Abstract tattoos often blur the line and transform tattooing from simple permanent markings on the body to a full-fledged art form. Tattooing as an art form started to emerge in the late 20th century and became popularized throughout the early 21st century. The advancement of technology led to tattoo equipment that is much easier to use, more convenient, quicker and much less painful. The development of new methods of making pigment has allowed tattoo artists to be more creative in their work. These talented individuals are able to create rich, colorful and elaborate tattoo designs that have turned abstract tattoos into true body art.
Modern art movements greatly influence the designs of tattoos. Many tattoo artists have backgrounds in the fine arts and are technically trained bringing with them a wealth of artistic knowledge and expertise to the tattoo industry. Abstract art especially has had a strong influence on tattooing as is evidenced by the rich and extravagant tattoo designs created by artists. Some wearers view themselves as human canvases and seek out talented tattoo artists who are willing to transform their skin into a living work of art. It often covers the person’s entire body into a beautiful, abstract masterpiece of body art.
Sometimes abstract tattoos are also referred to as tribal tattoos. This should however not be confused with traditional tribal art and tribal markings that were worn by tribes and clans to identify themselves and distinguish themselves from each other. These markings and tattoos often served a specific purpose. The chieftains of many tribes wore elaborate tattoos on exposed parts of their skin which told stories about their lives. These were often about their strength and prowess or leadership and conquest of other tribes. For tribes who valued warriors and battle, abstract tattoos also served as a form of intimidation to their enemies.
Many people are choosing what are known as tribal tattoos to adorn their arms, in particular when they are doing sleeve tattoos, or tattoos that run the length of the arm. Although these are not necessarily abstract tattoos, they fall under a category that is a little more unusual for the western world. They are often based on Native American, Asian, or Pacific styles of design and are very attractive.
Another abstract design that is a very popular tattoo is that of the triquetra. It is depicted as a symbol with three pointed intersecting ovals that together form a triangle. The symbol is also associated with Christianity and is found as an icon used throughout the Book of Kells. In Christianity it represents the Holy Trinity but its existence predates this religious concept. The symbol has been found on early Germanic coins and runestones in Northern Europe. In modern context the triquetra is often used to display identification with Celtic culture.
Although tattoos are very much in fashion today, you have to remember that they may not always be so. The tattoo you put on your arm as a teenager will still be there when you are a grandmother or grandfather, so keep that in mind when you are getting it done! No doubt that your parents will remind you of that fact for the rest of your life.
But, getting tattoos, especially abstract tattoos that are meaningful to you, is a great way to express your originality and your personality and make a statement at the same time. You may limit your clothing options or employment opportunities later in life, but if you can live with that, then you should be happy with what you have chosen. Just make sure that you get your tattoo done when you are completely sober and able to make a wise decision on what you want it to say because it is most definitely permanent!