Bugs is known for importing cubism into the world of tattoos. He creates amazing painting-like body art in the vein of famous artists from the 20th century like Georges Braque, Picasso and many others. Though he illustrates a wide range of subject matter in this outstanding style, one of the most compelling motifs in his portfolio are his pieces that draw their inspiration from everyday life. Through their abstract qualities, these quotidian scenes emphasize the emotions of the human experience rather than just representing the surface of reality.
A lot of what life entails is hard work, and Bugs is no stranger to that fact. He's been putting in the hours tattooing for decades now, and you can see his work ethic come through in the rigor that he employs when illustrating these manual laborers. He's done a number of these working-class pieces of body art, many of which feature steelers and stevedores. It's incredible how he highlights their industrial spirit by having the red glow from their cauldrons of smelted ore spill across their muscular forms. This work by Bugs is really reminiscent of the artwork popular during the Great Depression, especially Diego Rivera's murals.
Many of Bugs' scenes show how the sense of hearing would go wasted if the world were without music. He does excellent illustrations of musicians. Though some are more abstracted than others, they all seem to channel the intense passion that the best instrumentalists demonstrate when really getting down to their sound. It is also notable how his guitars hark back to the famous motif in Pablo Picasso's work.
Among wine, pleasure cruises, dancing, and bike rides, love is truly one of the best things in life. Bugs captures the various guises of this complicated emotion in exquisitely authentic ways. Through his vibrant style, he is able to bring out the moods of his figures in their dramatic posturing and complicated color palettes. Given the wide range of love's forms that his tattoos embody, he certainly seems to know a thing or two about romance himself.
Life is defined by death and vice versa. It's what makes living, similar to his tattoos, such a thrilling and ephemeral experience, and Bugs' illustrates this maxim through his body of work as well. His skulls, for instance, have a signature appearance to them, and he frequently depicts them as being cradled by forlorn female nudes. He even has a few astounding abstracted still life pieces of them as well, which seem to poke a little fun at this otherwise very somber subject.
If you want to see more of Bugs' cubist masterpieces, make sure to stop by his Instagram. He works at Swag's Tattoo Lounge in Los Angeles, CA and travels to the east coast and Europe as well should you want one of his abstract scenes on your body.