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Interview. Lesha Lauz

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz / Photo: @leshalauz

The Modern tattoo is going far beyond the use of classical styles and techniques. Artists look for the new styles, developing their amazing interpretations and methods. One of the vivid examples of such experimenters is the Moscow tattoo artist Lesha Lauz. His tattoos can not be confused with anyone else, because he uses a very interesting author's effect of a color pixel shift. This decision, not only looks cool, but as a result has generate a new, all-recognizable style! Today, we decided to learn some details of the creative path of Lesha, and share our conversation to you.

- Hello Lesha! Let's start from the traditional questions: how did it all start for you? How and when did you decide that you will be tattooist?

- Hi! It all began in 2007, when the tattoo was not so popular and it was a very adventurous step for me. My friends advised me to start tattooing (I confess, in that time I looked on this through the prism of skepticism :) ). It was very fun of course in the time of popularity of the EMO culture, in the epoch of rise of the body modification to have the skill of creating tattoos. The chance also turned up - one of my good friends at that time owned a tattoo studio in Moscow, and knowing that I can draw, she invited me to come to them and take some lessons from local masters ...

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz, authors style conceptual color tattoo, pixelwork | Moscow, Russia

- Do you have any special education?

- Yeah, I graduated from the MGPPA named after Stroganov.

- And what possible career did you leave for the tattoo?

- If I did not start tattooing, at now I would most likely be sitting in some design studio and modeling for you teapots, drills and chairs :) Well, by the way it's not so bad, it very interesting. But in our country all the production is in the stage at the stage of a week's embryo ... And it was not possible to drive off to get a career abroad.

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz, authors style conceptual color tattoo, pixelwork | Moscow, Russia

- Do you remember your first customer?

- Of course, I remember! It was my friend from the university, we tattooed an octopus from an ancient Greek vase. At first we made her a contour, and inside the body I still practiced, before painting over. I drawed there all sorts of swastikas and dicks. It was very funny, because she walked with it for about a week, before we all painted over! I do not know, why we did not do it at once ...

- Yes, I wonder too, why :) Now you have a very interesting style. Tell me more about it. How did you come to it?

- I call my style "pixelwork", from the words of one of my colleagues. This is a kind of eclecticism, a combination of realism with decorative elements, interwoven with 8-bit digital graphics. And it all started with the fact that I decided to come up with something new and for a long time I thought about it. In the end, I drew a few sketches and invited those wishing to get such tattoos. Over time, my style is undergoing changes, I have almost moved away from realism, my tattoos are now less detailed, laconic, somewhere grotesque and abstract.

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz, authors style conceptual color tattoo, pixelwork | Moscow, Russia

- What features of your own technique and style can you highlight?

- I highlight the presence of pixels in almost every my work. In the digital age, the "pixel" is a unit, bit, beginning, atom in the physical, our world. And a symbiosis of pixels, "glitch" shifts with things, characters, landscapes, etc. unites the digital universe and the organic.

- And what is the source of inspiration for you?

- For me, anything can be the source of inspiration! I'm inspired by my girlfriend, music, just a moment, a moment that can not be described, the works of old masters (I mean the era in the classical visual arts). I can be hooked and inspired by a stone lying on the road, a wheat ear, and a roll of wallpaper can push me to some thoughts and ideas. By the way, I always fix and write down all my ideas!

- And what does the word "tattoo" mean for you?

- For me, tattooing is a way of expressing my art, every sketch and every tattoo is unique. I really like the old school, I love the tradition, I like a lot of ornamental tattoos. I'm glad, and at the same time surprised that people are willing to endure this pain for wearing a beautiful drawing under the skin :) It's sad but true, that at now the tattoo is going through hard times, due to "super popularity". I'm certainly glad that our art came out from cellars and prisons, however, current trends with "schools of tattoo" and so on... They launched a conveyor to create low quality tattoo masters. Many people who shunned tattoos, who were disgusted by the idea that someone at all is tattooing something for themselves, NOW, I find out that they are TATTOO MASTERS! And some of them ask: "How much does a tattoo artist earn?", "I'm thinking of doing this too, will you help me?". In general, this happened, and we ourselves allowed this to happen...

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz, authors style conceptual color tattoo, pixelwork | Moscow, Russia

- Do you travel a lot around the world as a tattoo artist? Was it possible to compare the western attitude to the tattoo with our, Russian? And maybe there is some special country for you, to which you are always ready to return?

- Yes, I visited few countries as a guest master. I love Italy as a country, but I find it difficult to find customers there, but I was in Hong Kong - it's all great with it! Flight and accommodation are expensive, but it's a pleasure to work! People are very friendly, very conceptual, full of the desire to get an interesting tattoo. In addition, they have very light coloured skin and tattoos look super juicy on it! Also, customers abroad are not so demanding of sketches, as in Russia, here we sometimes have to redraw three or four times.

- Now in Russia, the direction of tattoo conventions is also actively developing, but as far as I know, you do not often participate in them as a master. Why?

- Not that it's not often, but never in general :) Firstly, I do not like the conditions in which the whole process is happening (noisy, bustling, things are not on their places), there almost masters tattooing on their knees. In addition, I do not see the point of tattooing at Moscow festivals, because I'm already in Moscow, whoever needs to get tattoo from me - will come to the shop. And what about participation in contests, I generally think that masters with an individual style have nothing to do there! What to compare? I understand, for example, classical styles - guys compete in a Japanese tattoo, in the new school or in the old school - it's clear that a person needs to express themselves within a style in which hundreds of people work besides him. So I stick to the position in the spirit of "going on for your style and do it cool."

Tattoo artist Lesha Lauz, authors style conceptual color tattoo, pixelwork | Moscow, Russia

- And don't you feel yourself as participant of the underground, choosing the path of a conceptual tattoo, rather than the same super-popular tattoo realism?

- No, I do not feel myself in the underground, but I feel a certain isolation. Of course, people who want what I do, much less than fans of "Japan" or "realism." My style is more focused on creative personalities, gamers, designers and just all sorts of characters that have conceptualism in their soul! In general, it has already become a rule in art that the avant-garde is perceived by ordinary people worse than realism. I think it's for the best!

- Thank you, Lesha, for such an interesting and lively conversation!

- Thank you too!

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