Alex Binnie

Tattooer & Printmaker

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Alex Binnie

Tattooer & Printmaker

I’ve been tattooing since the late 80’s. Over the last 25 years or so I’ve worked with a number of themes, but the common element is a strong, bold, graphic style. Nearly all my work is linked to what I see as the 3 big traditional tattoo styles - Tribal, Japanese, and Western traditional. The challenge for me is working with the client, meeting their needs, and making a tattoo that I’m proud to have done. Here are some of my personal favorites.
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Alex Binnie

Tattooer & Printmaker

I made a few silkscreen prints in art school MANY years ago, and got back to it around 2000. There has always been a strong link in my mind between tattooing and printmaking, in part because nearly all traditional Japanese tattoo iconography comes from the Japanese woodblock print. Both the tattoo and the print are seen as outside of the mainstream fine art traditions, they are a “working man’s” art, anti-elitist and relatively cheap and accessible. After a few years exploring colour screenprinting, more recently I have focused on woodcut printing. It is important to realize that all the prints here have been made by me without the aid of computer printouts, the woodcuts are all printed by me on a cast iron press made in 1844. Here are some of my favorites, in the main the colour work is silkscreen, the black and white woodcut.
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Madonna and Child
Red Fudo
Ground Zero
True Love
Honey Monster
Mother
Foetus
An Eye for an I
Sky Foetus
Diptych
Diptych
Skin 1
Skin 3
Our Lady
Calypso
Chisaki
Filip
Tomas
Curly
Khan
Miles
Yvonne
Zoe
Tim
Liam
The Woodcut Portraits

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Alex Binnie

Tattooer & Printmaker

For my Woodcut portrait book and Into You T’s and Hoodies → click here.
For my new Big Cartel site, featuring a selection of my prints, large and small → click here.

Alex Binnie

Tattooer & Printmaker

Alex Binnie
To contact Into You, call +44 (0)20 7253 5085 or email info@into-you.co.uk
To contact me directly, email prints@alexbinnie.com
instagram.com/abinniepaperandskin

I got my first tattoos in my teens in the late 70's, went to art school and started to get heavily tattooed in the 80's, and was tattooing by the end of that decade. On the way I played in bands and worked for a while as a medical illustrator, which I loved, but tattooing was what I really wanted to do. As was traditional, and really the only way at the time, I started from home - a large squat in Central London peopled with creative types, exciting times! I was working, but there wasn't much going on in the U.K. at that time, so I went to L.A. where things WERE happening, got tattooed by a couple of my heroes, and ended up staying and tattooing in Hollywood for a couple of years.

In 1993 I came back and started Into You, with then business partner, piercer Teena Marie. We were pretty much the first real custom tattoo shop in London, it’s hard now to truly appreciate how different things were back then. There was clearly a demand and soon Curly joined us, and it grew from there. A big thanks to all the amazing artists that I’ve been lucky enough to work with, it’s been quite a ride!

In the early years I made a lot of tribal tattoos, because it was so different to anything I had seen, but I came to love traditional Japanese work and western "old school" just as much. Although I enjoy revisiting certain themes, compared to some artists these days my style is quite broad. I like to work with the person I'm working on, start with what ideas they have, and put my own spin on it, often using some elements from the tattoo traditions that I love. I passionately believe that tattooing is a collaboration between artist and client, and try and have my work reflect that.

Outside of tattooing I have always produced work in other media. At art school I made performance and installation work and I managed to combine that with the tattoo/body art world by being lucky enough to perform regularly with the amazing Ron Athey. I produced plenty of drawings and flash in my earlier years, culminating in the box set - 23 Sleeves, published in 2001. I started printmaking around 2000, a medium that grabbed me almost as much as tattooing and I was very lucky to find a good print studio where I had access to equipment and learned my basic skills. After experimenting with various print styles including etching, monoprint and others I settled mainly on screenprints for several years, making work often influenced by the Japanese woodblock print that Japanese tattooing is based on. Needing a change, and loving the directness of the medium, I switched to the real thing, and made my woodcut portrait series - 32 portraits of my friends and colleagues in the tattoo world, which resulted in the book being published by Kintaro press in 2012. Currently I’m experimenting with printmaking, helping run both the London and Brighton shops, and enjoying a renewed interest and passion for tattooing, really always my no.1!

SELECTED ART SHOWS

La Luz de Jesus, Los Angeles - 1992
Drawing center, New York - 1995
Horse Hospital, London - 2001 and 2007
Rise, Berlin - 2008 and 2010
Royal Academy summer show, London - 2010
Aomori Print Triennale, Japan - 2010
Epidermiques, Lille, France - 2013

SELECTED PUBLICATIONS

Tattootime, HardyMarks - 1991
Pierced Hearts and True Love, Drawing Center - 1995
1000 Tattoos, Taschen - 1996
Tattoo - bodies, art and exchange in the pacific and the west, Reaktion books - 2005
Tattoo Parlour, Outre press - 2011
Forever - The new tattoo, Gestalten - 2012
The Woodcut Protraits - Kintaro - 2012

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