The skull is a classic tattoo icon.
Ever-popular, anyone who gets this tattoo is attracted by the mystery and appeal, albeit macabre, that it expresses. Some people use it as a form of provocation to challenge social clichés and fears. For others it is an existential ‘reminder’, because the skull represents the transitory nature of life and its dark side, death.
“Memento Mori” (Remember that you must die) the Trappist monks would repeat, a motto which has been adopted by tattoo artists too and is a natural accompaniment to skull tattoos.
The pull that a dead person’s head exercises on the human imagination has roots in the most ancient cultural and mystic traditions. For many tribal cultures the skull is the seat of supreme control and divinity.
In Europe the skull is a mystical figure which represents alchemy, the ancient esoteric science considered to be the mother of modern chemistry.
The skull is a symbol (and an instrument of evocation) of the contact with the afterlife, which is why it is used in the magical arts and freemasonry. The emblem of various secret societies (for example the Skull & Bones) is a human skull with crossed bones, the exact same image as is used to symbolise piracy.
In tattoos the skull often assumes a ‘face’, a characterisation.
The celebrated sugar skulls, which are inspired by the traditional Mexican sugar skulls, are always different because of the decorations and symbols covering them.
But you just have to change style to change the face of your skull tattoo: realistic, horror, biomechanical, cartoon, Old School and New School, Chicane style (for the popular Mexican women’s skulls) or Cute are just a few of the many various interpretations of this subject.
Our 'Skulls' special edition brings together a gallery of the most beautiful skulls in these and other styles. If you are looking for a ‘ex-skull-ent’ idea, look no further!
Tattoo Photo 10: Skulls
64 pages, 259 colour photos of tattoos.
Sugar Skulls, Mexican women’s skulls, realistic style, biomechanical, cute skulls, mini skulls, cartoon, horror, Avant-Garde and much more.