Ettore, where are you working at the moment?
After travelling around a lot, I’m now working in my new studio, Absolution Tattoo Lounge which I opened at number 7 corso Unità d’Italia in Cantù (Italy), on 14 February 2010, with my two business partners: Simone Cassinelli and Francesco Ferraiolo.
I met Francesco at a tattoo convention and, when I went to work at the Salvation Tattoo Lounge studio in Miami for six months, I got him to come over to the States for a couple of weeks to share that amazing experience with me. Simone came with him and that’s how we came up with the idea to set up a studio together.
Where did you work before opening Absolution Tattoo Lounge?
Before opening the studio in Cantù, I was an itinerant worker at various studios in Italy and abroad:
– Doria Tattoo Studio in Casale Monferrato
– Pittan Tattoo Studio in Milan
– Mosh Pitt Tattoo Studio in South Beach, Miami, Florida
– Industry Tattoo Studio in South Beach, Miami, Florida
– Salvation Tattoo Lounge in South Beach, Miami, Florida
– Tattoo Lou’s on Long Island, New York
– Iron Cross Tattoo in Santa Barbara, California
– La Tribù Tattoo in Corfu, Greece
How did you learn to tattoo?
I started tattooing in Brazil in 2002. At the time I was still working as a set designer at tourist resorts, when I saw an advert in a tattoo magazine, selling basic tattooing kits by mail order. I was curious and so I ordered one.
When the parcel arrived, a Brazilian painter/tattoo artist showed me how to put the machine together and weld the needles; after that I was immediately inundated with requests from the staff (bartenders, waiters and so on), so I started tattooing for free. They were happy and I got some practice.
Is there a tattoo artist that you consider to be your maestro?
Definitely Alessandro Doria. When I returned to Italy I didn’t know anyone in the field but I’d seen his work in a magazine and really liked it. His studio was also really close to my house so I went to see him. We’ve been friends ever since and his advice has really helped me to improve my style and technique.
Which tattoo artists do you admire the most or consider groundbreaking?
I love realistic style tattoos and so, as far as I’m concerned, Nikko Hurtado is the best!!
After him, another really talented guy is Mike de Vries and also Jeff Gogue, who’s not only a great tattoo artist but also a brilliant painter.
Can you describe your style?
As I was saying, I love realistic style tattoos and I think light and shade, and if possible colour, are essential. So, if I have to do a Japanese dragon it will never have flat colours, as tradition would dictate, but if possible there would be highlights and strong shaded contrasts, so it’s as three-dimensional as possible.
Can you describe your technique?
Sure. Let’s take, for example, a job that I did not long ago: the client wanted a portrait but the subject was completely flat, there was no shading because it was a photo taken at night with a flash! Then I remembered seeing a gorgeous portrait of Elvis Presley with perfect light and shade: at that point all I had to do was apply the atmosphere of the Elvis painting to the tattoo in hand.
Recreating the same light, shade and colour isn’t easy but in the end it gives you such satisfaction. I think it’s essential to have references and pictures at all times so you can go back to them when you prepare the design, and never leave things to chance.
@ Absolution Tattoo Lounge
corso Unità d’Italia 7 – 22063 Cantù (CO) – Italy
tel. 031 4475394 – 348 0851689
Ettore Bechis website: www.tatuatore.eu
Absolution Tattoo Lounge website: www.absolutiontattoolounge.com