photographing the cool kids of the 2018 milan tattoo convention

We went to the largest tattoo convention in Italy to photograph the people who have transformed their bodies into cutting-edge works of art.

This article originally appeared on i-D Italy.

The 2018 Milan Tattoo Convention featured high profile international artists and people who’d transformed their own bodies into living works of art. From one tattoo to the next and body modifications galore, i-D Italy documented the coolest faces of the event’s 23rd edition.

Ria, 33

What do you do for a living?
I’m an alt-model, and I also work with magazines and websites that specialize in tattoo culture. I’m not an artist myself, but as you can see I love being tattooed.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
The heart on my chest, without a doubt.

Have you ever regretted getting a tattoo?
Yeah. [I regret] the ones I’ve stopped liking or I’ve covered up over time.

Do you have any body modifications?
Let me show you. [Sticks bifurcated tongue out].

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
I’d love to get one of Kelly Doty’s [gothic] dolls.

@riae_

Federico, 25

What do you do for a living?
I’m a bartender and a singer. I make trap music.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
A phrase I have written on my chest, “Coagula.”

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
My favorite tattoo artist is Dmitriy Samohin. So if I could choose one artist out of all of them, it would definitely be him.

@esanima

Fei Fei, 19 and Cash, 26, both from Hong Kong

What do you do for a living?
Fei Fei: I study Textile Design in London.
Cash: I’m a tattoo artist.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
Fei Fei: A small Chinese character that symbolizes the bond between me and my dad.
Cash: All of them!

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
Fei Fei: The one I have on my ring finger that says “Mind Your Own Business.” I got it in high school, which was a rough time in my life that I wanted to overcome by getting [that tattoo]. But now I don’t like it as much as I used to.
Cash: I’ve never regretted a tattoo. I love them all equally!

And who is your absolute favorite tattoo artist?
Fei Fei: York Yeh, a professional [artist] stationed in Taiwan. But also Cash, obviously.

@lilycashchan

Marco Galdo, 43

What do you do for a living?
I’m a tattoo artist who specializes in dotwork.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
After many years, I’ve covered most of my tattoos with black blocks. So I’d say that black is my favorite.

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
“Regretted” no, but tastes change over time. Today there are various cover-up techniques, and I generally do cover-ups with black ink and work on top of them with white.

What’s your next tattoo?
A monogram on my cheek with the three initials of my kids and my partner.

@marcogaldotattoo

Michela Bottin

What do you do for a living?
I’m a tattoo artist based in Milan, but I travel all around Europe.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
The phrase “Brutal Black” on my arms and neck.

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
No, not really.

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
Valerio Cancellier again!

@michelabottin

Andrea, 25, from Turin

What do you do for a living?
I’m a body-piercer.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
The one of Jeff the Killer. It’s one of the first ones I ever got, and it’s [an illustration] person who looks like they’re out of a horror movie, mostly known in the underground, who burned his own eyelids and lips and is now a serial killer.

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
Absolutely Steven Compton.

Matteo, 25, from Turin

What do you do for a living?
I’m a tattoo artist.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
My back, which was done by Francesco Garbuggino.

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
I’ve covered up some little things but never a whole one. I’m emotionally connected to all of my tattoos, so I’ve just incorporated the ones that I’m sort of tired of into new designs.

@matteo_karma & @kaifastudio @kaifastudio

Monami Frost, 23, from Latvia

What do you do for a living?
I’m a YouTuber and Instagrammer.

Where do you live now?
Liverpool. I moved there six years ago.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
Snow White’s bow, which I have on my forehead.

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
No, never. I adore all of my tattoos endlessly.

@monamifrost

Jonathan, 55, from Verona

What do you do for a living?
I build choppers.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
My Harley Davidson engine.

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
You know, I’m 55-years-old and over the course of my life I’ve been tattooed by all of the artists I’ve ever admired. It’s a very long list, I must admit.

Ivan, 26, from Paesana (CN)

What do you do for a living?
I’m a decorator.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
The rose on my neck and the dragon that covers my whole back.

Do you regret any of your tattoos?
I haven’t really regretted [any of them], but [I had] some early tattoos that were done with needles and India ink that I’ve decided to cover up.

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
Marco Galdo.

Sathoshi, 37, from Japan

Where do you currently live?
In Australia.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
The one I have on my back, which was done in the traditional Japanese style.

Who would you like to tattoo you in the future?
Horitoshi1, one of the greatest masters of traditional Japanese tattoos.

Sanà, 27, and Yachi, 20

What do you do for a living?
Sanà: I’m an artist. Sanà and I work together.

Which one of your tattoos is your favorite?
Sanà: The phrase “Lose Yourself". Long live Eminem!

Have you ever regretted getting a tattoo?
Sanà: I’ve never regretted any of them. Ever!

Who would you like to get tattooed by in the future?
Sanà: The Miami Ink artists. They’re monsters!

@psycho_yachi

Credits


Text Amanda Margiaria and Giorgia Imbrenda
Photography Vincenzo D'Ambrosio
Translation Madeleine Goldsmith