Expressionist Tattoos

Gallery of expressionist style tattoos that can be filtered by subject, body part and size.

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Expressionism was a modernist movement, initially in poetry and painting, originating in Germany at the beginning of the 20th century. The Expressionist emphasis on individual perspective has been characterized as a reaction to positivism and other artistic styles such as Naturalism and Impressionism.

Expressionism is a contemporary art movement aimed at conveying the voice and emotions of the artist鈥檚 inner world over intellectualism or realism.

Expressionism conveys strong human emotions, passions, anxieties and general alienation around a loss of spirituality. Through these personal experiences, Expressionist artists offered nonverbal ways to confront and criticize society.

Aesthetically, Expressionism is characterized by unrealistic and exaggerated proportions. Forms are often deconstructed, or stripped of some features to emphasize others. This departure from realism forces the viewer to focus on just one aspect of an experience, triggering targeted emotions in the audience.

Abstract Expressionism is a spin-off movement combining, as the name suggests, abstraction and expressionism. Common in America in the late 1950s and 鈥60s, artists like Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko used abstract art to convey very strong and specific emotional experiences.

Neo-Expressionism emerged in the 1970s and 鈥80s, covering a wide range of aesthetic forms, from Germany鈥檚 Georg Baselitz to New York鈥檚 Jean-Michel Basquiat. Characterized by mixing intellectualism with emotionalism, Neo-Expressionists depicted their emotions while using references to fine art, as well as a pop-art-inspired critique of society.

Expressionist tattooers sometimes adapt from masters like Egon Schiele or Gustav Klimt, but more often keep the aesthetic traditions alive with their own voices and original works of art.

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