By: Amit Kanfi
Tattoo artist, Love Your Mom Team.
Top 10 Underground Tattoo Studios
Although alternative tattooing has mostly been taking place outside of your “classic” tattoo shops, in the last few years there’s been a change in the way society perceives the genre and we can notice studios around the world welcoming tattoos once frowned upon, and simultaneously alternative studios are being established by non “by the book” artists seeking a safe working space. And by “alternative”, we mean everything looking away from the norm, whether it is unusual compositions, weird placements, crooked lines, experimental concepts and designs,"bad tattoos" etc. also know as ignorant style tattoos.
Even though a majority of this tattooing subculture is still happening in artists’ homes, There’s a rapid growth of studios welcoming this new wave of tattooing, so here is a list of some of the best places to get inked around the world.
10. LEV - TEL AVIV
Owned by Tamar Bar and Lior Lachman, LEV is a home for contemporary tattooing in Tel Aviv.
The crew consists of 10 artists, each with their own unique style. As this collective is based on seeing tattoos as an art form, clients are encouraged to choose their tattoo out of the artists’ flash books, although custom made designs are welcome as well. Either way, each design is done only once in a similar way to an original artwork with no copies. The atmosphere in the studio is very welcoming, open and safe to all, prioritising clients’ comfort and welcoming all body sizes, skin colors, genders or age (18 plus). The artists of Lev are: Tamar Bar, Lior Lachman, Fine.hand,Rottenkiwi, Klaracoral, Leeann Mor ,Zozo_barsky, Riproy, Lo.tem, Baron_ink,Yarden man and Anastasius333
9. MARIA PARADISE - LONDON
Maria Paradise is an oasis for anyone seeking underground tattoo artists. This private underground tattoo studio in London, found nestled between warehouses and the evolving Hackney Wick landscape. It is home to an eclectic group of individuals, bonded by their experimental and explorative approach to tattooing - from handpokers to intricate single-needle artists. You’ll also find a steady stream of guest artists flowing through the paradise, bringing international energy and ideas to a studio with no boundaries on creativity and collaboration. The artists working in this studio are Lclebre, Howlinhands, zeayatattoo, Ugly_evil_twin, adverse.camber, corrieforeman, lou_isnt, rich.sinner.
8. 8282 - SEOUL
As you may know, due to a social stigma correlating tattoos to crime and anti-social behavior, tattoos are illegal in South Korea. Ironic, as Korea is one of the leading countries in body modifications in the form of plastic surgery. Well, it's not exactly illegal. You can open a tattoo shop if you’re a licensed doctor. Korean society pushing tattooing to the underground might just be what this incredibly cool collective of tattooers needed to be formed. Crooked lines, good sense of humor, unique concepts, and a general progressive yet trashy atmosphere is what can define 8282, consisting of Dj_gary78, Chun_beer, Couchcake and user_746231.
7. PURPLE SUN - BRUSSELS
This is one of those special studios that just hit the spot. Purple Sun is a tattoo collective consisting of Burton Ursae Minoris, Indy Voet, Marine Martin, Capitaine Plum, Delyone Ghandi and Jérémie Kergroach. Besides the large diversity of tattoo styles in this collective varying from ornamental to Oldschool to semi-realistic, what drew my eye here is how open the place is for new concepts, something that traditional tattooers usually have a problem with, and it gives a safe “everyone and everything welcome” kind of vibe.underground ink tattoos.
6. VARG - ZURICH
home to the underground scene of Zurich: images, books, clothes, tattoos and encounters between kindred creatures. This private studio is one of those places that Zurich desperately needed and finally thanks to the establisher, Akamusse_pigg, it exists and gives great hosting to trash, noir and ignorant artists from all around the world, something that wasn't very accessible before.
5. TSAPTSARAP - KIEV
this black drenched, multidisciplinary nonconformist space is the home of Kiev’s EUTHANASIA crew, a group of artists sharing a common denominator of neo-futuristic noir tattoos, attempting to allow knowledge to come into constructive communication. This studio is known for its love for the avant-garde and routine breaking, weather if its through music, performance, visual art & tattoos. some of the artists who are part of this crew are Faskior, Slava Kononov, Lesya.zvereva, blvckacidkvlt, Human nature 666 and more.
4. SERCE - WROCLAW
Inside an old residential building in Wroclaw’s hidden gem. This party infused, a progressive and fun collective of super talented artists dedicates half of its time to decorate Polish bodies with extraordinary tattoos, and the other half for imba, a word made up by the people of Serce that pretty much means partying until you drop. “Serce” means “Heart” in Polish, and it is definitely something that this studio is filled with.the tattoo flash collective includes Come_plexy, Tamagotchi, Zimnapana, szczupak_ttt and Falevvicz.
3. DEEPWOOD - STOCKHOLM
This unique place was established in Stockholm back in 2014, and often hosts a loving home for both “trashy” tattoos and ones with tighter lines, usually very originally composed on the body. Feels like this would be your automatic Go-to place if you’re in stockholm and are feeling like getting a special non-conforming berlin style tattoo. Deepwood also tends to host guest artists from abroad who have styles that go along well with the studio’s atmosphere. The artists of Deepwood are Frogmagik, Bitchink worldwide and Emelinn, and occasionally Handymarktattoo, Oidajohanna and Tato coco
2. INKSIST - MILAN
A space for sharing and expressing ideas freed from any prejudices. Research and create connections, chimeras, technological and material incest, alternative tattoo shop & performances, new surfaces, new languages and alphabets that revolve around the practice and the world of tattooing, in an attempt to cross over and exceed its limits. This magical gem is located inside Macao, a squat that used to be a slaughterhouse which is also the heart and soul of experimental art in Italy. the artists working in this collective are Sandro Triplat, Primitivo, Qgtattoos, Lukino_Tattoo and Valavie.
1. STUDIO STRAUS - JERUSALEM
In the entrance to one of the most extreme ultra-orthodox neighborhoods of Jerusalem lays one of the most amazing spaces in Israel, giving a safe environment for avantgarde, offbeat, alternative sound artists, musicians and tattooers. the contrast between what’s going out on the street and in the studio itself is incredible and the whole experience in walking in there for the first time is surreal. Straus was founded by Gurrski and raised tattooers like Auto Christ Yuvariver, Asif.ok, Darials and more. The place gives an authentic underground feeling, something that is pretty rare these days. Getting a tattoo there will definitely be a unique experience.
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