We will forever be fans of solid American traditional work. The meat and potatoes of the industry, you can never go wrong with a bold traditional piece, but we have to say that we are partial to the ones that think outside the box as far as subject matter and coloring goes. Artist Alex Zampirri of Pennsylvania’s Heart and Soul Tattoo is one of these free thinkers. Don’t get us wrong, we’re all for the classic lady heads, sailors, large jungle cats, and ships that come with the territory of American traditional, but when an artist takes a chance and opts for something that deviates from the norm, we’re elated. While Zampirri’s work is wholly traditional, his use of color and subjects are anything but.
Nestled in amongst the scorpions, mermaids, eagles, and roses of Zampirri’s work you’ll find something interesting. There, amongst the usual cast of characters, you’ll find the most unusual subjects ranging in everything from bloody guillotines to an RV parked in front of a scenic mountain backdrop “printed” on a broken coffee cup, and even a Lucha Libre mask. It is through these quirky subjects that Zampirri sets himself apart, but it is through his impeccable use of color and shading that he really solidifies himself as a master of traditional work.
Evident in the extreme care taken in creating the explosive candle stick, Zampirri uses both bright and muted gradients of the same color way to give the piece the little pop it needs. The muted golden tones of the left side of the candle stick holder are offset by the gilded tones on the right, just as the tiny green leaves found at the base of the candle are offset by their exaggerated sea foam colored counterparts. So the next time you’re passing through the keystone state, make sure to pay Zampirri a visit. We’re pretty positive the bright colors he uses will light the way.