Chris Higgins' Powerful Polynesian Body Art

By Ross Howerton - 
Chris Higgins' Powerful Polynesian Body Art

Masterful Maori, Marquesan, and Somoan sleeves.

Chris Higgins specializes in creating traditional tattoos from the South Pacific, including Maori, Marquesan, Polynesian, and Samoan body art, and he is hands down one of the best at it in the world. His work in these tribal styles is infinitely complex, carefully balanced, and flawless in execution, making them quite the spectacle to take in. The best part of his body of work, however, is that he honors the cultural traditions from which these tattoos descend, helping these art forms persist authentically in the new millennium.  

One of Chris Higgins' Polynesian bodysuits (IG—higginsandco). #blackwork #ChrisHiggins #Polynesian #tribal

What makes Higgins work in these tribal styles so impressive and eye-catching is his incredible attention to detail. Because of each design's complex patterning, he has to carefully execute each bold line and patch of blacked-out shading or otherwise risk throwing off the balance as well as flow of each large scale piece. Due to his years of experience working in this proud genre of tattoos, he also has a knack for knowing how to perfectly shape his body art to the contours of his clients. Because of his deft eye for placement, each of his pieces has a pronounced and powerful presence on their collectors' bodies.

Other than their overall intensity and technical perfection, what makes Higgins' tattoos so interesting is that they are based on designs handed down from various indigenous traditions of tattoos. In this sense, he doing more than creating beautiful body art, he is preserving such designs in the 21st century. For instance, one can recognize the Maori aesthetic in his heavily patterned and angular pieces, while the artistic sensibility handed down my Marquesan culture comes across in his sleeves with more curvaceous features. In short, by remaining so faithful to older models of composition, he is working against the detestable rising tide of tacky "tribal" tattoos that are divorced from any sort of cultural heritage.   

Should you want to see more of Higgins superb Polynesian, Maori, and Marquesan tattoos, make your way over to his Instagram. If you'd like a large scale piece in any of these styles, he can be reached via his website. Hisshop is located in Eastbourne, UK, overlooking the sea. 

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