Inverting Traditions: The Surreal Tattoos Of Knarly Gav

Inverting Traditions: The Surreal Tattoos Of Knarly Gav

Knarly Gav has created a completely unique tattoo style that transposes the old-school traditions of tattooing.

Gavan Daly, aka Knarly Gav is a US-based artist whose tattoos are like no other.

The foundations of traditional tattooing are built on reoccurring imagery (such as tigers and roses), solid, clean, perfect shapes, shading and line-work. The identifiable tattoos of Knarly Gav invert these traditions in their imperfect and humorous style.

In an interview with MySpace, Gav spoke about his art:

"I like to do a really clean tattoo of a kind of bad drawing, but I do shitty stuff too because that's what's popular in Brooklyn right now. It's up to the artist to make it look clean, I don't pretend to know what the guidelines are for what's 'good'."

Crazy, sketchy designs, scribbly lines and disfigured shapes all make Gav's tattoos so distinguishable - the watermelon tiger head in particular is a reoccurring, popular tattoo of his. 

In the interview, Gavan said: "Tattoos are up to interpretation anyway. It's really about what the people think."

I love Gav's tattoos because they remind us that art is subjective. Some art should paint outside the guidelines... it should break rules and push boundaries, it should challenge us to re-evaluate everything we know about that art form so far.

Featured Tattoo Destinations

androidapplearrow-right arrow-rounded arrowavatar-followavatar-hollowavatar-unfollowavatar brightness burger-searchcalendar caretcheckmarkclock close comment-filled contrast crop cross-fashioncrossdone down editemail exitfacebook iconinstagram like-filled like linklistlocation-hollow location mediumnext phone pin-filled play previous review-star Path 2save-plusSavescroll_pickerscroll-downsearch shareshareEmail shareFacebook sharePinterest shareTwitter Combined ShapeCreated with Sketch. star studio-simpleGo to studio icontag-button user-lockverified website youtubezoom-in zoom-out