Artist Interview – Claudia de Sabe
The Tattoo Collective are thrilled to show Claudia de Sabe’s latest painting series ‘Jupiter’s Daughters’ this February. This week, we caught up with London-based tattooer Claudia to find out more about the works, her approach to painting and the powerful characters she portrays…
Can you explain the concept behind ‘Jupiter’s Daughters’?
It’s very simple… Jupiter takes 12 years to complete its cycle and in doing so it crosses the skies at different points; ever since the origin of Chinese civilisations, this cycle has been paced by the zodiac signs. So we are all very familiar with the Chinese calendar, but most people don’t know that every month of the year (again the number 12), is associated with cardinal directions, a time in the day, one of the 5 elements, yin or yang, and also with one of the zodiac animals, etc. This has gotten many people confused!
So ‘Jupiter’s Daughter’s’ was a way for me to study the Japanese tradition behind the calendar, using the female figure to do so.
Can you share a little about your interest in Asian culture & symbology and how this has come to reflect in your artwork?
Since I got into tattooing, the symbology behind the characters, strange good luck charms, the repetition of certain flowers in the Japanese tradition, all really stuck with me. As soon as I started reading about it, it was like opening Pandora’s box… so many symbols, traditions, meanings. I just find it very fascinating how, especially in a more folk-popular context, human fears and superstitions are expressed and absolved.
Female characters appear in both your paintings and tattoos often; what is special to you about portraying female subjects?
I think women can embody human emotional nature in a far more expressive way, as far as artistic subject goes. There’s more to play with… the hair, the ornaments and of course the expression of the eyes and mouth, so many combinations are possible.
The women presented in your work are not typical of mainstream tattoo art and are so full of personality and character; how do you achieve this? Do you feel a personal connection to any of the characters you paint?
I think in some paintings more than others there’s for sure an emotional connection with the girl, no doubt about that! I don’t know exactly how I achieve it, I always try to draw them differently and in doing so I guess it just happens somewhere along the line.
How long did the Jupiter’s Daughter’s project take to complete, from start to finish?
It took me 2 years, from the first to the last painting. Travelling and doing paintings for other projects slowed down the process for sure, but also the struggle of sticking to starting and finishing a project with somewhat of a format, felt soooo hard! At some point I was so fed up with it, but that’s where the real challenge was for me and the reason I wanted to complete it… teaching myself consistency and seeing through my commitments was very rewarding.
Don’t miss the opportunity to view and purchase Claudia de Sabe’s artwork at The Tattoo Collective this February; you can also catch Claudia de Sabe tattooing at the Seven Doors booth. Pick up your Advance Tickets online today!
Interview by Jasmine Rollason for The Tattoo Collective 2017