A great love of art, drawing and naturally, tattoo. After graduating from the Academy of Fine Art of Rome and a trip to Japan which changed his life, Alessio decided to devote his energy to Horimono and a few years later was working at the Macko tattoo shop – in the capital. Let’s take a look at his work, on paper and skin, and find out how he got here.
Hi Alessio, would you like to introduce yourself to our readers?
Hi everyone, my name is Alessio Ventimiglia and I was born in Rome in 1981. I’ve always been fascinated by art, drawing and tattoo, and decided to enrol in art high school where I learned the basics for drawing. Later I attended the course in Decoration at the Academy of Fine Art in Rome where I graduated with a diploma in 2007.
I have always been seriously interested in Japanese culture, so I decided to make my first trip to Japan.
After this experience, I became utterly fascinated with Horimono – traditional Japanese tattoo – and from that moment on, I began my studies of the classic iconography and artists of the ukiyo-e prints. I worked in a number of different tattoo shops in Rome before I wound up here at the Macko tattoo shop.
When did you begin to tattoo and how did you go about developing your style?
I first started around 2010. I immediately got into Japanese tattoo, day by day studying it and dealing with the iconographic difficulties it imposes, but for cultural reasons I also worked in other styles.
Has your style changed over time?
My style has changed so much, especially over the past three years. This change is due to my constant striving for something that fully reflects my personality and traditional Japanese style, looking for something unique and distinctive in every project.
How important is it for you to paint and draw as well as tattooing?
Basically, I have always painted and drawn, and since I started tattooing, my style of painting and drawing has changed radically. Since I had an art academy background, it was hard for me at the outset to work with Japanese traditional tattoo given the absence of volume and three-dimensionality.
What are your favourite subjects?
My favourite subjects are the classics: dragons, koi carp, demons, tigers, warriors…the classics never go out of style, but in Japanese tattoo there are a myriad subjects associated with religious culture and one lifetime is too short to study them all.
And what are your favourite techniques?
I use a tattoo machine, coil and rotary, even though I would love to get into tebori (the classic manual technique). I work really well freehand and try to fit the subject as well as I can to the shape of the body to make sure that it is all as harmonious as possible.
Where did the idea for this eBook come from?
Basically from seeing all the material I had collected over the past while, selecting certain pieces and talking with Antonio Macko Todisco, we decided to embark on this project. Now thanks to Miki Vialetto it has come to pass.
What are your plans for the future?
To keep on doing my best, grow in terms of culture, travel and get to know other tattooists. Who knows, maybe one day I will open a shop of my own, but in any case, I will always do what I love with the people I love and continue to be happy.