Yesterday in Paris, renowned tattooist Fuzi and gifted graphic designer Lucas Grassmay launched their newest project: Seulement pour la vie, a tattoo magazine devoted to contemporary tattooing. Proving that tattooing has evolved to embrace almost every aspect of other arts-based disciplines such as “photography, architecture, graphic design, graffiti…”, the new publication also goes deeper into the tattooist as well as their motivations, philosophies, and interactions with creative culture as a whole.
Although there are many tattoo magazines out there touting a complete perspective of the tattoo community, both Fuzi and Lucas both felt there was something missing. Lucas believes that many of these periodicals are simply missing the heart of the culture: “To be honest, SPLV was long overdue. Most tattoo magazines simply put a “hot girl” on the front page and feature mixed tattoo content. It’s almost as if they don’t care about the community or the individual motivations of the tattooers. They remain on a pretty superficial level by just showing nice images. Our mission is to change that. We see tattooing as a more comprehensive thing, including the tattoo artist, the customer, the picture of the tattoo, the story behind it and, of course, the magic of it all adding up symbiotically."
Fuzi agrees and also maintains that the one-dimensional approach many tattoo magazines take often trivializes tattooing as a whole. They also are failing to capture the modern evolution of this diverse community. “With Seulement pour la vie I wanted to create a magazine that reflects my vision of tattooing; that is about feeling rather than technique, creativity rather than hype. SPLV is a platform for a new generation of tattoo artists, who come from different backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders, and who are now re-writing the rules of contemporary tattooing. The content and the design of the magazine was conceived with this state of mind: freedom, creativity and breaking the rules.”
For the first issue of Seulement pour la vie, Fuzi and Lucas chose to highlight the work of Ivan Le Pays, a tattooist and intermedia artist who focuses on capturing the essence of geographical locations, photography, memories and more, in a permanent line drawing. His work looks simple but there is a depth to his creations that beautifully seizes the true mood of a place, person, or scene to reflect and preserve it. Ivan says of his work, “To draw on the skin of a person, a landscape, an architecture, allows to make visible a hidden memory by the representation of what is real. The contemporary tattoo marks on the skin the memory of a youth looking for its identity. every artist develops their personal style, allowing for each to reinvent their body and their own story.” An embodiment of the hope to empower through art and ink, Ivan’s work is uniquely intimate.
The aesthetics of the magazine are, of course, stunning. Fuzi and Lucas both have incredible skill when it comes to creation and curation. Lucas merges the captivating elements of iconic ’60s, ‘70s and ‘80s movie posters with the innovative simplicity of graphic design heroes like Josef Müller-Brockmann and Willy Fleckhaus. Fuzi also pulls from past movements that have deeply influenced contemporary pop culture; bold graffiti and comic book playfulness unite with what he calls the “eternal human themes—violence, love, sex”, not to mention a healthy dedication to freedom of expression.
With these two powerhouses of creative virtuosity side by side, we can only guess that future iterations of Seulement pour la vie will be indicative of Fuzi and Lucas’s adoration for high-quality creativity within tattoo culture and community.