The photography project of French artist Céline Aieta, Inspired Tattoo Portraits, exhibited in Paris, is contributing anew to prove that tattooed persons can have a job, and even a great job, but also that tattoos cannot be broken away from their owners. When tattoo is a passion : Céline has accepted to answer some questions to introduce her project and herself.
Julien Roze, French fire security head and musician. Torso piece by Mikaël de Poissy.
Hello Céline, can you tell me what is your background and link with the tattoo world ?
I have no artistic schooling, but my education has always been focused on Arts. My father has initiated me to photography, and then I went on my merry way … He has given me the taste for this tool and a precious critical eye. I have a lot of admiration for his work.In terms of Arts, Inspired Tattoo Portraits is the encounter between two passions : photography and tattoo. I am getting tattoos for years now, on a ‘assiduous’ way !
Danny Woodruff, English researcher in molecular magnetism. Back tattoo by Stewart Robson.
How did the idea of Inspired Tattoo Portraits come up ?
I simply wanted to take an interest in people who, like me, have made the choice of the integral tattooed body. I wanted to tell the commitment that it implies, with certainly the will to showcase a certain kind of the tattoo culture I love.
Danny again. Torso piece by Stewart Robson.
How do you select your models ?
It always starts with a ‘crush’. I am working with instinct. There are some variables that never change : the integral tattooed body, artistic quality of the pieces and a rich personal universe.
Joseph Stambach, French corset maker. Tattoos by Uncle Allan, Eddie Czaicki and Alix Ge.
Which equipment and conditions do you use for your shootings and videos ?
Regarding photography, I only work with analog photography, always with the same camera and natural light. I never retouch my photos, which gives them this rough aspect I love. I am working in partnership with my video maker, that is to say we are making pictures and video at the same time on the shooting day. It asks for a lot of complicity to be able to move around the model without being in each other’s way while being complementary. Grégoire Dyer directed the last five videos of the project. His professional ties are leading him toward new challenges and I am looking for a new artist to succeed him.
Julien again. Sleeve by Mikaël de Poissy.
We have already made an article on making a good tattoo photography but I’d like to have your professional point of view : according to you, what is making a good tattoo shot ?
I like to put human being in the center of a photo, because for me, a tattoo is not living without the person who wear it. I am shooting whole individuals, before even considering they are tattooed.
Joey Ortega, American tattoo artist. Back piece by Filip Leu.
What are your next projects ? Will you stay connected with the tattoo world ?
I am working on an art book project … I had also offers from magazines … My link with tattoo will never change, as I am engaged in a body suit on which I am constantly working, without taking into account the friendships I have made …
To follow Céline's work and to read her great interviews of her tattooed models and tattoo artists, also check her Facebook page.
Antoine B., French geologist. Torso piece by Romain Pareja.
Anthony Flemming, English tattoo artist.
Adam Guy Hays, American tattoo artist.