Juan Sanchez: autodidact and visionary

Juan Sanchez originally hails from the South of Spain (Castilla la Mancha, Don Quichotte’s home). At 16 years old, he started to work with cars by customizing them, and also got into graffiti art.

Without any references being available to him (remember that in the 90’s there was no internet, nor social media to draw inspiration from, unlike today), he used to create his own designs by himself: sweet angels, cars, sad and hustler clowns, beautiful roses, crying or smiling masks and last but not least lettering.

Then within a short period of time, in 2006, he started to work as a tattoo artist. His beginnings were not easy at all…

He moved to Madrid and worked in a tattoo shop for 7 years, before finally opening his own in the center of Madrid 3 years ago, named «Juan Sánchez Tattoo».

«Juan Sánchez Tattoo» was co-funded by his wife Nora Caliani, who is his muse, the shop’s manager, and a photographer. She is also running the @theblackandgreytattooleague account on Instagram.

Juan Sanchez & Nora Caliani - Photo by Reda Photography
Juan Sanchez & Nora Caliani – Photo by Reda Photography

Nowadays, Juan’s tattoo art also draws inspiration from Renaissance and Early Modern painting, sculpture and architecture, in particular the works of Michelangelo, Bernini, Leonardo da Vinci and Caravaggio. More recently, those influences have been magnified by his exposure to the great art of tattoo artist Jose Lopez (Lowrider Tattoo / USA).

Both he and Nora appreciate and love black and grey art, and generally the Chicano art and culture.

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