Swirls of color like twisted caterpillars, glimmering graceful flames of fire, and the whispers of shooting stars, Paolo Bosson's abstract expressionist tattoos are striking. With vivid tones of ink, he makes the atmosphere physical and energies palpable; his tattoos are corporeal embodiments of motion and time. As Arshile Gorky said, "Abstract art enables the artist to perceive beyond the tangible, to extract the infinite out of the finite. It is the emancipation of the mind. It is an exploration into unknown areas."
How and why did you get into tattooing? What do you think, as far as your past, background or upbringing, supported your artistic career?
I’ve always been drawing since a very young age. Because I wasn’t very good at school I got lucky my parents pushed me into doing what I like.
As far as I remember my father was a huge fan of Joan Miro and I used to redraw paintings of his. It inspires me a lot and definitely gave me years later this dichotomic notion of good/bad taste, ugly/beauty, construction/deconstruction, kitsch/subtle.
I was studying fine art when I got a revelation for tattooing. I had a strong mental vision of a corridor with all the doors open and everything was obvious, I knew I had to go this direction without any doubts. Since then I got so lucky and everything goes so fast.
Your tattoos are immediately recognizable as your own handiwork. Where do you find the most inspiration for your work and how did you arrive at the style you currently work in?
Joan Miro definitely, friends, tattooing, art brut, artistic contents that affect me / interest me. But also a big part is from what I’m reading. Mostly esoteric books.
I’ve been through different periods and iconographies. I see it as collection of shapes that I play with, put together and try to see how interesting is their interaction and connection.
How one shape is affecting or balancing the other is sometimes more important for me than the shape itself. For the rest, I just listen to myself, do what I like and follow my intuitions.
I feel like many tattooers have very definitive ideas about the philosophy, purpose, past, and future of tattooing. What is your tattoo philosophy?
With the tattooing explosion since fifteen years ago, I feel it really open doors to a more experimental way of tattooing.
I can see it through skateboarding as well that when a discipline gets mainstream it accelerates everything in any way. Good and bad at the same time but it’s the two faces of the same coin. Skin is the medium of a generation and lot of people with different creative backgrounds merge into tattooing and it really brings a flourishing diversity of style.
All the answers are within, you just need to take time for being quiet and listen.
Beyond tattooing, what are you most passionate about? If you weren’t a tattooer what would you be doing?
I’ve been skateboarding for more than 15 years now. That’s what I would do more of if I wasn’t tattooing. The good thing is even with tattooing I can skate a lot and bring my board in every place as I’m guesting around the world. That’s the best.
What advice do you have for other artists trying to find their style or voice?
Listen to yourself and trust your goals because you’re the only one who knows what’s good for you. All the answers are within, you just need to take time for being quiet and listen.
"Creativity arises out of the state of thoughtless presence in which you are much more awake than when you are engrossed in thinking." - Eckhart Tolle
Do you have any travel plans, collabs, or projects coming up in 2019 that you’d like to share?
We just opened a new studio in Geneva, Switzerland: « Double Rayon »
We are three tattooers, one graphic designer and an artist: Laurie Franck, Loic VH, Matteo Venet and Laura Thiong-Toye.
It's a beautiful space that used to be an esoteric library. Laurie is also giving tarot readings there. That’s definitely the main big project for this year. We worked for more than 6 months on it. For the rest I’ll be back at traveling very soon and there will be a lot of collaborations to come at the studio.