Kostas Tzikalagia is a master tattooist who specializes in large-scale illustrations of traditional Japanese and Tibetan imagery. Although all of his work is awe-inspiring, today we chose to showcase one of the most badass motifs from his corpus — his killer skull tattoos. These massive skeletal masterpieces are as intense as they are wide-stretching, and to be honest, are some of the most radical illustrations of this universal emblem of death that we've ever seen. Now, check out these giant tattoos that prove the human head looks coolest when it's long since been dead.
It's difficult for us to decide whether we like his color or black and grey tattoos more, but one thing's for sure, they're all absolutely to die for. There expressions and size are so hardcore that they leave us a bit intimidated. Their unsettling appearance makes it seem like they've arrive to reap our measly souls. Each of them exemplify the features — cracked craniums, spherical eyes, and fanged teeth — that make his skulls so outstanding in the virtual sea of skulls that comprises much of the tattoo world.
Though the intensity of his skulls makes them superb already, the most interesting facet of them is how they honor tradition in remaining faithful to the age-old iconography of Japanese and Tibetan art. Both of these traditions are rife with skeletal imagery, and Tzikalagias has replicated and expounded on these time-tested designs of skulls. His Tibetan ones, for instance, all have ornaments on their most pronounced features like their noses, eyebrows, and jawlines. They are frequently adorned with caps, which is a traditional motif as well. He honors Japanese design principles by sometime depicting his skulls as wearing samurai helmets, too. Also, because the god is often depicted as sporting a crown of skulls, it makes since that he has such a penchant for illustrating Mahakala.
Should you be down for getting your entire back covered with a massive skull, Kostas Tzikalagias works in Thessaloniki, Greece and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org for appointments and consultations. If you want to have a look at some more of his large-scale masterpieces, head on over to his Instagram, which is filled with even more skeletal imagery.