Alessandro, also known as The Hanged, is known for his portfolio of intricate designs. Like graphite pencil in the sketchbook of an Old Master, The Hanged creates pieces that hark back to Roman and Greek myths, or embody beautiful stylings of Art Nouveau and Irezumi...he even pulls of Baroque architecture and filigree.
Wonderfully depicting a stunning array of images, art movements, and histories, Alessandro spoke with us about how his soul sucking job as a dental technician drove him to seek out something more life fulfilling.
What is your artistic background? Did you always want to be a tattooer and how did you get into tattooing?
I've always been drawing since I was a kid, anything, without a stop. To follow my friends I ended up studying at a technical institute for dental technicians and so I became, and worked, as a dental technician for years. I was fed up with that job which, unfortunately, gave me no more satisfaction and I decided to find a few tattoo machines to play with. I knew how to draw but I had no idea how a machine worked but the passion for drawing associated with the work of a tattoo artist was too great to stop. And here I am now after years of sacrifice.
Success comes if you believe in what you do and love what you are doing. Then a bit of luck never hurts!
Who are your artistic heroes, tattooists or not? Are there any films, books, visuals, that inspire you?
Who are my heroes? Mine are my dearest friends Dave and Pablo, they are also tattoo artists, who have sacrificed time, a safe job back home, and have left their city, friends, family moving to Australia following their dream of becoming good tattoo artists.
As for books from which I am inspired, they are really different, from books of Greek / Roman myths to vintage books of plants.
Many artists have a philosophy or motivation behind their work...what would you say is yours? How do you define success?
This is a good question. I started doing this job five and a half years ago, I made huge sacrifices, working very long hours, I left Italy to find a studio in London and I saw, I think, the end but also the beginning of a transformation in the world of the tattoo. Many tattoo artists today want everything and immediately, they are not willing to change cities, for example, or make other sacrifices to chase a dream. I see few young tattoo artists who are not interested in the art and passion of tattooing, but are very interested in money. Success comes if you believe in what you do and love what you are doing. Then a bit of luck never hurts :-)
What is the best advice you’ve ever received? What is the best advice you feel you can give?
The best suggestion I've ever been given was from Woody, owner of the Brighton Tattoo Convention in England. I was lucky enough to work for him for a while and he always said “A tattoo artist must be complete. He must also be able to do a little star in a perfect way. ” I would never stop thanking him for these words.
If I have to give some advice to many young tattoo artists today I would say "If you are tattooing for money only, change your job."
Beyond tattooing/creating art, what is most important to you? What do you wish you had more time for?
Being surrounded by people I respect and love like friends, family, my partner. I respect my girlfriend Emily for her support and understanding about my job as I’m always busy and the day off is never really a day off for a tattooist! But also traveling, seeing the world, discovering new places, because it really opens your mind. I would like to have some more time to visit places that I have not yet seen, Even just travel with my van, forgetting time and phone, just following the road.
Do you have any plans for 2019 that you’d like to share? Travel plans, collabs, projects, merch releases, etc?
At the moment the plan in 2019 is to try to solve the Visa situation I have in Australia. It would be a nice breath of fresh air for me. And I wish I could visit a part of Australia with my van that I haven't seen yet and would like to see!