With a career that spans over twenty years, Rudy Fritsch has become one of the benchmarks in the international panorama of contemporary tattooing.
With is book, LACRIME E SANGUE, he has created a unique dreamscape, in which his personal visions and graphic interpretations unite with reflections of real life and the language of tattooing. Esoteric, alchemical and surrealist are the adjectives which best define his style and drawings: small-scale compositions, with a wealth of references and details in which bold outlines – typical of traditional Western tattoos – mix with his background as an illustrator.
Solitary cathedrals, women’s faces blindfolded by the cloth of surrealist memories, blind cats, and smoking skulls lie side by side with two-dimensional butterflies, the Masonic eye, and ironic and often obscure subjects, the fruit of his imagination. Every drawing tells its own story, with well-defined yet veiled historical-cultural references.
If you like traditional style and its contemporary interpretation you will love LACRIME E SANGUE and Rud’s unmistakable style.
Let’s get to know him better through his artworks and tattoos, and through his own words… (this interview by M. Baleni, originally published on Tattoo Life magazine).
Rudy, do you think that your ‘Original Classic’ is still effective and undiminished? How has it evolved?
I believe that over twenty years, the Original Classic hasn’t changed very much. Instead it has adapted to the changes which time has brought: changes in our environment, which began not so long ago, but that have accelerated in the last few years. What my studio has always offered, and continues to offer, is to go in the direction of the client. This is achieved however without bowing to compromise in terms of me and my collaborators’ style, progress, and constant research and evolution. Over the years, the studio has witnessed changes in its formation, and a recent renovation did not change the scent an – image which it emanates.
It is nothing more than my path – a path of dedication to this art – and the people who work by my side.
It is my story, which consists of stability without a lot of frills and crap around it. It is tattooing, illustration, painting, discipline, seriousness and professionalism. For me, this is the original recipe for the Original Classic.
After more than twenty years in tattooing, what keeps you linked to this sector today?
The passion which I continue to feel for this kind of work, the friendships which I have cultivated over the years in this environment, the stimulating professional encounters which have enriched me, and the amazing clients which I have had in the past and will have in the future…
In what direction is your artistic research moving, today?
I don’t think I have or am following any given artistic path. I try to be as free as possible in what I do, and I find inspiration in everything around me: I love ancient art as well as modern art, the figurative along with the abstract…
Is there anything you regret? And is there anything you look back on now and consider to have been fundamental to your personal development?
I have to say that I have no regrets. Whatever I’ve done, chosen or decided was never the result of chance; I’ve always considered things carefully. Real development can be found through experience. The possibility I had to leave home and go far away to study art when I was 14 opened my mind.
The most faithful companion I’ve had is the discipline I’ve learned over the years. That is the gift which my studies have left me.
What would you say about your book. LACRIME E SANGUE?
LACRIME E SANGUE is a collection of modern tattoo iconography. A path through my stereoscopic vision of the iconographic imagery linked to tattooing. It’s dedicated to everyone who, like me, is constantly searching for the unseen and to those who continue to imagine, who keep their curiosity fresh.