Tag Archives: Aloha Tattoos

INK CELEBRATIONS

Nowadays, with all these business closing down due to bad economic situation (I hate abusing of the word crisis), it is really a great pleasure being able to join the celebration of the 13th and 5th anniversaries of my two favorite tattoo studios in Barcelona, Aloha Tattoos and Barcelona Electric Tattoo.

electric tattoo

The quality of many of the artists working there is outstanding and their work worldwide renowned, as they are constantly on the move, attending conventions and working as guests at other studios: El Monga, Javi Castaño, El Carlo, Tai Iglesias…I’m very proud of getting inked myself by Alvaro Llorar and Rotor myself. Those who are into this world can feel very lucky to have such great artists so close at hand.

david tejero

Parties were held last week and both were a blast. Probably the first one, Aloha’s at Nervermind was wilder, because expectations weren’t so high and took us by surprise. Contests, very cool decorated walls, gifts, free tattoos, Black Thunders live performance…and Toi volunteering as a beer drinking contender. Of course I didn’t win, and didn’t aim to, but it was insane and I had a laugh. And got wasted.

On Saturday, the party took place at BeGood. There was still a trace of the previous party so everybody took it easier, but the live performances, including a mini burlesque show, really cheered us all up. I flipped with Tort especially, with their new singer and guitar player. The show was impressive.

tort

What I particularly enjoyed was the comradeship among the artists, who attended each other parties, and the community of tattooists from other cities in Spain who joined the celebration. It was very interesting to know other people, their working style, and the humility to admire others’ work. I felt observe, but in a good way, and I was given some business cards to bear in mind. Never been able to attend a convention, but this was in fact a great experience.

I tend to admire what’s abroad first, rather than what’s at home, but after quite some time observing and getting acquainted with the tattoo world, I have to admit Spain has a great bunch of fantastic artists. Still there are some things to improve, which do not have to do with them, but us and the society we are currently living in, and our narrow mindset. I only hope tattoos are not a temporary fashion, society stops regarding tattoos as something weird or bad, and these studios remain open, allowing these wonderful artists to stay here, so we can celebrate many more anniversaries.

aloha tattoos

I’ll go to Aloha Tattoos to get my 13 drop inked soon. It’d be great I’d be able to get another one celebrating 25 years.

Keep up the excellent work and good luck!

MASTERS OF INK & NEEDLE: ROTOR FINERATS

It’s been long time since I don’t write about tattoo artists and now that I feel a bit cold turkey and Summertime is definitely the worse season for tattoo artists due to warm weather, I’m in the mood to talk about Rotor Finerats, a 200% artist, not just talented with the ink and the needle. Beyond the tattoos, this guy has an immense talent and creativity reflected on his illustrations, very inspired in the lowbrow art movement.

rotor viking skulls

Some people have asked me why I never talk about Spanish artists, wondering whether I’m not interested in the national product. I’ve been thinking about it and I can only reply that I never got the chance or perhaps foreign artists came first to my mind. At this point I’m so into this world, I reckon there’s an impressive community of Spanish artists spread throughout the peninsula, and especially settled in Barcelona. I’m very lucky on this regard.

Thus today I’m talking about Rotor, my first Spanish tattoo artist I haven’t had yet the pleasure of visiting myself for my piece. But I’m pretty sure eventually that day will arrive and I’ll get one of his post-nuclear tattoos.

Rotor works at Aloha Tattoos studio in Barcelona, at this point I’d say it’s the most established and popular studio in town, ousting the classic LTW studio in Tallers st. It used to be the place of reference, but since it’s always been very expensive and the rotation of artists is too frequent, Aloha eventually won the crown, thanks to Rotor, El Carlo, El Javi, El Monga, Tai Iglesias…too much talent at that studio.

I think it was a year ago when I saw  a tattoo of Rotor’s for the first time and it really blew my mind. I can’t be 100% sure, but I’d say it was this one.

rotor mechanical whale

I felt fascinated with this mechanical whale, as I like to name it, and the combination of the industrial element with one of the most amazing creatures on Earth. Nature corrupted by industrialization? Replicant animals in the future to replace extinct breed? Who knows, only Rotor, there might be lots of symbols or perhaps none, but these post-nuclear tattoos are his trademark, making his designs very unique.

post nuclear tattoos by Rotor

Rotor’s style is closer to old school than Miss Arianna, for instance. Even though both artists prefer thick lines, Arianna enhances details through shading while Rotor prefers this style of  lining, in order to provide his pieces of this classic roughness. No doubt he can also stick to a more complex or detailed style too, but to be honest I’m not as interested in that part.

His universe also includes weird creatures, vampires, or aliens, quite vintage looking, keeping this childish and reckless halo.

Rotor Creatures

And I love everything he does involving skulls.

skulls rotor

Rotor, together with Ibie, is co-editor of Fine Rats illustration magazine, recovering the works of many independent artists who unfortunately cannot expose their work in public so in this way these compilations can achieve more audience. I had the chance to purchase the first five issues, printed in very good quality and offering a different kind of art, much more trashier and rude. I will write about this publishing in a near future, on a separate post.

Here you can watch this video introducing Rotor who explains a bit about his work and influences. It was recorded to support him in a contest held by Jägermeister. Unfortunately he didn’t win, but it was a good promo for him.

Rotor is on my list of artists I would like to get tattooed by. All this sci-fi, vintage future designs are terrific, and his post-nuclear creatures are simply awesome. His style might look very simple, but it’s the imagery, all the complements added to the main figure, which enhance the effect of them. His work is very special.