Speak with Your Body: Mendoza Transforms Clients' Aura into Tattoos
Inspired by modern art, Juan Carlos Mendoza creates abstract tattoos by ‘translating’ his clients' body language and aura.
Tattoos, as we all know, can be interpreted in many ways. And every artist has a different approach to tattooing. Juan Carlos Mendoza, a Nicaraguan artist, decided to create art that communicates with the body's natural flow.
He makes use of unconventional ideas and minimalism in order to create art that ‘speaks’ to the body in an abstract way, or as Mendoza would put it, ‘A language with the body's movement.’ With the technical forms of geometric figures, the abstractness of colors, and his clients' ideas, he puts together a variety of elements to create something different.
‘I built my style from my training in contemporary art, and I adapt it a little to tattooing,’ he told ABC News, describing his artistic roots and style influences.
He explained further, identifying elements he makes use of, ‘For example, a line and a point can suggest a lot of things. It can suggest directions, vectors and can be interpreted in many ways. But then it's more for the aesthetic of the body — like how can this design be adapted to the body, and how does it create a language with the body's movement?’
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Mendoza first picked up tattooing as a means of becoming financially independent from his father. He gave it a go, trusting his decent drawing skills and his willingness to learn the rest of the things involved with tattooing. Five years later, Juan held on to tattooing as he created a myriad of unique tattoos that strongly connected him to his clients. He has since moved on from working at a tattoo shop in the country's capital of Managua to tattooing at home.
In the creative process of meeting ideas, Juan heavily relies on his clients' body flow and movement as well as their auras to be able to create a piece he is satisfied with enough to transfer to skin. He prefers to connect with his clients and get to know them to the extent that he can translate how he perceives them as people into tattoos. ‘I realized this was my line of work, and to do it, I needed a context, and a context with the conditions that people can open up a little,’ he told ABC News.
He also talks about how high-strung and tense most of the clients who come to him were, accustomed to their fast-paced lives in the city. ‘So in this space, people have come with all the intensity of a more active city — like the capital or another country — and they come thinking they're going to get a tattoo,’ he said.
He continues, ‘And later, we rest, we go for a walk by the river, we talk. I've had cases of people who totally change their idea of what they want just by being in another space, just by being here.’
‘I think tattooing is a relational art. I don't agree with people who call me a tattoo artist because I don't think it's something that depends only on me,’ Mendoza said.