The Feminist Blackwork Tattoos of Katya Krasnova

Katya Krasnova pushes the envelope of the political connotations of traditional pinups through her moody blackwork.

Powerton6 months ago in Tattoo Artists

One of my cowriters recently featured some of Katya Krasnova's tattoo designs for our weekly installment — "Flash Fridays" — and the entire staff was so taken with her work that we've decided to showcase it. Her illustrative blackwork is simply stunning. It typically depicts feminine imagery executed in bold line-work with dark shading, giving each piece a very strong emotional subtext.

Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Katya Krasnova's beautiful take on the classic pinup girl. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #blackink #illustrative
Katya Krasnova's beautiful take on the classic pinup girl. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #blackink #illustrative
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
A pair of very sex-positive pinups by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #blackink #illustrative
A pair of very sex-positive pinups by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #blackink #illustrative
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Katya Krasnova shows how all love has a little sorrow to it with this exquisite pinup. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Katya Krasnova shows how all love has a little sorrow to it with this exquisite pinup. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #sensual #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink

As one can see in the photos above, Krasnova excels at blackwork depictions of feminine sensuality in her vintage take on the traditional style. The best part about her take on the classic pinup is that her tattoos of these gorgeous women seem to undermine the male gaze, drawing out themes surrounding self-love and same-sex relationships instead of those belonging to the all too common busty babe seen in this genre. 

Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Katya Krasnova shows that a woman can choose hers even in heteronormative relationship. #blackwork #couple #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Katya Krasnova shows that a woman can choose hers even in heteronormative relationship. #blackwork #couple #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
A badass pioneer woman by Katya Krasnova shatters the conventional ideal of what constitutes a pinup.  #blackwork #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #pioneerwoman #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
A badass pioneer woman by Katya Krasnova shatters the conventional ideal of what constitutes a pinup. #blackwork #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #pioneerwoman #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
This vamp takes feminist flight in the astounding pinup by Katya Krasnova.  #blackwork #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vamp #vintage #illustrative #blackink #illustrativeblackwork
This vamp takes feminist flight in the astounding pinup by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vamp #vintage #illustrative #blackink #illustrativeblackwork
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Watch out this beauty by Katya Krasnova will knock you out.  #blackwork #boxer #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vintage
Watch out this beauty by Katya Krasnova will knock you out. #blackwork #boxer #feminist #KatyaKrasnova #pinup #traditional #vintage

My personal favorite nuance that Krasnova brings to the pinup, however, is that of her feminist aesthetic. She seems to illustrate women's right to choose for themselves. Her pinups refuse to be merely sexualized objects, and instead transcend  the stereotype, becoming early pioneers, dominatrixes, vamps, and boxers instead. Her spin on the traditionally misogynistic motif is exquisitely gurlesque, and her use of black ink seems to bring out the femme fatale in each tattoo of these badass ladies.   

Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Striking surreal work in this juxtapostion of of a delicate female bust and a mittened cat by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Striking surreal work in this juxtapostion of of a delicate female bust and a mittened cat by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #illustrative #blackink
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
What a dapper little feline gentleman by Katya Krasnova.  #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #kitty #illustrative #blackink
What a dapper little feline gentleman by Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #kitty #illustrative #blackink
Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
This little furry guy by Katya Krasnova is keeping more than one eye on you.  #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #kitty #pets #illustrative #surreal #blackink
This little furry guy by Katya Krasnova is keeping more than one eye on you. #blackwork #cat #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage #kitty #pets #illustrative #surreal #blackink

Anyone who reads my posts knows that I love tattoos of cats in all sizes and styles, and Krasnova's illustrations of felines are no exception. I enjoy how her depictions of common house cats incorporate surreal qualities like the bust of a female face or twenty eyes. Also, the all-black bodies and adorably minimalist faces on these cuddly fur-balls is signature to her style.

Ross HowertonFrom Tattoodo App
Beautiful shot of Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage
Beautiful shot of Katya Krasnova. #blackwork #KatyaKrasnova #traditional #vintage

I hope you liked this little burlesque of blackwork from Krasnova. We'll make sure to eventually post more of her moody tattoos in the near future. If you want to see more of her work and the various motifs she professes, check our her Instagram and website. Also, should you be third-wave feminist after some stunning ink, consider booking Krasnova for some glass-ceiling-shattering work.