Adrenalink Tattoo

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Crez interviews Pino Cafaro

I’ve met Pino Cafaro for the first time at the London tattoo convention few years ago. Pino’s style is a very classic and simple Japanese Tattooing, his shop White fox Gallery in Braunschweig is a meeting point for irezumi lovers in Germany.

When and how did you get started in tattooing?
I started tattooing 1996. couples of years before I already started to get tattoos and was absolutely fascinated. I was trying to get some informations at this time ,but 25/26 years ago it was impossible to get any answer except : fuck off, from the tattooers in my Town .
After couple of years of bagging,at least, my tattooer agreed to take me as an apprentice. I started working in a pretty “old school” bikers shop and “served“ there for seven years. thought time but I kept a romantic retrospective about it.

How long did it take to get the first proper results?
It took forever! Working in the place I stared was like tattooing behind the moon.
I think the first 15 years were pretty hard, after that I slowly started to get better results. To be honest I still struggle some time ,tattooing is still a big challenge!

Do you consider painting a part of your learning process? Tell me about your drawing and painting routine…
Of course I do! Even if with the years I got a certain routine about the technical process of tattooing, Drawing still challenges me a lot. I love the Japanese iconography! Working with it ,trying to get deeper in it means to work/research/draw constantly. I didn’t paint too much the last years . My focus was more on drawing for my tattoo projects but I will start this year to hopefully paint more.

Before you’ve started tattooing were you involved in any subculture, such as punk, dark, metal, rock and roll, rap?
I was the singer of a rock band and kept on doing music for some years But on a certain point I decided to put my time and energy into tattooing.

If you would have to pick three tattoo artists that inspire your work who would you mention and why?
There are so many people that inspired me and still do. I seriously don’t feel like mentioning just 3 of all these guys&girls that keep on inspiring me With their unbreakable passion for this Job.

Since you started, how has the business evolved?
I started 23 years ago and I can truly say that a lot has changed since then. I guess for me its like this Coca Cola thing… when I was a kid im pretty sure, the taste of Coke was different ,better .So later ,for some years I was very disappointed about it. You know how I solved the problem? I don’t drink it anymore.

I do similar with the evolution in this business, I try to keep all the aspects that I hate about it out of my life enjoining what become better.

Machines (rotary or coil),Tebori (hand tools) or both? what’s your choice? Why?
I believe that the tool choice is not as important as the results. I do love Coil Machines and it took many years to understand how to Build,fix,tune and influence this tool in a way that it does what I aspect from it. What really matters at least is to work with a tool that you trust and love.

Can you list a Top five of your favorite visual Artists of all eras? what is attractive of their work in your opinion?
Michelangelo Merisi(Caravaggio), Katsushika Hokusai, Gian Lorenzo Bernini, Etienne Louis Boulle, Michelangelo Buonarroti. What they have in common: Genius visionary’s and extraordinary Handcrafts-man… perfect combination.

How do you feel about the “ban” of tattooing in Japan?
Fortunately this problem is solved for now.

What’s the most challenging subject for you and why?
I think the designs I struggle the most with are Dragons. Still amazingly difficult to draw one that I like.

on Instagram: @pino_cafaro

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