I had been looking at this book for a while, but it’s actually somewhat rare. It has a ton of large tattoo images, and I think they’re in demand. It’s a pretty great document covering the art and tattoo work by a number of different members of the Leu family. Would be nice to get a tattoo from them, but that would require a trip to Switzerland. The book is badass though - check it out here.
In 1976 Felix Leu, a Swiss-born traveller, was accosted by a passer-by in Yugoslavia as the artist responsible for the tattoos of a travelling companion. He was not, but somehow then determined to learn the skills of the tattooist. With advice, he found and served his apprenticeship at Jock?s Tattoo Shop, in King?s Cross, London.
For almost 30 years Felix and his family travelled the world, learning their crafts and art. They now practice at their famous studios in Lausanne. In addition to Japanese and Indian styles, they are also linguists of the African traditions, having worked alongside Berber tribesmen, along with Indonesian, Polynesian and North American Indian masters.
But perhaps what they are most known for is their own personalised style, described by afficionados as ‘soft and psychedelic’. Filip, Felix?s son, became specialised in large pieces, body-suits even. Clients, over several years, offer up their bodies, their hands and even their faces for decoration.
The photographer Fabio Paleari has documented the studio and the designs of the Leu?s work in Lausanne and beyond. The results are phenomenal; no-one with skin can expect to be unaffected by his photographs, nor anyone who has admired the work of the tattooist, from Polynesia to King’s Cross.
Estee Lauder it is not.
It is the miraculous and sublime.