REMILK MEETS A SPECIAL ARTIST BASED IN AUSTRALIA TO TALK ABOUT ART, TATTOO, ANXIETY AND DEPRESSION. DISCOVER MORE READING THE EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW.
When did you start to get interested in art, design and tattoo?
I’ve always been interested in art & design. Although my drawings have been more detailed & complex before, I’ve found myself taking more and more out of my drawings and making it as raw, as simple as possible. Tattooing is an art form i love because it signifies impermanence. It will be with that person until they decompose; nothing lasts forever. (You can try & mummify your body to delay the inevitable, though.)
How do you define and describe your style?
Stylistically i would call it rough/raw blackwork. To me, they are tattoos for people who understand that existence is fleeting & nothing should be taken too seriously, even tattoos.
Which artistic and cultural influences have been decisive in your life?
I was highly influenced by novels of Albert Camus, Charles Bukowski, Chuck Palanhiuk and their often pessimistic / nihilistic themes. Artistically, although not stylistically i’ve been fascinated with Dadaism. Growing up in Turkey which inevitably influenced the cynical themes in my work. Death has unfortunately been a big part of everyday life.
Do you have tattoos on your body? Which style do you prefer to get tattooed?
I have various styles of tattoos on myself i’ve collected over the years. There is no general theme or order to them, it’s pretty chaotic.
Have you ever refused to tattoo someone o something?
I have refused quite a few tattoos over the years. One i remember vividly was an e-mail i received about a Nazi Swastika when i was tattooing in Bulgaria. We ended up having back and forth e-mails about racism which led nowhere. Nothing ever leads anywhere.
In your tattoos there is a nihilistic and cynical vision of the world, life and death, irreverence towards “power” and institutions. Can one make satire with the art of tattoos?
I don’t see why not. Any art form can be satirical, we’ve been taught to be serious, take things seriously & be responsible for so long. There is no right or wrong way to be as long as you’re being yourself. Same goes for the disrespect regarding institutions & authority. The idea of keeping in line, respecting & accepting power makes us numb and submissive. A bit of rebellion is healthy.
Your tattoos talk about anxiety and depression. Does tattooing help to “exorcise” these problems?
In my experience, it’s a way of taking the power out of it and confronting it head on. I received some criticism suggesting that i’m glorifying mental illness but it’s never been the intention. I can see first hand how this helps people trivialize issues which once were very destructive in their lives.
Have you ever tattooed out of Australia? Would you like to do it in Europe?
I tattooed in Turkey and around Europe before, i will do some more guest spots next year for sure!
Do you know Italian artists? Do you like someone?
I absolutely love Mirko Sata’s work. Also Alessandro (the.hanged) is a good friend and does sick fine line stuff in Melbourne and occasionally in Sydney.
Photos courtesy of the artist
Interview Marco De Martis