In this interview with Gerald Feliciano, we get a behind the scenes look at how he creates his lush and lavish Art Nouveau inspired pieces. Based in New York, Gerald talks about how the fast-paced streets keeps him inspired and ever reaching for inspiration evolution. Make sure to check out his Etsy page for prints displaying stellar sensual creations.
Gerald Feliciano has an eye for blending contemporary tattooing with epicurean fine art and graceful organic illustrations that caress the body with finesse.
How did you get into tattooing and why was it something you were drawn to?
I started tattooing in 2004 in Richmond Va. I was studying art at VCU and became obsessed with tattooing. I grew up around tattoos and people who enjoyed collecting them so naturally I gravitated to it.
Can you talk about your inspirations, and how your style has evolved over the years? Who are the tattooers, or fine artists/movements, that have inspired you over the years?
Fortunately there was no shortage of amazing tattoo shops and artists to gain inspiration from. At first I was really drawn to Americana and Japanese tattoo work but since I was a “baby tattooer” in a street shop I was happy to do anything that walked in. Over the years I’ve developed more of a illustrative Art nouveau aesthetic and most recently studying traditional Japanese. I consider myself lucky to be working with some of the best artists in that field at Invisible NYC. I don’t have to look far for inspiration.
Many artists have a philosophy or motivation behind their work...what would you say is yours? How do you define success?
Working both in the city, Lower East Side of Manhattan, and Brooklyn has helped me stay on my toes and keep my finger on the pulse of the industry. I feel like once you’ve stopped becoming a student of the craft you begin to plateau and that’s a death sentence in this industry. Success to me is measured in the respect you have and get from your clients/ peers and the impact you make in their lives.
No matter how big or small the tattoo is you must show that client the same amount of attention and respect. If you inspire others around you then they will equally inspire you. The way I keep myself motivated and fresh is by painting.
Beyond tattooing, what are you passionate about? How do you spend your free time, and what do you do on your vacations?
Outside of tattooing I paint and illustrate artwork through watercolor/ mix media. My paintings reflect a “dark” take on Art Nouveau/ Deco from the late 1800’s and early 1900’s. I have always been a fan of Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Alphonse Mucha, Anthony Gaudi, Caravaggio and I find consistent inspiration through their work. The best part of being a tattoo artist is the ability to travel the world working at various shops and experiencing the local fine art. My last trip to Spain I had the chance to visit and see the Artwork of Anthony Gaudi whose a huge inspiration of mine.
Any future plans you’d like to share?
My partner and I had Plans to take a trip to Amsterdam and Germany in the fall but considering the current issues with the Covid-19 pandemic it’s most likely not going to happen. Hopefully we can overcome this and continue to work and do what we love most.