It seems 2016 was the year of black and grey ornamental pieces, with artists like Ink Master’s reigning champion Ryan Ashley Malarkey shedding an even brighter light on the popular style as well as artist favorites like Tyler Pawelzik demonstrating phenomenal skills and creativity, the year was chock full of beautiful black and grey pieces. But often times people forget that just because it’s ornamental doesn’t mean it doesn’t have a subject, as artist Flo Nuttall frequently reminds us with her impeccable lady heads. Dripping in jewels and fineries her women are of the highest societal ranking, true aristocrats, and while they might seem like prim and proper ladies, something about their smug looks indicate that they may be a Bond girl in disguise.
Tattooing out of Swan Song Tattoo in Rome, Italy, the body of Nuttall’s work is black and grey, and absolutely beautiful at that. Intricate ornamental motifs make up the vast majority of her work, as swirling and repeating patterns form intensely detailed mandala and mehndi inspired designs. While more often than not, Nuttall’s work includes some sort of decorative work, it’s not always the main subject of her tattoos. Nuttall, like so many of us, is also a fan of lady heads, but what makes hers stand out from others is her unique ability to convey a certain mischievousness.
From the masked ladies to the aristocratic profiles, something behind the eyes of her women is threatening, if not completely terrifying. This can be seen particularly well in one of her few color pieces: the noble woman holding her cat. Completely decked out from the crown of her head all the way to her breast bone, something about this portrait is rife with sinister energy. Is she plotting a murder or perhaps a bank heist, who knows, but we’d be willing to bet money that it’s a plan worthy of a role as a Bond girl.
Aside from her tattoos, her sinister ladies carry over into her fine art prints as well, this time in bold, vibrant color. Drawing a good majority of her inspiration from Indian culture, her fine art contains many a reference to Ganesh, Shiva, and traditionally dressed Indian brides. While she’s currently booked for the remainder of 2016, her books for 2017 officially open on New Year’s Day, and if you’re looking to get a piece from her, you better act fast, as they will no doubt be in high demand. So as we start looking to the new year, make some resolutions that you can actually accomplish, like getting yourself on Nuttall’s books.