Sunday, May 25, 2008

Tattoos from the Blogosphere: More of Mat's Ink

Back in April, I posted an incredible back piece that was sent to me by a comrade in the blogosphere, Mat Giordano. Revisit it here. Totally worth it.

Shortly after sending me the elephant pictures, he sent me these, to add to the mix. I thought it was time to be a good blogger and share. Full disclosure: these are in Houston, photographed and sent by someone I've never met, but have spoken to on line.

Nonetheless, it's amazing ink, and Mat is a multimedia designer, so his work is pretty interesting.

So, what's with this flower? Here's an excerpt from our chat (edited and abbreviated):

Me: What's the flower?
Mat: Sort of a mutation of a hibiscus
unrealistic color scheme
but what was in my head;
I just didn't know it until I saw Travis' stencil.
Me: did you do the design or was it a collaborative effort with Travis [the artist]?
Mat: I never design my tattoos
just ideas
I realize my place as a designer
I'm not a tattoo artist
lots of designers make the mistake of designing their own tattoos and being very adamant about what the tattoo artist should do
instead of letting them fly at what they are best at
Me: Agreed
Mat: I say "I'd sort of like this"
and say "tattoo what you think belongs there".
This was a special one for me
Me: Why special?
Mat: It was the pink-to-red gradient of the hibiscus plants that I planted in the driveway of the first home I had with ... my little boy Jack
whose name you can see on my wrist at the end.
Every morning when I'd be leaving to go create things for a living,
I'd see it open in the driveway
one on each side
so past that, being in Houston now, it's nice to look at it and remember
I was there this past weekend and all those feelings came rushing back like a tidal wave
Me: The hibiscus (maybe all flowers) can carry such emotional weight as symbols of places...I grew up in Hawai'i where the hibiscus is the state flower and to me it just represents home
Mat: Wow, so you can sort of relate how I feel about the relations of a flower symbolizing comforts of home
or symbols of anything that carry emotional weight, I suppose
Me: Absolutely, especially when they are so significant to a specific time and place.

As you can see, interesting discussion about the emotional weight behind tattoos as symbols of not only the abstract (the idea of 'home'), but of concrete places as well.

Later on, Mat elaborated : "I couldn't really understand, beyond the fact that Travis is a great friend of mine, why my mind immediately wanted those colors [in the hibiscus] he predetermined right before we started, until I realized the weight of what they meant in my subconscious, which fortunately made its way through a pretty muddy network to my conscious so I could relay it to the artist. Thankfully, Travis can read me pretty well, in turn cutting plenty of my mindless stares and utters out of the time frame."

Mat has communicated about tattoos with me on a level more cereberally than anyone I have met since Tattoosday began. He's above and beyond the "I-liked-the-art-on-the-wall" mentality, which is fine for many people.

Below is a shot of Travis Stanley, the artist at 713 Tattoo Parlour, in Houston, Texas, working on Mat's flower tattoo.

And finally, a cool shot of Mat's wrists:

Jack, as mentioned above, is his son. The name was inked by Marc da Sharc at I-Drive Tattoo in Orlando, Florida. Marc da Sharc also did the other piece, but at the aforementioned 713 Tattoo Parlour. For those unfamiliar with the design, it is the symbol for infinity. Mat specifically wanted to clarify that the placement of that symbol on his wrist "by no means was a decision based on how long he thinks he'll be around".

Thanks again to Mat for sharing his tattoos here!


Alessandra said...

Hi - I was just browsing through your blog (which, but the way, is awesome), when I noticed the piece done by Marc da Sharc. That's actually my tattooist here in New Orleans, at least he was before the storm. Any chance you or your friend in the picture have a way of getting in touch with him? I have a sorrowful heart that needs to be finished, and I refuse to let anyone else touch it. Just a shot in the dark. Thanks!

Bill Cohen said...


Thanks for your kind words...according to Mat, Marc is at 713 Tattoo in Houston, working with Travis.Let us know how it goes!