Tattoo Artist Interview: Deno
This week, The Tattoo Collective caught up with tattoo artist Deno of Seven Doors, London.
Deno’s work is highly distinctive; his unique style is inspired by both graffiti and abstract expressionism. Recurring themes throughout his portfolio make Deno’s work instantly recognisable, with his bold use of graphic shapes, colour and form.
The Tattoo Collective are thrilled to welcome Deno back to The Old Truman Brewery, 17th-18th March. Read on to find out more…
How long have you been tattooing, and where did it all start for you?
I’ve been tattooing for about 17 years. I started out in Madrid, tattooing my friends. Later I began to travel, and got tattooed by my favourite artists, to learn from them.
Your work is very distinctive and often features recurring imagery, such as the trademark ‘Deno skull’, whales and animal heads. Where did these themes originate from and what significance do they hold?
It’s mostly the way that I draw and how everything appears from my imagination. I have a graffiti background, so the graphic style and the shapes from my work originate from the letters and characters in my graffiti. The significance of the elements I use, kind of like the skulls, are universal symbols in our culture and also something I like to keep with my customers… if you want to know, you should get one!
How has your style developed over the years? What would you like to do more of in future?
My style is just changing by itself, working and drawing, everything mutates. It’s a bit strange; sometimes I feel I’m doing the same as before, but if you can compare the drawings you will see an evolution, and changes of the shapes and forms…
In future, I would like to continue with a logical evolution of what I’m doing right now – I think the work should always have coherence.
You have roots as a graffiti artist; how much has your work in this medium influenced your tattooing?
Everything came from my graffiti. I started painting graffiti when I was 12 years old, and I’m still doing it today. Also, I think the idea of originality from graffiti is part of the way I tattoo and how I develop a personal style.
Which artists or art movements inspire you?
Surrealism, Dada, expressionist and abstract expressionism mostly. Artists such as Ernst, Picabia, Pollock, Saura and Dubuffet…
Can you tell us about any recent projects you’ve been working on outside of tattooing?
Lately I’m very focused on painting, I’m working on some art shows and also doing some collaborations with some brands such as Levi’s, J&B, Mahou and more.
Lastly, how can visitors book in with you for The Tattoo Collective?
My email for bookings is email@example.com. I will have my flash book with Sinsentido for sale at The Tattoo Collective, along with some original paintings – and my whale toy!
Visit The Tattoo Collective this March 17th-18th at The Old Truman Brewery to catch Deno tattooing alongside 150 of the UK & Ireland’s finest tattoo artists. Advance Tickets are now on sale; get yours today!