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Cult Classic Portraits by Nikko Hurtado

Cult Classic Portraits by Nikko Hurtado

Tattoo Artists3 min Read

If you love films with cult followings and mind-blowing portraiture, Nikko Hurtado's your man.

Hey, all you tattoo lovers out there who also love movies. I'm here with a kickass artist showcase filled with portraiture of cult classics from one of my personal favorite tattooists — Nikko Hurtado — who by the way, is one of the best at this realist style in the entire world. So, without further ado, sit back, relax, and enjoy these glorious portraits from films and television shows with some of the largest fan followings in all of cinematic history. 

Portrait of Jack Nicholson from Stanley Kubrick's The Shining by Nikko Hurtado. #blackandgrey#JackNicholson #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #TheShining

"I'm not gonna hurt ya. I'm just going to bash your brains in!"

Nikko Hurtado's portrait of the character Michael from The Lost Boys. #color #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #TheLostBoys

"Maggots, Michael. You're eating maggots."

Nikko Hurtado's portrait of David transfroming from An American Werewolf in London. "Beware the moon, lads." #color #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #werewolf

Any devotee of horror can't help but revel in Hurtado's work, and being one myself, I am no different. The portraits above are all from horror flicks on my top-ten list. His depiction of Jack Nicholson from (my favorite director of all time) Stanley Kubrick's intense thriller, The Shining, makes me feel like Shelly Duvall, screaming as he bursts through the door with an axe. Also, his illustration of Michael from The Lost Boys is straight out of the vampire haven of Santa Carla, California, and the tattoo of David from An American Werewolf in London mid-transformation captures the special effects makeup picture perfectly. 

An iconic Chucky from Child's Play by Nikko Hurtado. #ChildsPlay #Chucky #color #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism

"Olly olly oxen free."

Nikko Hurtado's take on Pennywise from the TV adaptation of Stephen King's It. "We lie best when we lie to ourselves." #color #It #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #StephenKing

Speaking of terror, I can barley sit through Child's Play and the serialized adaptation of Stephan King's It. There is just something so disturbing about clowns and dolls that characters like Pennywise and Chucky legitimately scare the living hell out of me. I had nightmares about that stab-happy pint-sized ginger for years after seeing the film as a child —thanks, responsible parenting. Aside from how much they unsettle me personally, Hurtado has done an amazing job of bringing these red-haired horrors to life through his realistic portraiture in color.

"They're all dead. They just don't know it yet."

Han lives on in this breathtaking portrait by Nikko Hurtado. #color #Han #Leia #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #StarWars #hansolo

"Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for a good blaster at your side, kid."

This portrait by Nikko Hurtado seems to grumble, "I'm Batman." #Batman #color #MichaelKeaton #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism

Not all cult classics are horror movies, and the preceding tattoos by Hurtado illustrate that fact in exciting proportions. One can see just how big of an imprint iconic action films like The Crow, the original Star Wars trilogy, and Batman a la Michael Keaton left on their viewers. Hurtado's work exemplifies just how many individuals were so impressed by these cinematic works as starstruck children that they later sought out a master tattooer to celebrate their fandom outwardly on their body. 

Boris Karloff as Frankenstein's monster by Nikko Hurtado. "She lives!" #BorisKarloff #color #Frankenstein #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism

"You are so beautiful to me."

Alfalfa from retro Little Rascals, formerly known as Our Gang, by Nikko Hurtado. #Alfalfa #blackandgrey #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism

When one thinks of cult classics, older films and television shows often get left out, but some of Hurtado's realistic portraits refuse to let time forget about these hugely popular pieces of cinema. The portrait of Frankenstein's monster, for instance, comes directly from Boris Karloff's portrayal of the character in Bride of Frankenstein, which cemented the abomination's popular appearance for decades to come. In addition, this portrait of Alfalfa is truly old-school, harkening back to when The Little Rascals was better know as Our Gang

Nikko Hurtado portrait of De Niro from Taxi Driver. #color #DeNero #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism #TaxiDriver #RobertDeNiro

"You talking to me?"

To conclude this screening of cult classics through Hurtado's superb portraits, here are a pair out of the genres of drama and comedy. Often the films that pull on our heartstrings, stop us dead in our tracks, or tickle our senses of humor, more so than shocking us with horrific images or wowing us with action-packed scenes, are those that leave a more permanent impression. The portrait of Robert De Niro from Taxi Driver captures the character's complete mental-break at the end of the film, and Hurtado's take on Edward Scissorhands communicates the darkness of the parody behind what is arguably Tim Burton's most suggestive film. 

"You said it two times, come on. Say it one more time." Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice by Nikko Hurtado. #Beetlejuice #color #NikkoHurtado #portraiture #realism

I hope you liked this film festival of celluloid-like tattoos by Hurtado. I know I did. More of his astounding work can be found on his Instagram. If you didn't recognize any of these characters from cult classics, I tried not to spoil anything as well as give you enough information to track them down to watch tonight. You won't regret it. And for all of you aficionados who caught every homage and allusion, it's high time you re-watched some of these movies for the umpteenth time, because they truly do never get old.

Ross Howerton
Written byRoss Howerton

BA in Literary Studies from The New School. MFA in Creative Writing from NMSU. Staff Writer for Tattoodo. I love art, books, movies, music, and video games. Hit me up on Twitter @Powertonium

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