Breaking down a collaboration tattoo with Fabrice Koch & Rishabh Narang

  • 82
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
    82
    Shares

Tattoos are always inherently a collaboration. A coming together of the canvas and the artist to create something that adds to the canvas’ personality, matures them as an individual, and leaves a memory that is indelible. At the last Heartwork Tattoo Festival in New Delhi, we caught up with two tattoo artists, Fabrice Koch (from Germany) and Rishabh Narang (from Chandigarh) who collaborated on a rather unique and a very special tattoo. Without spilling any details, let’s take you to the conversation…

Here’s our Creative Director, Shubham Nag in conversation with Fabrice and Rishabh:

Shubham (S): So how did this collaboration come to be in the first place?

Fabrice (F): I got a request from Nischal (the client) to make a portrait tattoo of his mother with some graphic style and since I rarely do portraits, I wanted to give like an optimum piece to my client… I was considering and looking to make, yeah, as to whom to invite to make a good collab with and…

S: So, did you do a lucky draw?

Rishabh (R): Dude, that was a good one (laughs)… I am the winner of the lucky draw. Yay!

S: It’s a very modern form of abstraction in itself. How did the whole idea come to shape? I mean he had a portrait idea specifically?

F: He just had some portraits of his mother…

R: He had some pictures from past and… uhh… his mother passed away when he was 10-15 years old. And the pictures that he brought were from ‘73, I think.

F: Yeah, they were some random pictures and…

R: Random home pictures with the old cameras.

F: Yeah, analogue cameras. Some were kind of blurry so we had literally not much choice. There were two pictures we could use, so we went on starting with those. We went adjusting the portrait, which size it’s gonna be and all the rest of it, yeah, it just happened.

R: It was more spontaneous then. We didn’t, literally we didn’t talk about it. Like till the time we were there with the client, I didn’t know what exactly we were doing. So…

F: Me neither.

Fabrice and Rishabh

R: So he said we just have some pictures and let’s do a collab. And then we just sat down and we got to know, okay, what pictures are these, where are they coming from, how old are they. And then Fabrice had the idea to make it look a little more authentically Indian, you know. So that’s where the patterns came.

F: Because I like to when I have people, no matter where they come from, want to have like graphic stuff, really to use things from their culture. And so he was totally okay with it because it reminded him even more of his mother, to have this saree kind of abstract thing.

S: Is this the first time you are using these Indian folk patterns in your work?

F: Not really, because in Germany also a lot of people get ‘mehendi’ designs, but as tattoos nowadays. So I am a little bit comfortable with this.

S: And Rishabh, when it comes to portraiture with such vivid colour abstraction, do you also alter your way of going about it technically?

R: To be honest, it was my first time. While I was doing it, what I was thinking about was how would it look with those colours, and of course I wanted to keep the contrast on. I didn’t want it to go completely off. So I wanted to make sure that it had, you know, good amount of skin that you can see because I knew the idea that he wanted to put colours, but I didn’t know how much colour. I wanted to leave that scope, so even if he wanted to put more colour my tattoo shouldn’t look too dark within that.

F: I didn’t know what colour or how much colour I was gonna use…

R: Yeah, we just knew that we would put colours…

F: So, like the turquoise came out like really in the end. I thought that we are done and we are finished and I looked at it and I looked at these two or three empty spots and I said, “Please sit down again, I have an idea,” and I took some other colour bottles, and he was like really getting goosebumps. “Oh, it’s my mother’s colours” he exclaimed.

R: …That’s what he last remembers of his mother. What she was wearing was turquoise and red, and both colours were there on the tattoo, like the main colours.

S: It’s crazy how like an impromptu collab touches on so many memories and builds a very modern take on pictures taken so many years ago…

R: …on those analogue cameras. And I just want to talk about one thing. Yesterday, I was talking with Deep (a fellow tattoo artist) about it. He was asking too many questions about how did it go, what do I think about collab. What I realized was earlier I did two collabs. It’s been few years now . In those tattoos, in those collabs what we did was we divided it into half and we did our parts on the tattoos. But this time what I really liked and enjoyed was when I was working I did my part, then Fabrice came in and he started his own style. He was touching a few of my areas where I had already opened the skin. So then he took a break and I came in to do the tattoo, and then I saw what he was doing and I took it my way in a different angle. So we…

F: We pushed or inspired each other just to get through…

S: And you create a new individual character…

F: And I think it is because we built it step by step. Rishab did his part and then I came in and I said, “Okay, now I think I have done enough.” I didn’t want to limit Rishab so much, you know, just do your part and…

R: It was just so comfortable… Once he is doing it and then I am doing it. But we were taking it back and forth, you know, like it’s not like what he has done I won’t even touch it. He gave me the freedom to do what I felt, you know. So whenever I felt I could alter it a little in my way to blend in more, I did that and I think he did it similarly.

F: You know, I think if we demand that amount of trust from our clients, we should trust the same way the people we collab with.

R: That’s so true.

F: And by choosing the right people, you know, their work, you know them as a good friend, so we know it will get along well.

S: And it’s like tattooing is itself like a collab always, right? You and the client, it’s always a collab.

F: It’s always a collab already between the client and us so now we are just a trio…

 


  • 82
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •  
  •   
  •  
  •  
    82
    Shares

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to Top