Whether he’s creating abstract portrait tattoos or designing immersive Watercolor sleeves; Porto d’Ascoli’s Alex Prequel delivers bold, textured, and imaginative permanent art in a signature style all his own. Commonly exploring themes like pop-culture, animation, identity, and spiritual awakening; Alex’s designs effortlessly blend elements of the otherworldly with the material, as he creates tattoos that merge psychedelic and esoteric accents with elements of nature and contemporary culture.
One of the most unique qualities of Alex’s work is his ability to craft custom tattoos using a mixed media approach, blending textured painterly accents with abstract brush strokes, sketch-style lines, and imaginative surrealist concepts. In talking with Alex, it becomes clear that his signature style hails from his vast array of creative influences, both modern and old, spanning everything from contemporary fashion to Basquiat’s SAMO graffiti and the fine art of symbolist Gustav Klimt. Outside of Alex’s vibrant neon hues and abstract accents, his tattoos are often laden with subtle yet powerful symbolism in the form of Fibonacci spirals, third eyes, pyramids, and creative nods to artistic greats.
In this interview, I talk with Alex Prequel about his advice for new tattooers, his ability to recognize art in daily life, and the biggest lesson 2020 has taught him.
How long have you been tattooing and how would you personally define your tattooing style?
I have been tattooing for 7 years and I have been dedicating myself mainly to my current tattoo style for about 4 and a half years. My style ranges from pure Abstract to Watercolor, sometimes combining the two together according to my taste and that of the client. In summary, I would define my style as stunning because I make every work with the idea of surprising someone with a design never seen before.
Which 3 artists have had the most influence on your work?
I really like to mix the new with the past. In many of my tattoos you will notice that I insert textures that are very similar to those that Gustav Klimt used in his paintings. I'm a big fan of Jean Michel Basquiat as well for his crazy street art that hit the gallery. I also really like Roy Lichtenstein and his Pop art, mainly for the massive use of dots that I often use in my own backgrounds.
What draws you to the Watercolor aesthetic? In what ways is your signature style a reflection of you?
What attracts me to Watercolor is its irregularity and the fluidity in the strokes and shades. I would say it reflects me as a person, yes, I'm very sentimental but also tough when needed, so that's what I see in my works too. I think I convey a creativity personality.
What habits do you feel promote, or dampen, your creativity?
Surely what promotes my creativity I think is my imagination and the right eye to capture inspirations outside of art. I think that all of the world is art if you look at it with a conceptual vision.
Do you prefer using rotary machines or coil machines for your work? What about for lining?
I have a very delicate hand when lining, and I also feel that the coil machines are too tiring due to the weight and vibrations, so I only use rotary machines. Some classic rotary machines and some rotary pens. The only coil machines I have used are the first I bought with my original starter kit and 2 more after that kit, but that was in my first year of tattooing. I draw lines that are both strong and decisive and but at times very thin. The needle sizes I use for the lines are usually 3, 5, and 11 round liners.
If you weren’t involved with tattooing, what else could you see yourself doing as a profession? Do you have any passions outside of tattooing that you wish you had more time for?
In reality, after so many years I would not want to do anything else, I like being where I am. But, I really love fashion, so that would be a sector I would like to get my hands on in the future.
Do you enjoy listening to music while you work? Who are your top 5 favorite musicians?
I always listen to music during my sessions, yes. I'm a big fan of Hip Hop as many already know, so absolutely yes. I have so many artists that I like but if I had to summarize them in 5 names I would say: 2Pac, 50 Cent, Wu Tang Clan, Travis Scott, and Wiz Khalifa.
What advice would you give to artists interested in pursuing tattooing?
I would recommend doing it because it is a wonderful job and I would encourage them to persist if they have not yet achieved the desired results. The key to success is never to be satisfied, after years I am still in continuous growth and always in search of improvement and innovation. Tattooing is now such a saturated market that it is difficult to get noticed unlike maybe 10 or 5 years ago, so I realize that it is not easy for new artists to get started.
Is there anything important you feel that 2020 has taught you?
Don't waste time! Because we were all shown last year how easy it is to go from 100 to zero in a short time in this life.