Henry Anglas made the art of tattooing a lifestyle

He comes to Buenos Aires a couple of times a year, for a few days a month and exclusively to tattoo in a studio in Puerto Madero. Henry Anglas dedicated himself to this activity some two decades ago, and with it he toured Latin America and some European cities. Born in Peru, he began to draw portraits in pencil and through his older brother he came to tattooing. “To practice, I chose to go to a village and give tattoos to the people who wanted to, in fact, several already had homemade tattoos; That’s how I practiced and gained experience,” says Anglas. At 39 years old, he is a reference in the technique of realism. For his work he won international awards; and much of his history, technique and secrets are condensed in his book: Anyone Can Tattoo. “A sleeve can take from 35 to fifty hours; in sessions of five hours a day; That’s why I attend only one per day.” Although in Argentina as in the world “drawing the body” is an aesthetic activity that has become massive, Anglas maintains that in Latin America there is still a certain taboo with tattooed people: “A doctor or any other professional does not exercise his or her I work because of the number of tattoos I have, it is superficial to think like that.”

– Are there fashions in tattoos? Are there moments that ask you for more tumberos or angels or oriental tattoos with koi fish or words in oriental languages?

—It’s the kind of fashion if a famous person gets a design, many of his followers will want the same one and in the same place on the body, without any modification. There is also the collecting public that travels around the world, choosing an artist and giving them the space of his body so that he can create freely.

—Which celebrities set trends and lead others to get tattooed?

—I feel that many people follow soccer players and their tattoos inspire many and also world influencers. Angelina Jolie has several linear tattoos and was a source for more women to start tattooing.

—Is there a famous Argentine who surprised you because of the tattoo he has?

—Yes, I was surprised by Messi’s leg that he covered it with a black out covering the ones he already had; and Candelaria Tinelli, who has her entire neck covered with black out.

—Are there famous Argentines who are your fans? Did you tattoo any?

—In my experience, when famous Argentines wrote to me, they suggested a barter for advertising and by not accepting that proposal, the work could not be carried out, because I believe that everyone should pay the same, regardless of who they are. But there are famous tattoo artists who got tattooed with me and I’m proud of that.

—Who would you like to tattoo and what would you do and on what part of the body?

—I would like to tattoo Enrique Bunbury, who is one of the artists who accompanies me on a day-to-day basis, I would tattoo a pirate skull in the area he chooses, thus symbolizing the hero’s journey since he has traveled the entire path of his career knew how to redefine itself because the skull is the symbol of the equality of the human being, because when we see a skull we cannot separate them or discriminate against them because of their skin color, gender or sexual orientation and I consider that the structure of the human being is the bones and that makes everyone the same.

—Are there areas of the body that you would recommend preserving from “ink and drawing”?

—I consider that there are areas of the body that do not look good for the style I do, such as the armpits, genitals and the face, which are places that I would prefer not to work on because when transferring a realistic image there are certain points where the image is deformed and the job is no longer good.

—From your experience, are there tattoos that you would not recommend tattooing?

—I do not advise getting couple names or portraits of them because it has happened to me that I have had to cover them up after a while. I also do not recommend tattooing only with white ink because although it looks nice the first year, the following year it turns yellow and loses its original color.

—What defines the price of a tattoo?

—For me it is defined by the artist. There is no defined standard, it is the artist who sets the price that he considers to be correct for his work. Although there is the type of commercial tattoo that in that case, it does have a standard value. The materials have to be of the best quality, but that does not influence the cost, although depending on the design that the artist makes, it will take a number of hours and that does influence it, it is not the same to make a manga or just a portrait. The work that took me the most hours was a manga that had eight characters and a cathedral in the background that I did in Washington. But per customer request I can’t say how much he paid.

– Are there times when people get tattooed more: for example, in the run-up to or during the World Cups?

—There are commercial tattoos that are performed at certain key moments, such as World Cups or certain concerts. But from the point of view of recognized tattoo artists, they already have a waiting schedule where their time is from three to six months, and so one has the whole year busy.

—The realities where tattoo artists compete influenced to massify them?

—The different realities that were made managed to transmit part of the world of tattooing. This is a somewhat unknown niche and for this reason, several people who did not consider getting tattooed are encouraged to do so. But I want to be honest, I haven’t seen much of those shows.

—Do you look like Neymar (the Brazilian PSG footballer)? Is it deliberate to copy his look?

-Do not. But in the last year I bleached my hair from gray to white. And I only received several comments in different places during my travels where they told me that I looked like Neymar.

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