Tattooing A to Z: the Tattoo Portraits Collection

Tattoo Life crew is proud to present Tattooing A to Z: a project by Pepe and Mina Von B.

Tattooing A to Z – a Guide for Successful Tattooing was a book written by Huck Spaulding in 1988 to share with the tattoo world what he learned through many years of first hand experience. For generations of tattooers this was the only source of knowledge available, when the tattoo industry was shrouded in secrecy.

The idea behind this column on our blog is to publish a sort of guide in the tattoo history, a tribute to the tattoo masters of the past, listed in alphabetical order: from A to Z, as Spaulding titled his own bestseller.

The paintings and the articles shown here are a selection from the book Tattoo Portraits by Pepe, written by Romina Bicicchi (a.k.a. Mina Von B.) and published by Surith (Rome, 2015).

Through 2014 and 2015, Pepe has felt the urge to to paint a series of portraits of tattoo masters who have given their contribution to the history of tattoo art: from Samuel O’Reilly (the inventor of the very first tattoo machine) to Don Ed Hardy and others who initiated the “Tattoo Renaissance” (the era of modern tattooing).

«Pepe employs this swift and versatile artistic technique which allows him to break free of those pondered and contained strokes confined to the outline, typical of tattoo art. By means of an array of techniques the watercolours come to echo vintage postcards,  photographs of a world that is far away from us yet contemporary and originative, spinning a thread which brings together past and present.» (from the Parione 9 exhibition’s catalogue, Rome 2015).

Stay tuned to discover more soon!Tattooing-A-to-Z, the Tattoo Portraits Collection


Alessandro Negrini (a.k.a. Pepe) has been tattooing since 1996, opening his first studio in Viareggio in 2001, and has gone on to establish the new “Electric Tattooing Viareggio” in 2017. He has returned to painting in 2014, and to watercolour in particular, which he had abandoned following his studies at Belle Arti to devote himself entirely to the art of tattoos.
Romina Bicicchi (a.k.a. Mina Von B) is a professional editor/translator and a philosophical writer. She graduated in Philosophy at the University of Pisa and in Publishing at the University of Florence. She is the author of Filosofia 3 (2008), Freud (2009), Nietzsche (2009), Vivere con filosofia (2010), Tattoo Portraits (2015), Il divino giullare: un genio di nome Fo (2016).