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Bio

If you’ve clicked on “read more” this many times, you are way past the attention span of a casual interest, and much beyond the pomp and stuffiness of the “discerning clientelle” that digs a little deeper, and well into Personal Space.

Comfort levels are broader here, more like when we’re sitting in an actual session, and you might actually be interested in learning what “the artist” is really like. (Either that or you’re really bored. In either of which case its about to get more interesting.)

So without much further ado…
ABOUT ME:
The informal version.

Lol. I am Tariq Sabur.  I am mover, shaker, scenester, promotor, writer, thinker, avid professional, art afficianado… and loving a father of two hilarious children, who dreams of one day owning a boat. I often edit this late at night when alternating between being deliriously happy with  my accomplishments, maniacally producing to meet a deadline, or being sad and lonely because everyone who is sane has gone to sleep and no one can celebrate with me. As necessary, I have a ridiculous sense of humor that I have a REALLY hard time taming lately, and a boundless amount of energy, that I also have a really hard time getting a handle on, but…

I am extremely passionate about both my tattooing and my art.

I am largely self taught, having been mentored in my early career by Banzay Tattoo in Salvador, Bahia, Brazil. While it was a traditional apprenticeship, in that I had the opportunity to spend most of ever day in a tattoo shop and help out where I could, in some ways it was less, in that I was never actually taught anything, but encouraged to observe and learn.
More importanly, in many ways it was MUCH more. This mentorship was different than any apprenticeship, in that I had to grow up, learn how to survive, speak a foreign language, in another country with little to no support, SIMULTANEOUSLY while learning to tattoo, with tattooing and art as my sole means of making it… It was a true trial by fire. So all in all I’d say it gave me a firm start.  😉

Since, I have been fortunate enough (after realizing that Product and Industrial Design was truly NOT for me, and) to study studio art and Art History in the US and abroad, as well as design, design history, and language. Since then and into the present, I continually engage in painting, body painting, live art, gallery shows and art festivals, and everything I can do to involve myself in the art scene.

Currently, I am much more focused on the studio aspect of tattooing and furthering my artwork in that arena.

Fine Art For Bodies started based on the philosophy that the body is the ultimate canvas, to be embellished, complimented, and worshiped with every stroke, and above all respected; and that tattooing could be MORE than it was. In reaction to the horrible tattoos I was seeing around Phoenix as a youth,  and the things that I would be told about the limits of the medium when trying to get an apprenticeship, I decided that it would be up to me to push the envelope of both the artwork and the medium.

As soon as I started to push, and more importantly, to research, I realized that I was not alone, and I am NOT by far on the cutting edge of anything. There are many many artists such as Nick Baxter, Guy Aitchisson,  Jun Matsui, (I will one day complete the list.) who had already started treading upstream against both the traditional the commercialist pop-culture adulteration of the burgeoning tattoo industry. Highlighting culture, fine art, meaning, and tradition along with the and outcast-turned accepted counter-culture imagery.

It was at first a very humbling experience, and then a very galvanizing one: I am NOT the only one, there are legions of my elders and betters that have had the same idea. So rather than discouraging me, it made me realize: it must be a good one.

My early focus was on  the custom design processs, giving people what they want! Many many trials of error refined that to what it is today. While I still offer that service, I am currently shifting my focus towards my own fine art pieces, limited collections, and special projects. These works of passion, statements, contrary to previous ethos, are completed works with limited customization. They are tattooed once, and derivitive works (prints, paintings, collataral,) retained, exhibited and/or available extremely released in limited collections, making them true, original, pieces of ART.

There is a difference between custom art and an original.

Tattooing in the Western World has traditional been, above all, a commercial art. While it has recently been made a major part of pop consumer culture, this is not at all to be confused with the prestige and distinction of being considered High Art.

By contrast, in almost all cultures that have historically, practiced tattooing, it was the nobles who practiced it. It was a thing of prestige.  Nobles, leaders, chieftains, warriors, princes who were tattooed.
And it was priests, monks, and shamans, and physicians who did the tattooing. It had to be earned, both by status and with the extreme physical requirements to undergo the process before it was given. Indeed, when tattooing first arrived in the Occident, it was royalty who were the first to get tattooed, it became the rage amongst members of high court clambering to get a souvenir of this new curiousity brought back by merchants and seafarers, before the practice was made taboo and eventually stamped out by marauding missionaries, until it was finally brought back to the West by the same sailors and marines that had brought doom to the ancestral cultures.

Tattooing has undergone a journey from the sacred to the perverse. I have become am one of the artists who is concerned with bringing it back again. Amidst the new standards and values of todays society, I am pushing, constantly and continuously to make sure that it returns to this, regains its rightful place and begins to encompass the philosophy, image, prestige and regard as a rich, historical, and distinguished fine art.

Join me as I continue on the artistic journey.
-Tariq Sabur