the laureate 2013

Matteo Pasqualin

I was born in 1974 in a little town near Venice, Italy. I lived there until a few years ago, when I decided to open my own tattoo shop 50 kilometers away, in Porto Viro. I decided to move because I knew that people over there were interested in getting large pieces! It was for me a good opportunity to get more work and improve my skills! My education background has nothing to do with art. In fact I studied to become an electrician and worked in the field for six years.



But I’ve loved drawing since I was a child, probably because my father was into painting (even if he rarely painted). I love oil paint on canvas and I find the technique fascinating. This is what pushed me to painting for fun and to be more like my father too! I didn’t know the first thing about oil painting. You see, I have worked a lot with pencil or charcoal, which explains why I do a lot of Black and grey work.


Tattoos entered my life the day a few friends and I all decided to get a small tattoo. I was 18 and I went to a local tattoo parlor not far from my town. It was in fact the only place around where you could get a tattoo at the time. Without giving it much thought I chose to get a small Pegasus and got it done on the spot.  Then three years ago by pure accident, I started tattooing after getting some advice from a guy who tattooed from his house. For the next three years, I too tattooed from my home until the guy who inked my first tattoo asked me if I wanted to go work for him. This is when I quit my factory job of 6 years and embarked on my very first personal adventure. I worked alongside my boss for two years but we didn’t really get along, so I decided to open my first shop Matteo’s Tattoo. I have since opened a new shop called The Inkers, not far from my original location.


I started attending tattoo conventions about 4 years ago. These days, I attend most of the Italian conventions and a few outside of the country like Frankfurt, Miami, Budapest and London. This is where I won two prizes in the Black and Grey category! I also won for Black and Grey in Rome in 2011, for a sleeve dedicated to London’s past. I also got 'best color' in Milan this year, for a Star Wars-themed tattoo. I love going to conventions because I always learn a lot and I can study other artists’ style.


I’ve always been fascinated by black and white pictures; I was trying to reproduce them on paper with a pencil, down to the last detail. I don't know if it’s considered a style but I really love putting lots of little details all over my pieces, no matter how long it takes. I don’t even charge more for the extra time I spend on my customers. I also like a strong contrast in my black and grey work too.


This year I had the chance to see many artists at work and I realize that I am different from them in a certain aspect: the music. Contrary to many of these guys, I love to work to soft music, lounge music; I hate metal or hard rock music, particularly when I am working!


I am inspired by great artists like Dmitriy Samohin, Den Yakovlev, Andy Engel and Carlos Torres. My favorite style is realistic and black and grey, even when it comes to inking traditional subjects. I hope to become a great black and grey realistic artist.


When someone contacts me for a Tattoo, I ask him or her to provide me with as many detailed pictures as possible, with clear and strong contrasts. These help me design and execute a great tattoo in the most instinctive manner. It still surprises me to find that so many clients are ready to put their faith in my ability to ink them, even though they haven’t even seen a rendering of the final idea on paper.


Here’s a tattoo I’d like to do next: it’s a sleeve dedicated to my favorite film: Pulp fiction. Who knows? Maybe soon?


Inkers Tattoo Shop
Via della vittoria 2a
45014 Porto Viro
0039 347 465 7795

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