Double Tap That – Vek Van Hillik
So, we guess it’s no big secret that we’re big into tattoos. I know, shocker, right? But you know what we love most about them? It’s that they tell a story. Maybe it’s a real deep and meaningful story with plenty of plot arches, characters and emotional jeopardy. Maybe it’s the story of ‘hey, I thought it looked cool’ and that’s about it. Whatever tickles your yes-button, my friend. What we’re getting at is that, at the core of both is the celebration that, just like our fingerprints or our DNA, our skin is unique to us. It’s a canvas, a blank page, waiting for our very own prose.
Obviously, not all tattoos are created equal. There are maestros of an art and there are the um … well, the slap-the-stencil-on-and-give-me-your-money types. But the ones that truly get us – as true appreciators of the craft – are the tattoos that make you squint in wonder. That make you tilt your head. That have you reaching out to touch strangers, just to get a closer look.
French artist Vek Van Hillik probably sits top of the appreciation-gawp list for us right now. Born in Toulouse, where he lives and works now, he’s making a name for himself off the back off his transforming illusionist tattoos that move and flex with the canvas its inked on to reveal another dimension of the world he’s created. Insects stretch out their wings, dream-like bunnies grow unicorn horns and hidden vortex worlds implode and expand to reveal intrigue and mystery. Each piece is “an ode to a fantasy, like a secret window to his dreams”.
Inspired by artists like Gustave Gore, Ingres, Caravaggio, Dau and Breton, and infused with the inevitable influences of pop culture – video games, comics and street art, his style is one that toys with fantasy in lifelike detail for wickedly clever, truly fascinating concepts.
Working freehand, Hillik draws directly onto his client’s skin, allowing him to adapt the concept to the body’s own landscape and movement, creating something truly unique each and every time whilst ensuring the integrity and believability of the illusion. What makes them all so perfect is symmetry – he manipulates it, which allows him to create unfurling worlds, dabbling in the surreal and entrancing obscurity.
The kind that makes you double take.
There’s true craftsmanship in that, it’s magician’s work.
If you have a spare ten minutes (that could possibly turn into an hour), hit up his Instagram page to watch hypnotic videos of these works of wonder in action.