUSH OF MISS HOKUSAI
The eccentric elder Katsushika Hokusai was the real star of the Edo period, the creative genius and the brutal debtor of the half of his city. He used at least 30 names, changed 93 houses and created a lot of prints, drawings and paintings. His internationally recognized print The Great Wave off Kanagawa is mesmerizing. But only a few people know that this block printing, as well as many other works, was created by Hokusai with assistance of his daughter - artist Katsushika Ōi, lost in time and overshadowed by her genius father crazy about art.
In Kyiv open the exhibition and mural by the author KLONE
KLONE is artist who was born in Ukraine. He left country when he was eleven years old. That is why he pays a special credit to the opportunity to present his exhibition in Ukraine and color mural. We were able to take an exclusive interview from the mysterious master who accurately hides even his true name from the world.
Belgian Lace: Waltz of a Thousand Threads
At the sight of Flemish lacework it is hard to shake the feeling that miraculous flowers, artfully braided into a wreath of a pattern, were born from loose sparks that had escaped a magic wand. On the inside of the beauty there are efforts and days of jetsam girls, stolen from life by labyrinth of openwork loops. Having compelled self-will of the thread to a dream about heaven, promised for humility, skills defied despair and need – to secure victory.
In Kyiv under the support of Embassy of Australia the exhibition ‘Artists-Ambassadors. Ukrainian Australiana’ has been opened
In the course of program of 2017 in honour of the 25-th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Australia and Ukraine as well as celebration of settlement of Ukrainians in Australia in Kyiv the exhibition ‘Artists-Ambassadors. Ukrainian Australiana’ has been opened.
The magnificent world of land-art: Patrick Dougherti
Land-art is not simply the landscape design but also the whole direction in art which in thee 21-st century considered one of the most important when only lazy people do not speak about the ‘green technologies’ and environment. The names of stars of such an activity have sturdily come into the speech of the tutors, critics, and connoisseurs, especially they outline Patrick Dougherti with his unbelievable works.
WHERE TO GO? TOP FIVE OF THE MOST INTERESTING MUSEUMS OF MODERN ART IN EUROPE
Françoise Barbe-Gall teaches how to talk to children about art. She gives practical advices in her books, teaches to see things invisible to many people, to notice details and forget about labels. But we have to admit that among adults there are very few people who can boast with expertise in this area. If you want to change this order of things, today we offer you to go with us to the museums. Yes, it's a good idea, since we have chosen the best.
A jewelry approach to perfection
Behind the window sad eyes of old man peered at Petrograd engulfed by revolutionary fire. This fire spread on his life's work: a proud four-story building was invaded by noisy commissioners and sailors, whose presence seemed a cruel joke after regular customers. Workshop owner Carl Gustavovich Fabergé, apparently, noticed in this chaos approaching decay of his career. However, he could have a secret gleam of hope for another life of his heritage. If only he knew that it would come true, maestro would hardly have lost his spiritual strength...
The Embassy of Turkey opened in Kyiv the exhibition ‘Water drawing. The sophisticated art ebru’
The Embassy of Turkey in Ukraine and personally Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Yonet J. Tezel opened in National museum named after Taras Shevchenko exhibition ‘Drawing on the water. The sophisticated art ebru’ by the painter Hikmet Barutchugil.
The Embassy of Egypt in collaboration with Picasso East Art Gallery and Museum of history of Kyiv will open the exhibition of Egyptian art
On the 4-th of April in Museum of history of Kyiv the exhibition project of the modern visual art Egyptian Vision is about to open. For the first time in Kyiv the works of selected collection will be represented, particularly, nearly forty pictures of famous Egyptian masters among whom there are Munir Escander, Gergis Lotfi, Gamil Shafik, Hasan Abd Elfatah, Aayed Saad Eddin, Karim Abd El Malak, Hasan Rashed, etc.
Hayley King and her pictures: New Zealand on the border of beauty-new
The artist from New Zealand Hayley King working under the brand FLOX is well-known all over the world for the fascinating pictures showing the enlightened beauty of wild nature. Her colorful birds, picturesque landscapes, and fairy-tale-like animals remind us about the necessity to get united with the primordial nature. Hayley King creates the type of art giving inspiration and vitality. She is concentrated onto recognition of ancient heritage of the sacral places and making it spread among the wide publics. In the interview the artist told us about her social projects, travels and the modern cultural trends inherent to New Zealand.
"AN HOUR BEFORE" ballet
OUTLOOK is proceeding with publishing series of articles "An Hour Before" and specially for World Dance Day snuck behind the scenes of National Opera of Ukrainek! What happens off-stage while guests are taking their seats in the hall? How are ballet dancer getting ready? We also were interested to follow all those steps...
BRAND HISTORY. SUKHISHVILI GEORGIAN NATIONAL BALLET: CONQUERED SUMMITS OF SMALL GEORGIAN DREAM
Iliko, who devoted all his life to dancing, actually bequeathed to his descendants to do everything possible for his family name remained on posters forever. 70 years later, millions of people in hundreds of countries are buying tickets where in different languages, without translation one can easily read the name of Sukhishvili.
Artaud theatre: life is imitation of art
The power of gestures burns the text to ashes, sound deafens and takes to the abyss from which all of us come and where we return upon the accomplishment of a short time period called as the life. Attending the Theatre of Cruelty, a human appears in the centre of performance as there are everything we are hiding from in the everyday routine, particularly, freedom and isolation, life on the border, merging with the crows till self is lost and lonely residing at the top. The drama of being involves in its mineral resources, the echo of tragedy overwhelms publics and spectator without noticing it appears in the trap of the own perception. That is about the so-called ‘Theatre of Cruelty’ (theatre de cruaute), the child of French playwright and director, eccentric and shocking Antonen Artaud.
WITH THE SUPPORT OF THE AUSTRALIAN EMBASSY, AN EXHIBITION OF AUSTRALIAN ABORIGINAL ART OPENED IN KIEV
The Australian Embassy in Ukraine and personally Australian Chargé d'Affaires Bruce Edwards presented in Kiev gallery Triptych: Global Arts Workshop, an exhibition featuring outstanding artworks from some of the finest Australian Indigenous artists of the twentieth century Old Masters: Australia's Great Bark Artists
THE MINISTRY OF THE FOREIGN AFFAIRS OF UKRAINE HOSTED A PHOTO EXHIBITION DEDICATED TO THE 25TH ANNIVERSARY OF ESTABLISHMENT OF DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS BETWEEN UKRAINE AND THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA
On January 12, in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Ukraine took place the opening ceremony of a photo exhibition on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of establishment of diplomatic relations between Ukraine and the People's Republic of China.
ART OF TOPIARY
When I, as a little girl, for the first time passed my hand over trimmed bush, my palm got scratched with sharp edges of twigs and lasting arborvitae fragrance hit my nose. Mesmerized, I was not able to take my eyes away from the cones, balls and squares that surrounded me in the park of a small resort town. I felt like being inside a fairy tale, where behind the leaves I could notice a smile of the Cheshire Cat.
Handicraft: persian rugs
In those days when the Persian soldiers were second to none, and both the Roman Empire and the Arabian Peninsula were conquered by their power, skilful fingers of winner nation craftswomen created their first masterpiece. The carpet called The Springtime passed into history as the most precious of all time. It symbolized powerful rule of the Persians, and its beauty told about the divine origin of the king Khosrow I.
Close
Outlook facebook page