Exploring the extraordinary aesthetics of Biomechanical tattoos.

Biomechanical tattoos offer a unique and fascinating visual experience. In this article, we will delve into the origins, meaning of biomechanical tattoos, the mastery of the artists who create them, and the mystical harmony that arises when they blend with the human body. Discover everything you need to know about these intriguing tattoos and immerse yourself in the fascinating world of biomechanical tattooing.

biomech lady ©Jerry Magni
Digital painting by ©Jerry Magni

The Allure of Biomechanical Tattoos

Biomechanical tattoos go beyond appearances, challenging our innate desire to recognize and classify everything around us. Since ancient times, the ability to identify the shape and patterns of fierce animals or poisonous plants was vital for survival.

Perhaps this is why when faced with shapes that defy classification, some people feel fear, bewilderment, discomfort, or repulsion.

Others, more open-minded, with a developed artistic sensitivity or an inclination for adventure, may be strongly drawn to biomechanical tattoos.

These individuals usually possess a higher ability to abstract than those who seek to categorize everything, showing an affinity for mystery, as biomechanical tattoos are inherently linked to it.

According to Wikipedia, biomechanics applies mechanical principles to living organisms. Treccani defines it as the study of movement and balance in living organisms.

Both definitions overlook the artistic aspect. For instance, the term “biomechanics” refers to sports and biomedical engineering, while art is neglected or superficially described. This demonstrates how this artistic style is still new and unknown.

H.R. Giger painting
H.R. Giger al lavoro

Origins of Biomechanical

Some erroneously associate biomechanical tattoos with the Steampunk movement, but while gears can be present in some biomechanical creations and the two have been somewhat linked since the 1990s, the origins of biomech tattoos actually predate Steampunk by far.

It all started thanks to the visionary genius of Hans Ruedi Giger, a Swiss artist known for his paintings and sculptures of “xenomorphic” beings, which gained worldwide fame in 1979 and earned him an Oscar for special effects, thanks to Ridley Scott‘s movie “Alien.”

Scultura di H.R. Giger
Scultura di H.R. Giger

Giger invented his first xenomorphs in the 1960s, envisioning a catastrophic future in which humanity would modify itself, incorporating the technology that surrounded it. Over time, Giger’s art was understood, emulated, and reinterpreted by other artists, influencing the world of tattoos starting in the 1990s.

H.R. Giger artwork
Opera di H.R. Giger

Some talk about a mythical golden age or boom for this genre between the 1980s and 1990s, but clearly, they weren’t around during those years to know that tattoos were still not very widespread in the 1980s. Even after their spread, biomech tattoos have always remained a niche, attracting a very particular group of tattoo enthusiasts. It’s one of the most unique and fascinating niches of the tattoo world.

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Despite biomechanical tattoos now being relatively common in visual art, especially in horror and science fiction, they still evoke mixed reactions ranging from bewilderment to attraction. Moreover, many people are still unaware of their existence.

The Visionary Art of Biomechanical Tattoos

Biomechanical tattoos are often mistakenly associated only with robotic elements inspired by the 1984 movie “Terminator” – the scene where the robot repairs its arm has become famous and has been tattooed on thousands, if not tens of thousands, of people – rather than Giger’s visionary work.

scena dal fil Terminator
scena da Terminator – 1984

In reality, biomech tattoos can take on many different forms, including alien, organic, and natural elements such as bones, corals, plants, rocks, fractals, and more. Artists dedicated to this style continuously explore new shapes, effects, structures, and surfaces.

The distinction between biomechanical and bio-organic is arbitrary. Both are part of the biomechanical universe, but “bio-organic” refers to forms that seem to have developed autonomously rather than being artifacts.

Biomechanical tattoos encompass a wide range of different styles, each capable of creating surprisingly different visions. Just like Rock music, where different currents coexist within the same genre, biomechanical tattooing offers a diverse range of artistic expressions. Consequently, the term “biomechanical” can often be limiting.

half sleeve color biomech cover-up masterfully done by Jerry Magni one of the best Italian tattoo artist.

Biomechanical tattoos can be considered a form of abstraction, although this definition may seem forced. Despite giving life to non-existent shapes, biomech tattoos are based on rules and principles of realism: colour theory, perspective, light, etc.

The ability to handle realism in biomechanical tattoos allows artists to create more convincing work. The composition of biomech tattoos can include a wide range of styles and contrasts, such as:

  • masculine and feminine,
  • aggressive and relaxing,
  • simple and detailed,
  • organic and metallic,
  • sinister and positive,
  • fluidity and contrast,
  • depth, and texture,

among others.

Biomechanical tattoos represent a fusion of elements and require ample space to manifest their full potential. Merely simulating a tear in the skin with a spring inside it doesn’t make it biomechanical,

full color biomech tattoo sleeve, done by one of the best Italian tattoo artists, Jerry Magni, Milano, Bergamo

Creating a high-quality biomech tattoo demands exceptional artistic skill and extraordinary imagination. While it’s not necessary to faithfully reproduce the human anatomy, the artist must understand it to use the client’s body to the artwork’s advantage. The artist cannot simply combine shapes and colours randomly.

This process requires study, research, and experimentation to develop a personal and unique style that integrates harmoniously with the body, presenting stylistic and perspective consistency and creating a realistic impression of something nonexistent.

Biomechanical tattooing requires representation skills and thinking outside the box. An artist dedicated to this style must have a solid foundation in drawing and significant experience in handling proportions, balance, depth, and light.

Only after mastering these skills can they break conventional patterns and develop a unique and personal graphic vocabulary.

You can’t think outside the box if you haven’t been inside it.

Similarly, a musician with a classical education can experiment with genres like rock or punk, while it will be challenging for a self-taught musician who only plays rock to create classical music.

Of course, once every hundred years, there are geniuses.

Meanings and Interpretations of Biomechanical Tattoos

But what do biomechanical tattoos mean?

This common question arises from the deeply rooted belief that a tattoo must necessarily have a meaning. However, not all artworks, including tattoos, need to have a specific meaning.

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Like other art forms, biomechanical tattoos can be appreciated for their technical innovation and visual beauty. It’s not mandatory to search for a profound meaning. Some tattoos, such as landscape paintings or portraits, are simply created for aesthetic pleasure.

tatuaggio biomeccanico a colori a tutta manica eseguito magistralmente dal miglior tatuatore italiano Jerry Magni. Bergamo, Milano, Brescia, Como, Lecco, Varese, Novara, Vicenza, Crema, Cremona

Not all art needs to be understood or explained. Often, the need to attribute meaning to a tattoo is a justification for work of dubious quality. A well-executed biomech tattoo transcends words and language, creating visions that stimulate the imagination.

We can compare biomechanical tattoos to tribal or graffiti art, which are accepted for what they are, without necessarily having a specific meaning. It’s similar to instrumental music, where one can be carried away by the sound without the need for textual narration. Similarly, biomech tattoos fascinate with their shapes and colours.

This doesn’t exclude the possibility that biomechanical tattoos may have hidden or personal meanings, attributed by the artist or the wearer. However, these meanings are entirely subjective and do not adhere to typical iconographic rules of other styles or traditions.

Biomech Project by ©Jerry Magni

The Mastery of Biomech Tattoo Artists

In Italy, very few tattoo artists dedicate themselves to this style with good results. You can probably count them on one hand without losing the ability to hold a glass. The number is similarly limited worldwide.

This assessment applies only to those who master the style since unfortunately, the tattoo world has many amateurs or those who clumsily copy the work of others, resulting in the fact that currently 60% of tattooed Italians dislike their tattoos.

Biomechanical tattoos are usually large, as this style, like art in general, achieves its maximum impact on a large scale.

Biomech tattoo sleeve. Tatuaggio biomeccanico

Those who choose a biomech tattoo undergo a genuine transformation process. For example, if one chooses an alien theme, it is not only limited to drawing alien shapes on the arm but it transforms the arm or any other chosen body part into something alien or whatever other form they decide to give it. It becomes something completely different. It’s a unique transformation that rarely occurs with other styles.

Biomechanical tattoos fit perfectly on the body, attracting and satisfying our desire for beauty without the need for a narrative. The body becomes an integral part of the design, and vice versa.

Biomech tattoos, in addition to being an aesthetic option, can also be an excellent choice for covering up previous tattoos, within the limits of cover-ups of course, because while they are suitable for this purpose, they cannot perform miracles.

Cover-up tattoo with Full color biomech sleeve. Tubes, clean and rusty parts, mechanical stuff, alien parts, purple, red and yellow colors. Masterfully done by by the best tattoo artist Jerry Magni, Bergamo, Milan, Lugano, Italy.

L’armonia del tatuaggio biomeccanico

Among those who create biomechanical tattoos, there is a saying:

“Tattoos are either tribal or biomechanical; everything else falls in between.”

It’s a strong statement, but one that can be agreed upon.

Tribal is the style from which tattooing originated, while biomechanical tattoos are, at the moment, its highest evolution. Tribal has evolved over millennia in the populations that practice it, developing stylistic codes designed to decorate the body harmoniously, following its shape and enhancing its beauty.

Biomechanical tattooing follows the same principle but incorporates all the artistic teachings we have developed to date: perspective, colour theory, chiaroscuro, realism, etc. Furthermore, like tribal tattoos, biomechanical tattoos are not particularly affected by changes in the body over time.

Full color biomech sleeve tattoo. brown, green and white colors. Alien metal parts intersects on the arm with green lights coming from the inside. Masterfully done by by the best tattoo artist Jerry Magni, Bergamo, Milan, Lugano, Italy.

Both styles blend with anatomical shapes instead of being applied to the body.

For example, a portrait on an arm could become an unrecognizable mess if the arm were to change size due to weight gain, whereas a biomech tattoo can handle almost any deformation, maintaining its harmony on the body.

The Mystical Beauty of Biomechanical Tattoos

The mystical aspect of biomechanical tattoos derives from their ability to evoke a connection between different worlds, depending on the chosen theme. This connection can be between the organic and technological world, between body and nature, whether it’s the animal or plant kingdom, reaching out to the cosmos or even spiritual or unknown worlds.

Full color biomech sleeve tattoo. Orange, purple and yellow colors. Alien metal parts intersects on the arm with yellow lights coming from the inside. Done by by the best tattoo artist Jerry Magni, Bergamo, Milan, Lugano, Italy

This fusion creates a kind of symbiosis between man and the universe, conveying a sense of harmony and unity between seemingly opposing elements. This mystical vision is one of the reasons why biomech tattoos attract and fascinate many people.

The fact that someone still asks, “What is it?” is a positive note; it means they see something that attracts them, and they want to know more.

Biomechanical tattoos can be interpreted as moments when the need to categorize, recognize, describe, or attribute meanings is abandoned, allowing the eyes to enjoy something unique and beautiful, just like when we admire a beautiful sunset, a painting, or an attractive person.

It’s a moment of peace where we let beauty and mystery delight our gaze.

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Biomech Design by ©Jerry Magni


Biomechanical tattoos represent an extraordinary evolution of the art of tattooing. They challenge traditional boundaries, combining different elements to create a fascinating and unique visual experience.

Artists dedicated to this style require remarkable artistic skills and an imagination beyond the norm to create compelling work that integrates harmoniously with the body.

While some tattoos may be associated with various meanings, biomechanical tattoos can be appreciated simply for their aesthetic beauty and technical mastery.

They are visions that stimulate the imagination and can be compared to visual or musical works of art, where beauty and mystery come together to create an emotional experience.

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

Part Two: The Meaning of Biomechanical Tattoos


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