One thing that I’ve learned from writing this blog and going through portfolio after portfolio is that there is no being on the fence when it comes to spotting the work of a really excellent tattoo artist. What I mean by this is that I’ve looked at too many portfolios where maybe I like some of the work that I see, while more of it might just leaving me feeling flat. I don’t want to sound like a dick here, but there are a lot of tattooists out there whose work makes me feel like this. Sometimes this goes on for quite a while – portfolio after portfolio of the same kind of thing. And then, I find an artist’s portfolio that makes me remember what it feels like when I come across someone who is truly in command of their art form. There are no maybes. Every tattoo jumps off the screen at me and leaves me wanting more. I don’t have to keep searching through the portfolio hoping to catch a glimpse of something that I like. Everything that I see is very much what I like.
Which brings me to this week’s featured tattooist, Calle. Calle can be found tattooing in Stockholm, Sweden at his studio, King Carlos Tattoo, which he opened for business in 2002. An art school graduate, Calle’s roots go back to graffiti. In fact, it was through an old friend from his graffiti days that Calle got his first bit of work in a real tattoo studio.
Today Calle tattoos only when he is interested in taking on a project and King Carlos Tattoo is primarily a custom tattoo studio. His style is exactly what you would expect from this calibre of tattooist – and far more. Despite the work in his portfolio being so perfectly done, it’s actually hard for me to look at. It just reminds me of how far away from Stockholm I am and how little money that I have to actually get an artist like Calle to tattoo me! But hey, that doesn’t change the fact that Calle does gorgeous work that deserves to be ogled by everyone who appreciates great art, be they broke-ass mofos like myself or not.
Lastly, look for Calle and the King Carlos crew at this year’s 1st annual Scottish Tattoo Convention, to be held from March 26th-27th in Edinburgh, Scotland.