Mexican iconography, religious theme, lettering, ladies, clowns, jokers, guns, cars, dollar signs and more: this is the wild world of Chicano style tattoo, seen by legendary tattoo artists all over the world. The powerful Chicano street-tough look continues to become incorporated as a matter of pride in the American Hispanic culture and, as reported by the New York Times, is now part of “the fashion vernacular of non-Latinos as well”.

If you like this style, check out our selection of tattoos and don’t miss our books: “Hola Chicas” by Maarten Emily, in the series The Golden Flash Collection and “From the street with Loveby Boog, in the series The Great Books on the Art of Tattooing.

Boog is a Mexican-American tattoo artist who has been tattooing since the age of 14 and is known to many as the King of Script. His years of tattooing have taken him from the streets to inking some of the stars of today. This book takes you on a journey through 1000 explosive black-and-white and color designs of tattoo flash by the master of the American Chicano-style tattoo. The volume includes the artist’s drawings and also features his famous script, making the book a complete reference not only for the Chicano-style, but for custom lettering as well.

Samuel Sancho, Wanted Tattoo, Mollet Del Valles, Spain
Samuel Sancho, Wanted Tattoo, Mollet Del Valles, Spain

The new title in the series The Golden Flash Collection is “Hola Chicas“: a tribute to Chicano, but also an example of how to revisit a certain style. In his 110 illustrations Maarten Emily has readapted fineline in a new interpretation which mixes a bit of traditional, a bit of realistic, and a purely European design tradition. Maarten’s “chicas” are girls surrounded by roses, characterised by crosses and even at times iconised as Madonnas. But the lettering is different, the outlines bolder and perhaps the women themselves are more realistic. Because Maarten’s is a European take on this style, and it is in this contamination of genres – Chicano, Traditional and Realism – that the real strength and originality of the project lies.

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