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Intertwined in Ink: The Blackwork Witchcraft of Ryan & Matthew Murray

Intertwined in Ink: The Blackwork Witchcraft of Ryan & Matthew Murray

Tattoo Artists5 min Read

Tattoo artists and twin brothers Ryan and Matt Murray talk about their collaborative blackwork art, influences, and Ink Master.

The Murray brothers of Black Veil Studio open their doors and give us a view of what it's like to share your greatest passion with the very person who entered the world with you.

Ryan and Matthew Murray are twin brothers who embraced the city of Salem as their own and from which they drew great inspiration to their work. Befittingly, both Ryan and Matthew developed a haunting blackwork style that perfectly captured the dark themes of their tattoos. They spend their days creating and working together at Black Veil Studio, a tattoo shop they co-own. Their works are described as ‘black and grey for the grim-hearted’ which centralizes on Victorian-inspired macabre illustration.

Talk about how you both got into tattooing. I've read it was Ryan who first got into it.

Blackwork shadow tattoo by Matthew Murray. #MattMurray #blackwork #dark #macabre #blackveilstudio #devil #shadow

Have you always been inseparable?

Blackwork hand tattoo by Ryan Murray. #RyanMurray #blackwork #dark #macabre #blackveilstudio #hand

What common goal do you share in your careers as artists?

Blackwork bat tattoo by Matthew Murray. #MattMurray #blackwork #dark #macabre #blackveilstudio #bat #underboob

"We can successfully evoke the grim and dreary emotions that are often found in all our works, most often turmoil or bitterness"

What drew you to the ever-expansive world of blackwork? You use it wisely and incredibly, mingling it with dark and horror imagery.

"I think that most of our artwork is very much inspired by the energy and history of our home, Salem Massachusetts"

What are the things that fascinate you that are reflected the most in your works?

Blackwork house tattoo by Matthew Murray. #MattMurray #blackwork #dark #macabre #blackveilstudio #house

In terms of art, in what ways are you different from one another (approach, influences, views, etc)?

Blackwork hand tattoo by Matthew Murray. #MattMurray #blackwork #dark #macabre #blackveilstudio #hand #bouquet

"One of the most positive aspects of doing the show was meeting and making some great and talented friends"

Talk about the Ink Master S8 chapter. How was the whole experience — all the ups and downs of appearing on tattoo reality TV?

Aside from tattooing, in what other pursuits do you both enjoy working on together?

All images via Ryan and Matthew's Instagram

Written byXavier

When she's not writing for Tattoodo, Xavier likes experimenting with art and organizing local music shows. We're kidding, she's probably asleep. Follow her on Instagram @claudia_strife

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