You know his work immediately: bold, bright red ink, super clean tattooing, and designs that somehow manage to put a disturbing twist on cartoons that were already disturbing to begin with. Enter Uve's surreal void of pop culture icons and noir infused graphic designs.
Immediately recognizable as his own work, part of what makes Uve's pieces so good is that although the crimson hues give a brutal and bloody aesthetic, there is a humor that each tattoo emotes. This comedic undertone filters through all of his creative output, including the clothing and accessories line he's designed. Take, for instance, the red snap-back that says, "Make Uve Great Again". The balance between light and dark is there, and makes for artwork that has enthralled Uve's fans around the globe. He was kind enough to give Tattoodo a look into what drives his constant creation with this exclusive interview.
How did you get into tattooing? Was it always what you wanted to do?
I started to tattoo after working on making cartoons and studying in a comic school. I worked on many things until I decided to dedicate myself to the tattoo art form and take advantage of my knowledge about drawing. I really liked the world of tattooing, although my real passion was comics and cartoons.
The variety in your work is really diverse and inspiring. Although pop culture is clearly a piece of what motivates you, who are the artists that you look up to?
You're right, I'm inspired by icons of pop culture, cartoons, movies, comic series...I'm inspired by many comic book cartoonists like Jack Kirby, Osamu Tezuka, Hideshi Hino or the great Tartakovsky, Bruce Timm...
Are there any tattoos you won't do? Are there any tattoos you wish you did more of?
I try to do everything. Although there are styles that do not work. Now I would like to work more with my flash!
What is it like working at Ondo Tattoo with so many talented artists? What is the tattoo community like in Barcelona?
Working in Ondo is great! It is an honor to be able to share space with artists like Uf, Oscar Hove, Fran, Lucky Luchino, Snot, Gabri, Braid, Jotak, Welok, Kafre, Zafra and Rodrigo DC.
The community in Barcelona is of a fantastic level. There are many world-renowned artists and that's great for the city scene.
What do you like to do when you're not tattooing? If you weren't a tattoo artist, what would you be doing?
I love being with my family, with my wife and my son, discovering places to eat, draw, draw and draw. I read a lot and see damn Italian sci-fi movie's from the 80s. That's the good shit.
If I was not a tattoo artist, I would surely be...a guy without money.
Many tattoo artists have philosophies about the rules of tattooing, as well as the importance of the history and future of tattooing. Do you have a philosophy of your own, and if so what is it?
My philosophy is to be happy. If you live according to a philosophy that makes you happy, go ahead. I will respect your belief.
I like the history of the tattoo although I admit that I am ignorant.
Do you have any plans for 2018 that you'd like to share?
I have many plans, I'll travel more in Europe and I'll make more impressions, patches, clothes ... I have several projects.