Valentin Hirsch

Most artworks can be taken down, painted over, be tucked away in the cellar or removed from ones field of vision in some other way, if you don’t like them anymore. With tattoos that’s different – in most cases the decision for a tattoo is a commitment that will last a lifetime as it’s hard to remove it from your skin. So to choose the right tattooist isn’t that easy.

Berlin-based artist Valentin Hirsch is working as a tattoo artist for 4 years now, applying his works on the skins of various customers. Before he studied fine arts in Vienna. Today he still thinks of himself as an artist rather than a tattooist. He aims to constantly develop himself and his style that’s getting visible in his artworks. Nature combined with geometric elements are his main subjects, creating a unique language that’s running out of his needle. His imagery is without a doubt quite hip while he doesn’t try to copy any style, he is rather developing what he has been working on for the past years, being currently more of a trendsetter than he actually intends to be. His work centers around alienated animals, disturbing symmetries and abstraction which he applies on arms, torso, back or hands.

Already when working on paper during his studies, it felt more like he was tattooing the paper form him, so he followed his intuition, starting to work on skin a few years back. He states: “Tattooing is much more than a cool, freaky job – it’s time consuming, you spend a lot of time on preparation and organization, it is physically exhausting, your back hurts and you need to stay focused. Tattooing is a love-hate relationship. So you think about on what to spend your energy during the day quite a lot.” In the future Valentin Hirsch would like to work even more abstract and experimental, he wants to draw more and focus on new projects.

One of his latest project is is a printed publication that he developed together with designer Georg Schober and Paul Troppmair entitled Symmetries. It’s supposed to appear in May 2015 at Distanz Verlag. The transition from paper to skin as a canvas and the development of a recognizable style in the world of tattoos are in the focus of the book. The ambiguous project offers insights to the career of the artist while raising questions about the fine line between art and tattoo. The book will also show some older drawings that Valentin did in Vienna though the main part revolves around his tattoo artworks. The publication is financed with a Crowdfunding project that you can still support until the 16th of January 2015.

Photography by Ana Santl and Georg Schober, Text by Caroline Kurze

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