Art you should know: Watercolor tattoos by Amanda Wachob

Amanda Wachob is a New York-based tattoo artist whose method gets rid of the black border around a tattoo, opening the piece up for a softer, blended look with fluid lines that resemble watercolor paintings or gestural paint strokes. (Watch her and other pros talk about the watercolor tattoo movement here.)

By Amanda Wachob

If you want her to ink you next, good luck. Her waitlist is supposedly years long. Luckily, there are plenty of other ways for you to get your eyes on her work.

She prints hyper-close images of her skin tattoos on to silk canvases, and collaborates on super cool projects, such as the Skin Data project with neuroscientist Maxwell Bertolero. The pair recorded the time and voltage of her tattoo machine’s power supply as she created several tattoos, and they made images based on the data that resulted. I also really dig her collaboration with conceptual artist Mary Ellen Carroll, called HOLÉ. Participants wore an article of clothing with a hole in it and the artists then “filled the hole” with tattoo ink as if to say “all holes can be fixed permanently.”

By Amanda Wachob

In Amanda’s Bloodlines series, she tattoos a subject with meaningful shapes in a non-permanent water line. The body will eventually heal the tattoo and dissolve the mark into the skin, the energy of the symbol also absorbed symbolically into the person.

And while her specialty is skin, don’t miss her work on fruit. Tattoo artists practice on plant rinds before moving on to human skin. I’m particularly smitten by her lemon tattooed with the word “tryst.” What a great word, especially to betroth the bitter, beautiful, impermanent lemon.

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