As demonstrated by our borderline obsession with the man who tattooed himself with his son's doodles, I think it's safe to say that mainstream culture is finally catching on that tattoos can be wonderfully meaningful, visually stunning pieces of art. ("Duh," says anyone who has ever gotten a tattoo.) Another tattoo phenomenon that comes out of London is every bit as personal as the tatted up dad: The artists at Expanded Eye are using Cubist tattoos to depict people's personal stories, and the results are really impressive. Jade Tomlinson and Kev James, the artists behind the trend, have revived the art of Cubist tattoos from the 20th century, and say that their goal is to help illustrate their clients' personal stories so that they "evolve organically into a contemporary piece of art." Fortunately, the tattoos look cool enough to hold up such a lofty description.
They first craft the tattoos into dynamic and often complicated drawings that have significant meaning to the individual, at which point they then transfer it to the client's skin. It's the client who specifies where on their body the tattoo will go, which gives the artists a unique framework to tell each story: Some tattoos are inked on inner arms or legs, and others are on chests or on certain areas of the back, all of them using the space as a breathing canvas for their art. In the photos that they've posted on their Facebook and Instagram pages, they give little to no explanation behind the stories that inspired the tattoos, leaving a lot of it up to the viewer's interpretation:
Because they're based in London, I'm going to go ahead and add this to the extensive list of "reasons I am disappointed I am not British today." For more of their designs and availability for those of you who are actually within range, check out their website, where they also feature their installation, exhibition, and street art, all with the same geometric and edgy style as the tattoos.