Friday, March 29, 2013

Chicago tattoo artist & muralist addresses urban themes

The Taste of Chicago addresses the palates of visitors with delicious foods distinctly Chicago. In turn, what satisfies the hungry eye with the urban visual wonders, themes and issues of Chicago? A good place to start is at the studio of Camilo Cumpián, Chicago-based tattoo artist, muralist, creator of wooden miniatures and paintings of every size.

According to Cumpián, whose tattoo art measures from the smallest original icon placed on a woman’s delicate ankle to full scenes spanning the arms and chest of the burliest male, such work was influenced largely by the traditions of Chicano art from both the Southwest and Midwest. “I’ve made images that are all my own, put my own twists on subject matter and think of my tattoos as ‘new school’ Chicano art,” he said.

Cumpián also reworks and enhances tattoos on clients who have been unhappy or disappointed with ones they’ve received from other tattoo artists. “A number of clients have approached me with tattoos they’ve had done elsewhere that look muddy, out of proportion and without focus. Sometimes I can ‘repair’ them with more defined, dramatic emphasis and color. Other times, I can create something completely new around and through what was there before. I’m pleased that I can help out so many of these clients, who are thrilled with the transformations,” he said.

Born and schooled mainly in Chicago, Cumpián also spent many years out east, and is now back in his hometown, busy not only taking on clients for his tattoo art, but also creating paintings on urban themes with original characters, and three-dimensional wooden miniatures of spray cans, trains and boxcars wrapped with whimsical creatures.

Crayons2Cans is Cumpián’s signature handle and name of the website where you can enjoy slideshows of his tattoos, artwork and wooden miniatures portfolios. “The name Crayons2Cans comes from my life-long journey as an artist, starting as a child using crayons to a teen and then adult exploring wide-ranges of media and mastering skills in acrylics, mural paint, spray cans and ultimately tattoo inks.”

Visit Camilo Cumpián’s Crayons2Cans website to see his work first-hand. Tattoos at his private studio are available by appointment.