Tattoos hurt, but for most people, the pain is just a means to an end. Tattoo artists are usually mindful of their client’s pain threshold, catering for breaks and mitigating any unnecessary brutality. It’s abnormal for tattoo artists to restrain people while they’re getting tattooed, or for the tattooee to bolt upright in agony to escape the needle’s unrelenting penetrations. Nor is it very common to see sadistic mirth occupying the faces of multiple tattoo artists as they inflict the unnaturally long, thick, shallow lines seemingly without pause.
Enter Brutal Black. It’s the tattoo project where mandalas come to die and where pain is prioritized over aesthetics. Ritual and rebirth are at the forefront of this project helmed by Valerio Cancellier and Cammy Stewart. They take those brave enough to be tattooed by them on one of the most brutal experiences one can imagine; far beyond one’s threshold for pain to create an entirely new experience.
CORRECTION: This text was adapted from a VICE article on Brutal Black by Fareed Kaviani: Due to an oversight, he was not properly credited in an earlier version of this synopsis. We regret the error.
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