Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Yann Black Tattoo: Picasso in Ink.

October 12th, 2009 by

That the art of tattooing can encompass pretty much any style of art you can think of is more of a given each and every day. Over the years we have seen modern tattooing grow from its old school flash roots to include everything from realistic portraits, to art deco, and the end is nowhere in sight.
Case in point is the work of Yann Black Tattoo, (He has been superciliously posted across the internet as Yann Travaille which is not his name. This is why I like doing a hands on interview whenever the occasion arises.), or as I like to see him the Picasso of ink.

Yann asked me why I referred to him as Yann Travaille as the word in French is “travail” and means work. Yann is French Canadian and his English is far better than my French. He informed me that his friends usually call him Yann Black Tattoo, so that is the name I know him by.
Anyway back to Yann and his distinctly modern tattoo art, which has been growing in popularity by leaps and bounds with collectors who are just not into tattoos that everyone else can get.

Usually referred to as “crayon” tattooing, I like looking at the over all effect of what makes a tattoo and when I see Yann’s work the first thing that comes to mind for me are the works of Picasso. Just about every design Yann creates has the same feel to it as the master of modern art’s did and you can see lots more of it at Yann’s online gallery, Your Meat is Mine .Com.

Although most people who start out on their own in tattooing end up making a mess of things, and it is not recommended, like it or not there have been exceptions to the rule. Corey Miller for one, and Yann for another.

“I started alone, after few years in an art school. I bought tattoo machine to tattoo myself because it was too expensive to get tattooed for me, and because at this time no tattoo artist understood very well what I wanted on my skin. After that friends began to ask me to tattoo them and now I’m a tattoo artist.”

That was sixteen years ago and as they use to say in the old cigarette commercials, Yann has come a long way, Baby.
Yann’s formal art training was between the ages of 16 and 18 years of age, commercial graphics and cartooning, and he began tattooing at the age of 20. He sites as his biggest influences “art brut” in general, and the works of Dubuffet, Egon Shiele, and the German expressionism movement. His tattooing influences include Xed le Head, Alex Binnie.

Yann’s unique work has been featured in Tatouage magazine, Tattoo Arte, Tattowier magazine, International Tattoo Art, Tattoo Burst, and Cover Magazine. He has also been featured in “Modern Expressions of the Tribal Tattoo Art” a really beautiful and complete book about black tattoo by Marisa Kakoulas.

I can plainly see why, and if you are in the market for ink that goes beyond the limits of conventional tattooing, or are just looking for a truly unique design, Yann can be reached at his website, or e-mail address:

Yann never attends tattoo shows, so you’ll have to make the trip to Canada for his amazing art, but I’m more than sure you will find it well worth the trip. Yann’s moto sums up just what kind of a great guy he really is.

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you and everything should be all right.”

I couldn’t agree more.

All images ©Yann and Your Meat is Mine. Com 2009, all rights reserved.

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