Inked and linked

Slava Kononov’s art is so energetic it gets under your skin. Tattoo is a matter of mutual empowerment.

Slava Kononov, originally coming from Ukraine, is one of the freshest progressive energies among contemporary tattoo artists. Some time ago, he left his politically troubled motherland to explore and expand, and share his art via many visiting stays at tattoo studios all over Europe. Slava’s artwork is sometime placed within some kind of post-soviet tattoo context and often viewed through a post-old-school style frame. Now, I would say that in this case attempts of strict definitions are kind of futile, perhaps even detrimental. Slava’s art is self-confident and independent. His works are raw and honest, he creates the kind of beauty which is not afraid of being dirty. This is a modern art in essence based on freedom of self-expression and the beautifully unique relationship between the artist and the person tattooed.

Little story time. Last summer 2k15 we had a chance to see an exhibition of Slava’s personal photos at AKA, Berlin. On his way from Moscow, Slava was detained by the authorities and some of his images and clothing items from his brand Tvoivrag, brought for the occasion, had been confiscated “for investigation”. The exhibition was still rad and Slava was super nice to all the guests, willing to share the stories of his photos. But those events left a bitter aftertaste. I’ll just leave it here as a food for thought. Don’t get soothed by the seemingly successful progress of society aiming towards the enlightened humanity. There’s still loads to do. And art is a powerful weapon of choice.

Check out Slava’s photography below.
















Slava Kononov: Instagram
Text: Padla Nemeckova

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