Chris Toler - Winner: Black & White
During The Great British Tattoo Show, not only did we launch this here brand and not only did we specially design the solid-silver prize pieces, but we were also there so that Gary could present the prestigious Black and White award. What can we say? It was a busy ol’ couple of days.
The artists in attendance over the course of the show were truly sickeningly talented, none more so than the winner of the black and white category, Chris Toner – co-founder of Carolina based Seventh Sin Tattoo. (… and we thought our commute was a bit of a bitch. Jeez).
Originally harking from West Virginia (born and raised. Sorry, had to), Chris travelled the length and breadth of the states honing his craft to a specialism. And the results are just a little bit jaw dropping. God knows we love ourselves a creative that grafts themselves to where they want to go.
His work captures a startling realism – an impossible illusion – and a masterful manipulation of ink and needlework, especially in his portraiture. Combined with a wash of watercolour, his work takes on an ethereal, dreamlike quality that is all his own.
The winning piece was the purest example of Chris’ unique hybrid style and Gary couldn’t have been happier to be presenting his award. Not Chris’ first by a long shot and we’re sure as hell it won’t be his last, either.
So, while he may have headed back across the pond to Seventh Sin Tattoo, you can follow his inking adventures on Instagram. Though prepare to lose yourself a good couple of hours as you give his profile a gawp. Totally worth it, though.