I'm going to tell you something, and it may come as a shock. Sit down, take a deep breath. Have a sip of your drink. Okay. Ready?
Some tattoo artists.... do other things besides tattoo.
I know. It's unheard of. It's wild. It's fuckin' out of control. But, it's true. Most artists are highly proficient- and actually enjoy working with- several mediums. And this is the certainly the case with Javier Betancourt.
Betancourt, tattooer and owner of Ocho Placas Tattoo Company in Miami, Florida has got a lot more going on than just banging out impeccable tattoos all day long. In fact, he has an entirely separate project titled "This Is Meant To Hurt You" that delves deep into the depths and ideology of tattoo and alternative culture.
"Tattoos have always carried an air of rebellion with them. Throughout history, they have been both demonized and romanticized, and that polarizing effect is what's so attractive about them." Betancourt is capitalizing on that interesting contrast.
This Is Meant To Hurt You is the brainchild of Betancourt- a multimedia art publication in which he seeks to address traditionally taboo subject matter, such as tattoo culture and fetishism, in a beautifully bold and artfully romantic way. The publication features Betancourt's personal work along with the work of those who "inspire and challenge" him. Among the artists featured are Jason Boyer, Daniel Albrigo, Tamara Santibanez, Chase Libson and Jose Leyva. Each artist is given the space to showcase their personal aesthetic within the publication while simultaneously (and seamlessly) blending into the gritty, decadent, tragic, sexy and yet still somehow hopelessly romantic overall tone of the project.
"During this yearlong project, I have worked to capture the idea of being young, cold, and beautiful by creating a visual representation for the emotional distance that results from rejecting intimacy for oneself while still idealizing romance" he says. "The result thus far is a bold and provocative aesthetic of stark visual and psychological contrasts to illustrate the essential tension between elegance and squalor, romance and loneliness."
" ... creating a visual representation for the emotional distance that results ..."
"... from rejecting intimacy for oneself while still idealizing romance ... "
As a tattooer expanding into the realm of publishing, Betancourt's mission is clear. "Part of this project is to showcase the forms of tattooing that I find to be elegant, timeless, and uniquely special. I want people to see those pieces that have a personality and soul and relate to them the same way I do."
You can grab a copy of your own here.