November 30, 2011

Latino Art Collection: Tattoo-Inspired Chicano, Maya, Aztec and Mexican Styles


An inspiring collection of 250 illustrations created by 90 tattooists fill the 300-page hardcover Latino Art Collection: Tattoo-Inspired Chicano, Maya, Aztec and Mexican Styles, another tattoo tome published by Edition Reuss and authored by Edgar Hoill, aka OSOK. [Edgar & I co-authored Black & Grey Tattoo last year.]

The renowned artists, from LA to Mexico City to Hong Kong, include Jack Rudy, Chuey Quintanar, Carlos Torres, Nikko Hurtado, Pint, Indio & Melissa Reyes, Boog Brown, Wa-Wang, Tim Hendricks, Antonio Mejia, Goethe, Luke Wessman, Dr. Lakra, Yushi Takei, Pedro Alvarez (who did the cover art), and so many more.

You can purchase the book for $160 + shipping here.

I was honored to write the introduction and the pages noting the various symbolism in the works. For an overview of the book, an excerpt from that introduction is reprinted below:

carlos torres painting.jpg Painting by Carlos Torres.

Latino art is as vast and diverse as the cultures it represents. There are, however, popular themes, aesthetics and symbolism that make it an identifiable artistic genre--one that is vibrant and exciting, and reaching far beyond just the Latino community. Latino artists celebrate their cultural identity in contemporary culture as well as their ancient Prehispanic roots. Catholicism's religious iconography dominates so much of this art, whether it be on canvas, walls, cars or the human body. Personal struggles and the hardships of street life are laid bare; it is, for many, a cathartic expression of loss and redemption. And, of course, reverence for beauty and sexuality is omnipresent. This book is a collection of paintings, drawings, and tattoo flash that represents the soulfulness of this genre. Its goal is to present the many incarnations of Latino, Chicano, and Mexican art and to inspire countless other works.

Most of the artists featured are tattooists, and it's particularly interesting to see how their tattoo styles translate in their fine art. For example, black & grey tattoo motifs--from manifestations of Mi Vida Loca to sexy cholas--are prevalent and even composed in similar shadows and tones as works displayed on skin. There are also interesting cultural fusions where traditional Americana technique, with its thick black outlines and bold colors, is used to convey traditional Mexican and Chicano imagery like sugar skulls and Aztec gods.
boog art.jpgIllustration by Boog Brown.

In addition to the book, also check Egar's OSOK online store for his prints and apparel.

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