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I have been tattooing over 15 years. I started as many people do with great determination at a very early age and fought to make a name for myself in France. I am from Paris and have tried to develop a style that gives some respect to the west coast black and grey artists in America. It is my own style that developed from my illustration career. I began influenced by Russ Meyer movies and monster movies and the graphics of punk rock and American old school tattooing. I have been influenced by the changes in Paris and the street culture and music here. The hip-hop scene and the urban culture of Paris is in many ways similar to that of the urban culture in the ghettos of America. My tattooing now is a reflection of that. I use the fine line black and grey influence and the romantic subjects of the cholo style. My shop is in the West of Paris and I travel to California and tattoo there with my friends who are the masters of this style and bring it back to Paris and add my own twist.
Born near Paris in 1965, Tin-Tin is today one of the most well-respected tattoo artists in the world, with a special gift for creating hyper-realist and Japanese-inspired tattoos. Remarkably, he is self-taught, having started his tattooing career back in 1984, during military service in Berlin. Tin-tin gradually developed a distinctive style all of his own, drawing wildly-varied inspiration from illustrations and art books, rather than clichéd tattoo imagery of the era. Right from the outset, he travelled all around the world, in order to meet with and learn from the best tattooists. His early works subsequently stunned those whom saw them, such was their almost-photographic perfection. Having elevated tattooing to a new level of artistry – thereby boosting the reputation of the profession – Tin-Tin eventually co-founded the National Union of Artists Tattooists (SNAT) in 2003, and remains president of this organization today. Tin-Tin’s legendary status as a tattoo artist has ensured he is not only constantly in demand with his own clients – many of whom are famous faces from the worlds of fashion, film and music – but also as a collaborator with Haute Couture brands, revered fashion photographers and for editorial and advertising commissions galore. He has appeared in minor film roles and various TV shows about tattooing, but despite his huge success and talent, Tin-Tin is a down-to-earth guy who likes to never take himself too seriously. [Tin-Tin can be found here: http://tin-tin-tattoos.com/]
I am very proud of what we have achieved on just a belief in something real, and how we used our determination and our time and our voice to affect human change. Please go to www.gypsygentleman.com and support us.
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(Marcus Kuhn is featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine #22)