Have you also heard people say that tattooing is not art? Such have certainly never met our new reinforcement. Meet Svart!
Your artistic style is very specific and I assume that as an artist you have come a long way. How did it all start for you?
I was born into a family of artists and grew up in a beautiful world where I was surrounded by illustrated books on art, art ateliers and the scent of turpentine. I basically started painting before I walked. . Of course, it was an abstraction, the child’s soul is pure, and it does not need any cliché and dead dogmas or art forms to express what it feels. So I’ve been devoting my whole life to art. I grow in it, I fall into the abyss and I look for myself.
According your background, I understand that art has attracted you since childhood. Have you ever studied at an art school or did you leave everything to follow the completely natural path?
I studied product design in Prague, I had a solid academic basis there, but also enough space for the realization of my own work. That’s when I started doing my first tattoo. Then I studied art history at the Charles University. At that time, I was already actively tattooing and I started to have enough job offers from abroad. I decided to leave school because of my limited time options. I have never regretted that decision.
So then you went abroad to gain experience?
Exactly. Thanks to the contacts I gained on the tattoo scene, I got to work abroad. Specifically in Germany. I managed to get to the oldest studio in Berlin, Blut und Eisen, where I learned ornamental and blackwork tattoos from a legend, Gerhard Wiesbeck himself. Then I worked all over the world. I traveled to Iceland, where I lived and worked for some time. Also Italy, France, Germany, Russia, India and Nepal. I have also been to many international conventions. I have the greatest experience from Asian conventions, it’s a completely different world. And then of course from the Mondial du Tatouage in Paris, I really love it there. The tattoo artists have to travel, go to guests and conventions. It’s the basic thing, you have to constantly learn and look for new inspiration.
Can we stop for a moment at your collaboration with Gerhard Wiesbeck? What was the experience like?
Gerhard Wiesback is one of the oldest blackwork artists. He has been presenting his great large black and ornamental work for over twenty years now and has incredibly influenced the entire tattoo scene. In the world, his name has become a guarantee of quality, originality and strong traditions. So working with him was really a huge experience.
You mentioned that Asian conventions are like another world. What exactly do you mean by that? Why are they so different?
Asian conventions are different just because Asia is a completely different world than the one we are used to. The smell of burning herbs, nature, the Event is in the mountains or in the jungle. Right now I’m talking specifically about Nepal Inked. It also differs in that convention is a reason to meet other artists rather than a competition. It’s for tattoo artist from all over the world as one big family. These conventions are for people who really live by tattooing. We all have our work and our worries and duties, but a few times a year it’s beautiful. Meet somewhere on the edge of the world and meet old friends again.
You describe your tattoo as chaotic blackwork and ornamental, how did you come to this? What development has your artistic style gone through?
I’ve always been close to the aesthetics of black tattoos, so I was sure from the beginning which way to go. I never wanted to copy or do similar work as anyone else. I was always looking for my own path between lines and shapes. I have always been fascinated by Gothic, not only as an artistic direction, much more its metaphysical side, the view of the world. Dark, powerful, insurmountable. The black quintessence of the European spirit. In the beginning, I worked a lot with engravings and tried to incorporate architectural elements into my designs. But I always wanted to do great projects. Therefore, over time, I began to gravitate more towards ornamental work, which I tried to embellish with my own element. That’s when my experiments with abstract shapes and blackwork begin. These attempts eventually brought me to where I am today.
Is all your artistic activity focused on tattoos or do you have other projects?
Apart from tattoos, I mainly focus on abstract painting. It took me several years to be able to humble myself and overcome what I had been learning all along. I wanted to return to a clean state, I became a child again. Of course, abstract art has a lot of influence on my constantly evolving style of tattooing.
But there is a certain order in this chaos, my own order. I create my world with a new aesthetic, faith and perspective. If it’s close to you, I want you to step in. Through my work, I let anyone who dares to take that step into my heart.
How does your ideal client look like?
When it comes to working with customers, I am open to everything new. But of course, the more freedom and space the client leaves me, the more interesting the project will be.