Gallery Tattoo

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Robert Hernandez - Vittamin Tattoo Madrid

Robert Hernandez Tattoo ArtistYou’ll hear Robert Hernandez’ name and credentials spring up, it would seem, almost every time you ask any other tattooer or artist who they aspire to, who they look up to, and who they think is currently at the top of the tattoo game. In terms of reputation it’s pretty clear he’s steadily climbing up the ladder, getting up there with Paul Booth, Guy Aitchison and all those names that people are quick to drop when the concept of ‘best tattoo artist ever’ comes up.
He’s of Spanish-Polish inheritance, an unusual mix, befittingly unique. You wouldn’t immediately guess his profession to see him on the street, first impressions betraying an appearance somewhere between a lean limbed rocker and an amicably eccentric goth-punk (he did once sport a bright pink Mohawk!) Very appealing to the eye, but a happily married man – bad luck to all those female fans…
Mr Hernandez’ skill is acquired from a fine blend of natural skill – he’s been drawing since he was a toddler – and years of training, time spent in art school refining his craft. He commenced a career in a studio in Madrid back in 1992, there he began to absorb the tattoo culture and the nuances of working on skin thanks to the studio’s position as a halfway house for touring European artists.
Tattoo by Robert HernandezRobert Hernandez is renowned for his dark style technique – but it seems almost rude to try and describe his style when he’s already laid out a perfect description himself on his MySpace, so here, we include it here for your deliberation!
“Throughout the years I have tried to develop my own unique style. My style tends to be a little on the dark side, sinister even. My main focus has always been realism. I like to play with different tones and textures. I also enjoy distorting portraits or any other type of image. I try to create things that look as alive as possible no matter how far fetched the subject may appear. I believe that anything you can draw or paint you can tattoo.”
He calls up his influences, naming “medieval art, impressionism, surrealism, contemporary art, music and photography.” Hearing the rock band Kiss at the age of ten was a formative moment for the artist, undergoing a brief obsession with their image – drawing everything for them from logos to comics. Artistic skill apparently ran in his family, too – he references his grandfather’s skill as a caricaturist. Growing up in his house, “there was always a pencil on the table.”

Robert has his own studio based in Madrid which has been going since 2000 and bears the moniker of Vittamin Tattoo. This is where some of his most outstanding work has been produced. A vividly rendered ant so well done that it almost pops off the arm of one client is merely one example; his portfolio is filled with incredible examples of black and grey portraiture (the hardest type of tattoo to do, as you can read about in our Paul Booth feature) – bearded zombies, vampiric priestesses and that calling card of the Dark Style tattooist, creepily pale, hollow eyed little girls.
Robert Hernandez Tattoo PictureHe’s perfected surreal, with images fading and distorting, melding into one another to produce weird conglomerations of eight eyed faces and sphynx cats, bloodied ‘cut away’ effect tattoos and pretty female faces segueing into robotic skulls; all examples to be found in his collection of happy clients. Wrists coloured and styled to have a toothy mouth at their centre; twisted religious images and famous musicians are also expertly rendered. It genuinely seems as though there is nothing that this artist cannot do…

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