Payasa girls are one of the intriguing motifs that have grown out of Chicano style tattooing. They are the realistic female portraits that are common to this genre of soft black and grey tattoos with one difference: they have their faces painted like clowns. One of the best practitioners of this style in the world, Ryan Evans, makes some of the most pristine and edgy portraits of payasa girls around. They all look ready to ride or die.
Growing out of an association with prison and gang culture, payasa girls embody the fascinating intersection of illustrating gorgeous women in the loneliness of institutionalization as well as the laugh-now-cry-later attitude signified by comedy and tragedy masks. Though this sort of culturally charged imagery has largely evolved beyond its stigmatized origins and into a more reputable and popularized genre of tattoos, body art like Evan's payasa girls still carry the connotation of what street-life for Chicanos was and still can be like. In short, judging by their looks, if you're not careful, these stunning women would likely land you in a stent of trouble.