Rodrigo Melo is a longtime tattooist whose style has shifted and evolved over the years. After trying his hand at various genres, he found his true calling as a practitioner of traditional Japanese tattoos. His finely crafted pieces of Irezumi are beyond spectacular with their incredibly rich detail and swirling sense of energy. Though all of his work is jaw-dropping, his large-scale illustrations are by far the most captivating. Check out this sample of beastly bodysuits that exemplify just how profound his more expansive tattoos are.
Though he did not undergo a traditional Irezumi apprenticeship, Melo's work is very much so traditional in approach. It features all of the core principles of classic Japanese tattooing. For instance, all of his backgrounds employ the conventional manner, giving their ribbed dark boundaries atmospheric effects like smoke and waves. On the note of darkness, it is one of the qualities that makes his work so pronounced. Due to the denseness of his backgrounds, his tattoos' central and satellite figures seem to spring to life through their outstanding color palettes.
Melo has a penchant for rendering certain figures from the Japanese tradition. The legendary figures of Kintaro and the great koi are centerpieces in several of the large-scale pieces featured here. Also, he's executed numerous big illustrations of the squabbling brothers Fujin and Raijin, who are though to be responsible for causing thunderstorms in the Shinto religion. He frequently depicts the fearsome figure of Fudo Myoo throughout his body of work as well. Of all these recurring motifs, his tattoos of samurai are some of the most thrilling. The way he postures them is action-packed. He illustrates these heroic warriors in the most of extreme situations, like holding back a fearsome dragon from a fortress gate or plunging headlong into battle, katana unsheathed.
If you want to see more of Melo's enormously exciting work, hit up his Instagram. Also, if you're in the mood for seeing some Japanese paintings, check out this article. Lastly, if you want your own back-piece or bodysuit, consider having him do it. He tattoos in NYC and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for booking.