Co-Laboratory: Two Artists Given Free Rein to Tell Stories with Ink

Co-Laboratory: Two Artists Given Free Rein to Tell Stories with Ink

A unique artistic collaboration for three unique stories.

Collaborations are quite common in the tattoo community. And the creation of a tattoo itself usually takes more than one person: the client and the artist. But the project "Co-Laboratoire" (in English Co-Laboratory) is binding people in a new and interesting way: by letting go.

The mastermind behind the concept of Co-Laboratory is Olivier Poinsignon. The young tattoo artist from France enjoys thinking outside the box and exploring new directions in tattoo art. His tattoos are often freehand, with abstract and contemporary effects. For the project, Olivier teamed together with another tattoo artist, with a similar open-mindedness, who was equally as prepared to take risks. This artist is L'Andro Gynette, a prolific blackwork artist with an unique visual universe. 

Three clients were picked for the first Co-Laboratory. They didn't know what their tattoos would look like, but they wanted something to illustrate their stories. The experiment was all about trust, empathy and a way to close certain chapters of their lives.

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L'Andro Gynette recalls: "what the clients wanted to express was pretty tough. In each case, it was about marking a new step, toward a new beginning. And Co-Laboratory was also a new start for us, the artists. We tattooed people for their new life, and also realized we were starting ours too." 

The two artists did not make any limits in this project. The goal was to mix their two styles and approaches with a lot of free hand work, sensitivity and emotion. The result was unpredictable and two of the three clients saw their tattoos only when finished.

For Olivier, Co-Laboratory was a life-changing experience. "A whole week, we lived together with complicity and understanding. We made room for each otherw and for possibilities. This leaded us to soften our methods and our styles to create something more subtile. We were trying to create a symbolic language with the act of tattooing."

The three sessions were filmed and photographed, to remember the artistic experiments of Olivier and Gynette. Now, the two artists have parted ways, but the concept of Co-Laboratory is not over. Olivier has recently announced that a second season is on its way, with two new graphic tattooists... 

Would you let tattoo artist go free rein on your body to illustrate your story? 

Photos by Adrien Bessac, videos by Riot House, tattoos by Olivier Poinsignon and L'Andro Gynette.

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