He says that surrealism is his only religion, and his devotion is evident. Creating works that hum on the abysmal vibrations of doom, Jondix's art fuses the terrifying world of artists like H.R. Giger with the enlightenment of Hinduism, Buddhism, and strands of Shamanic sensibilities. Forging pieces that stare directly into the face of death and into the souls of anyone brave enough to dive deep, Jondix has amassed a following that delights in the strange and dark.
This prolific Tattoodo Ambassador was kind enough to speak on his process, philosophy and overall bad-assery.
Why were you drawn to the art form of tattooing? Were there any other careers that you had in mind, or was art always the connective thread within your life?
I saw this Metal Hammer magazine in the 80's with Motley Crue on the cover and just wanted this rebel image so I wanted the tattoos, but years later I understood a deeper level of what was going on... I saw mantras and ritual objects tattooed with high technical level and my mind exploded…
I studied architecture anyway, but it was something else...first of all tattooing was like a hobby thing...and then it became the main driven aspect of my life. When I got both sleeves tattooed by Tas, then I saw this article on Axel Stocks, in a Modern Primitives book, who tattooed himself and I thought I could do the same...at least try...
Often I feel like your artwork is like the film The Holy Mountain meets HR Giger infused with Shamanic and Hindu concepts. It speaks of enlightened darkness. What artists, books, films, musicians, etc inspire your work? Who are you heroes or mentors?
You just said it right hahaha...well, I have many secret mentors, but obvious ones are Filip and Xed as far as tattooing goes and then many sci-fi and fantasy artists like Druillet, etc...an endless list. Movies like Videodrome and Existenz, but other kind of mentors are also normal humble people who work hard and are authentic.
Your tattoos have a lot of esoteric symbolism within them. Hinduism, sigils, and the like, make appearances often. Because your artwork contains such deeply personal shamanic, religious, and philosophical concepts, how do you research these? What is your personal philosophy, and how does this translate through your art or life?
I am an obsessive researcher, since I was a kid, so I go really deep into anything I'm working on. I love to analyze the manipulative side of all religions and therefore I always say that Surrealism is my only religion... Art is more important for me than any God we created... Not talking about the Universal Force though...but don't get me wrong, I also know why humans, including me, need religion at some point of our lives... cause we don't know where we come from or where we going... and that's the subject of all my tattoos.
You seem to be in touch with the more authentic, primitivist way of living which is inspiring. What advice do you have for those looking to explore this path?
I don’t know what you’re talking about, but I can tell you something... life is short...sometimes very short...
In other interviews you’ve opened up about your perspectives on reality, which deeply resonate with me. Do you find that tattooing is our way of controlling a reality, a body, we’re born into? Can you expound more on what “reality” means to you?
My reality is only in my head... but "The Big Reality" is different...maybe we will never understand, because we are hypnotized by modern Society....My street shop Seven Doors is part of society, but when you step inside it's like exiting society...
In the past you’ve spoken a lot about music and its importance in expressing certain aspects of life. Like Electric Wizard, Asunder, or Graves at Sea, your music is dark, stoner drone that really resounds with depth. Are you still playing in bands? Why is this an integral part of your life? What does music do that tattooing cannot?
I've loved to play guitar since I was 16 and Metal was my way to disconnect from my parents and teachers etc...so I'm still hooked to it like day one. I met Rob Halford last year and he was a gentleman and proved to me that the metal world is 100% real. My new band Mercury Gates will release soon a record and this time it is classic Metal, late Judas' style...Music is very important while tattooing cause we need a rhythm...we can't lose too much time cause it gets more painful and music helps you to focus ...well at least me..
Why do you think people are attracted to esoterica, taboo, and dark art? Why do you think tattoos are so powerful?
The mysterious! We like what we don't understand completely...we like the risky things... we like beauty, but when it's mixed with sadness it awakens a romantic feeling that reminds us of dreams...
What do you hope the future holds for you? Are there any collabs, conventions, or projects you’re looking forward to in particular?
I want to revisit what I've been doing lately and improve it and keep learning...there's a few new projects that will come soon, but still secret in a way... Really one of the most important things is to keep the shop Seven Doors as interesting as it is now...artistically speaking...there's always changes, of course, but keep transmutating into a positive and creative environment for the customers. Seven Doors has a mission that is teaching the customers what is a cool tattoo experience...not only collectors but also first timers..in a world of new styles and a new shop opening every 5 min, we like to take care of some of the important values of the past too.