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The Sanctum of Skin Rituals: Interview with Ant the Elder

The Sanctum of Skin Rituals: Interview with Ant the Elder

Tattoo Artists12 min Read

In this interview with tattoo artist Ant the Elder, he talks about the power of transformation and ritual within the tattoo community.

Tattooing is an ancient practice, as old as humankind itself. From Chile to Siberia, fossilized human remains have been found with ink inscribed into their skin. Many of these marks were sacred, and had roots in societal affiliations or ancient spiritual health practices. And although much of popular tattoo culture today seeks to monetize or dilute our community, there are still those who are preserving a more profound meaning within body modification.

Let’s start with the basics...how did you get into tattooing?

So you don’t do it anymore?

Yeah, I feel like all this stuff, tattooing, body modification, even performance, it can be very political. Are you still very interested in politics? Is that part of your process?

Do you find that your clients come to you for that aspect? For the transformative power of your pieces?

Incredible. Yes, so when we met in Berlin you mentioned you were apprenticing your wife. I know it’s a bit personal, but I’d love to know more about that dynamic. You’re teaching someone who is also your partner...and I feel like a lot of people think of education as a hierarchy, but a partnership needs to be equal.

Has she practiced on you yet?

How long have you been at Sang Bleu?

And then Soto just opened one up in LA, right?

It’s interesting how all the tattoo communities are so different, though. Similar, but different. Like meeting you in Berlin, and the vibe of that city...it feels so much different than London, even though they’re relatively close. 

Do you have any guest spots coming up soon?

Why do you think you’re so drawn to the esoteric?


Justine Morrow
Written byJustine Morrow

Social Producer, Journalist, Editor, and Curator for Tattoodo I am here to support you 🌻 IG: @lathe.of.heaven

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