Squarcio biomeccanico tatuato su schiena dal miglior tatuatore italiano, Jerry magni. Bergamo, Brescia, Milano, Como, Varese, Mantova, Crema, Cremona, Lecco.

Ambitions

Working on a full back is always a huge satisfaction.

Although it’s slightly smaller in size than a full sleeve, it has the advantage of being a flat surface, almost like a canvas, it allows to create large-scale designs without the limits imposed by the conformation of other anatomical parts and allows to enjoy the design in its entirety at a single glance.

Those who decide to tattoo their entire back usually aim for important and particular work.

A blessing for any artist who wants to express their creativity and talent, even better when the client requests something similar to their style.

A surgical work

The idea was to create the effect of a gash in the skin showing a sort of mechanical skeletal structure underneath.

Not an entirely original idea, this kind of tattoo has been in vogue since the movie Terminator hit the screens in 1984.

The image of the robot that opens up its arm and repairs itself has entered the collective imagination of science fiction enthusiasts and beyond.

But even though the idea has been exploited several times, it can always be reinterpreted in new and original ways.

In this type of work the skin is often reproduced as if it were a thin layer of torn paper, in some cases this can help enhance the mechanical part, but most of the time it undermines the realism of the piece and completely bypasses the idea of there being a kind of connection between the skin and mechanical parts.

I also happened to use this type of approach in “Hell’s Roots” (where you can see an evolution from the first part of the tattoo on the chest to the more realistic part on the arm).

I wanted to avoid this type of representation and make the work as realistic as possible.

My client, apart from some basic indications, gave me almost total freedom. He’s a surgeon and I imagined that the above mentioned considerations were going to be obvious, instead, the idea of making the gash realistic didn’t entirely convince him, but he left me room for action knowing that my working method involves the client during the various stages of design.

Therefore, after taking measurements, we said our goodbyes waiting to update ourselves when the first drafts were ready.

An exciting research

Knowing that I was dealing with someone who opens flesh every day, I felt a bit under scrutiny 😀

This prompted me to put an even more obsessive care in the realization of the design, which I obviously wanted to be spectacular.

I began by imagining that the wound had been inflicted by the claw of a huge alien beast, that would tear the flesh open in an important way on the surface, shrinking into the levels below.

I then made the drawing in several steps. After having made the initial draft I went on to digitally recreate the various layers of muscles connected to the skeleton and subsequently evaluate how, where and with what intensity the hypothetical claw would have torn the flesh, in what points there would have been strips of flesh attached to the structure and in which direction the blood would have splattered and/or flowed.

I was already pretty satisfied with the first version but the client wanted the mechanical part to be more visible, so I widened the “wound”, but it still wasn’t enough. Therefore, considering the size of the enlarged tear, it seemed pretty obvious that a claw capable of causing such a gash would certainly have affected the metal structure too.

If a claw that size were to tear the back of a human being open in real life, I’m sure it could easily slice the spine – I also made a version like that – but to the client it seemed a little excessive, so I just added some damage and cut marks to the structure without exaggerating 😀

Even more violent

As work proceeded, the size increased. Initially it was a mere technical matter to show the mechanical part more, then it was the client who asked to increase the size of the tattoo to reach his rib area.

Having had an illustrator imprinting, I always aim for credibility, especially when I’m working on something that must have a realistic effect, and with this type of predisposition I mentally reworked the gash at each change required, imagining the type of claw and in which direction it should have moved to inflict such a gash.

Thanks to my client’s experience “in the field”, I learned interesting and useful things for the purpose of the work, in particular regarding the colour of the wounds and the type of tissues in the various areas of the tear, making the work even more credible.

Even bigger

After the first sessions he suggested I do something similar on the tibia in the future, but in my opinion it wouldn’t have been an equally original and exciting work.

Beyond its smaller size, the tibia itself isn’t a very interesting bone and there is very little that can be done to make it intriguing.

Consequently, that tattoo would have been a simple technical exercise in recreating the appearance of a tear through which a metal bone could be seen.

Given the premises, the project remained on halt, also because we still had a lot of work ahead of us before we could concentrate on anything else.

However, he decided to further enlarge the tattoo by extending it over the shoulder, down to the pectoral. Luckily we were still in the initial phase and in that area I had only tattooed some light lines. Enlarging the design was relatively easy assuming that the tear started from the chest rather than the shoulder.

For that addition, I did nothing but take the ending of the original design and propose it again on the front, intervening with changes on the scapula and various additions to make it consistent with the anatomy and the rest of the piece.

The extensions didn’t end there. Having abandoned the idea of ​​the tibia, the idea of ​​adding an additional gash in the anterior iliac spine area came up.

Certainly not a very interesting bone part, but certainly more customizable and intriguing than the tibia 😀

Not to forget my aim for credibility, I imagined that the claw, during a sort of struggle, in addition to tearing the back open also managed to injure the hip, but not finding it functional, I came to the obvious conclusion that in a struggle with a creature with such claws, various injuries could be inflicted even if not in line with each other.

Flesh and Blood

When studying and designing the gash I had to be pretty inventive because, although the internet is full of gruesome images, I haven’t found any documentation on wounds this size, only images of surgical operations where the tissues are not torn but cut with precision, clean and kept open by spacers, so those images could come in handy to create some colour effects but nothing more.

To think that a gash like that is completely clean would be absurd. If a human being were to have his flesh torn like that he would almost certainly be covered in blood down to his knees, but covering half of the client’s body in red wouldn’t make any sense 😀

It could be argued that being a work of fiction and, assuming it’s a cyborg, the tissues are synthetic and there isn’t any blood. An assessable and testable hypothesis, like many others. However, we didn’t consider it because, in addition to going against the man/machine fusion theory, it wasn’t amongst the client’s wishes.

So there had to be blood.

I had to add enough blood for the work to be credible, without exaggerating or holding back, always aiming for credibility, which I think I did very well.

I would have liked to add more blood on the front but the space didn’t allow it, because the client didn’t want to extend too much on the pectoral nor go above the shirt line.

Vista laterale di squarcio biomeccanico tatuato su schiena dal miglior tatuatore italiano, Jerry magni. Bergamo, Brescia, Milano, Como, Varese, Mantova, Crema, Cremona, Lecco.

Surprises

As far as I’m concerned, the most challenging part is usually the creation of the design, that’s where I experiment and look for the perfect balance between shapes and colours.

The translation on skin is often simply a technical matter to reproduce the design and colours as faithfully as possible.

On the wound, on the other hand, I found myself in an unusual situation. It was as if the drawing, which I created myself, was just an idea rather than a pattern to follow and I often felt like I was tattooing the wound like the drawing didn’t even exist. It was a strange feeling, as if I was designing it from scratch on skin rather than copying my drawing.

I’m aware that some people might be horrified by a tattoo that depicts a bleeding wound like this. It’s not a common tattoo and it’s not for everyone.

But like all large tattoos, particularly the original and challenging ones, it has been an important growth path, both technically and personally, and I’m sure it’s the same for clients, even it’s way more personal for them.

As absurd as it may sound, this is a decidedly important but at the same time discreet tattoo.

No-one would be able to tell if this man is tattooed or not, unless he decides to let somebody know 😀

I believe I’ve done a great job. I’m very satisfied and I’m certain the client is too, whom I thank for giving me the opportunity to create this piece of which I’m very proud.

 

Below you can see the entire process, from the design up to the final piece.