How Ancient Powers Speak: Tattooist Matt Bivetto Releases Art Book

How Ancient Powers Speak: Tattooist Matt Bivetto Releases Art Book

In celebration of tattoo artist Matt Bivetto's book, we asked him some questions about his spirituality and creativity.


Saturday, March 30th 8-10pm

570 Manhattan Ave, Brooklyn, NY 


As soon as I found out Matt Bivetto was releasing a book, I had to know more. His ideas and working philosophy is fascinating, and his esoteric aesthetic is ever lasting, era spanning. On top of that, Jackson Epstein's small publishing press, Snail Farm, is producing the publication. It's like a magical match made in an ecstatic hypnagogic utopia. 

Truly, it's people like Matt Bivetto that make my job incredibly satisfying and spiritually fulfilling. He is an ally, an integral person within tattooing who consistently tries to evolve the art form further. It's people like Matt that continue to create a community of open minded depth and lasting compassion through inclusive, powerful collaboration. Plus....he makes killer surreal and strange art. 

What inspired you to make a new book of work? What was the overall mission or scope of the pieces you included?

The Ecclesiarchs were the principle assembly of ancient extra terrestrial races. These are automatic drawings of those people, whose obscured agenda influences our human consciousness in dreams, epiphanies, and emotions. It's a playful and humorous collection, equivalent to a box of Polaroid portraits.

Can you talk about the influences behind your visual art and how they reflect in your tattoos?

Concerning my personal aesthetic, when I draw anything at all it’s automatically going to be a design that’ll translate into a tattoo. So, often in the past few years I’ve specifically painted using soft lines to elevate the imagery a bit above tattoo flash, but, of course, when I tattoo the design it will be with bold lines and I’ll often use black and grey to mimic the ethereal quality from the original art. Lately I’ve been really stoked to getting back to painting interesting and colorful flash combining my own imagery and also pulling from classic Americana as well as folk styles from the past and present.

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I believe in love and light and that all people are equal and beautiful.

Many of your pieces have a very mystical, esoteric overtone…do you believe in that sort of philosophy? What would you say is your personal belief system?

I believe in divine consciousness and the immortal soul. I believe in mysticism and I believe that modern science, medicine and technology exist as a balancing act of magic. I believe in duality and karma. I believe in love and light and that all people are equal and beautiful. I believe that life’s purpose is to conquer fear and hate through discipline, patience and empathy.

Recently you moved from NY to PA! What was the impetus behind the move, and how has life been there so far?

I moved to Pennsylvania to hopefully achieve these goals in an environment where I can stay busy doing what I love and have room to spread out, without struggling just to pay bills and stay afloat. Old Soul Tattoo is more than just a tattoo shop, it’s a place of worship. It has a high standard of classic contemporary tattooing and a true love, as well as understanding, of the full spectrum of the craft. Although I miss my pals in Brooklyn, I am so grateful everyday since moving to Pittsburgh.

Tell us a bit about the book release! Who is involved, where can we pick up a copy, etc.?

The book is published through Snail Farm and the release party will be held at Soft Opening this Saturday, March 30th from 7 to 10. Each book sold will include a free riso print and individual prints will be for purchase. It’s a very limited pressing, so anyone coming should be on time if they want to buy a copy! Complimentary bevs and tunes. And I wanna say thank you for the publicity and to everyone out there reading this who supports my art.

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