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Matt Curzon On The Power Of Tattoos

31 August 2016 | 1:52 pm | Matt Curzon

Matt Curzon talks influential tattoos leading up to the WA leg of the Australian International Tattoo Expo next month.

This tattoo is on me, and done by Matt Collins at Dynamic Tattoo in Melbourne. Long before I started tattooing I looked up to the artwork of the guys at Dynamic. I got plenty of my larger tattoos done there by Matt, who continues to be one of the best tattooists in Melbourne. I learned so much about how to make designs look cool just by watching him work and looking at the finished result. This tattoo on my ribs holds so true to this day.

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I love the work of Brodie 'The Leisure Bandit' from Perth. 80's-style animals doing the ridiculous and action hero pun tattoos. This piece is an example of his fun and unique style. The best part about doing conventions for me is the social aspect. I met Brodie at the Melbourne Tattoo Expo in December and I look forward to catching up with him at the Perth Expo this month, having a drink and seeing what insane tattoos he gets up to!

One of my favourite tattoos to look at by possibly my favourite tattooist, this massive front piece is by the incomparable Rachi Brains. Everything about it is so brave and well executed, from the asymmetrical flow to the use of extremely heavy line-weights. Looking at her tattoos has opened up my eyes to just what is possible with large-scale tattoos.

Another tattoo that I'm lucky to have on me, this piece is done by my brother Elric Gordon. It's of a Cory Rogers tattoo machine, which was the first decent machine I ever owned and fell in love with. Now back alongside me at Empire in Melbourne, it's awesome getting to watch Elric do his thing every day. Working with him and bouncing ideas off each other over the years has definitely helped us grow as artists. The thing that stands out in his work is his unparalleled patience in the pursuit of smooth black and grey. This is on full display here.

This is one of the earliest tattoos I can remember blowing me away. Tattooed by Judd Ripley (from Brisbane, now located in Copenhagen), this piece is flawless. I always wished my artwork was as cool as his, and looking back this tattoo definitely must have had some influence on me wanting my artwork to be bold and powerful. It took me years to stop trying to draw ships with blown out sails!

This is one tattoo by me that was maybe a turning point in my career. I was working out in the Yarra Valley quietly doing my thing when I got a chance to work at Rites of Passage. I knocked this piece out in a few hours on the Sunday and it happened to be judged Best of Show by some world renowned artists including Paul Booth and Steve Cross. Considering the amount of high quality artists on display at that event (and any Australian expo for that matter) this helped give me the confidence that maybe I know what I'm doing a little bit.

The annual Australian International Tattoo Expo will return to the Perth Convention & Exhibition Centre from Friday 16 - Sunday 18 September. You can find more here.