When done well, black and grey realism is fantastic, but in some talented artists' hands it can become something deeper than just pristine imagery. This is the case with much of Alan Padilla's portfolio, which contains tons of astounding tattoos that are representative of very heavy cultural subject matter. In short, he makes art that is both beautiful and substantial. Peruse this sample of his tattoos to see how they communicate complicated historical subtexts.
Padilla's take on the black and grey tattooing is remarkably soft and takes after the Chicano style. He works in very fine lines and utilizes a wide gradient of shading to give dimension to his figures. The resulting aesthetic is both impressively lifelike and visually pleasing.
Another captivating aspect of Padilla's work is that it covers a wide range of powerful subject matter. One of his fortes is illustrating figures from ancient Mayan sculpture, which is compelling because they honor a tradition of art that would, for the most part, only exist in the ruins left behind in the wake of the colonization. Only a few tattooists in the world specialize in this particular cultural iconography, and Padilla is one of the best.
If you want to see more of Padilla's profound black and grey realism, make your way to his Instagram. He works at Time Line Gallery in San Pedro, CA and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org should you want one of his large-scale and masterful pieces of your own.