What I Know About Style

Daniel the Gardener

January
25

Daniel The Gardener chats to us about tattoo art and his work with the William Morris Gallery

Hi Daniel, you’re an artist and tattooist from Argentina, but you’ve lived all over the world. Where is your favourite place that you’ve been so far?

Some of the nicest places I’ve ever been are Copenhagen, Montreux and Positano. Nevertheless If I would have to pick one place right now it would still be Berlin, where I lived for nine years until I moved to London last year, thats where I spent some of the best time in my life and met many of the people I care about the most.

When did you decide you wanted to become a tattoo artist?

Since I was a kid I’ve been a fascinated by the tattoo world, and I got away with getting tattooed at a shop in Buenos Aires at 14. When I turned 16 I wanted to learn, but my parents were definitely not as excited as I was. Only after many years of painting and going through an experimental phase, in which I tried different mediums, I found my way to tattooing aged 26.

Can you tell us a bit about your career before?

Before finishing school I was already organising my first paintings exhibitions at bars and cultural spaces, and I couldn’t see myself doing anything else. Luckily enough, I got selected for a young artist contest, and soon I was making my living painting, drawing and showcasing my work in different art galleries in Buenos Aires. About 6 years after, I felt I needed a change and decided to leave my comfort zone and move to Berlin to open a new chapter in my life. This gave me space and time to travel and discover the world, as well as finding new paths and formats for my art.

What inspired you to work mainly with botanical tattoos?

I chose to work with botanical tattoos because it connects the human experience with the natural world. I grew up in a house where my mum always collected plants and I will do the same in any place I move to. I am a plant lover and have my own collection of botanical tattoos on my body. After some years of tattooing, having tried different styles and not yet sure which one to focus on, I realised I could truly relate to the botanical world and would like to specialise in this subject. I love decorating bodies with plants and flowers and working with my clients to create unique floral compositions.

How did you end up working with William Morris? Can you tell us about the exhibition..

Last year I was invited by the William Morris Gallery to tattoo a piece inspired by Morris’ work during London Craft Week at his family home in Walthamstow. During the beginning of 2020 I started studying WM’s stunning floral compositions and created watercolours inspired by his work. I was granted access to the gallery’s archives, where I found original woodcuts from his botanical wallpapers, which became a main subject of interest and a big influence on the final design for the piece to be tattooed. We did an open call to find a person who would like to get a piece done during the exhibition and had interviews with them and the senior curator form WM Gallery to choose who would become part of the project. Since all my work is drawn on the person directly on the skin without having a previous paper sketch, the piece would be created and unveiled during the exhibition and visitors could watch the whole design and tattoo process. As a result we did a massive floral piece, a short film sharing the process, and a set of limited prints from my paintings inspired by Morris botanical wallpapers.

So we can buy the prints?

Yes! You can find them on my online shop, separate or as a bundle!

You use Instagram a lot to promote your work. Was this something you did on purpose or did it happen organically?

It happened organically, Instagram holds the biggest online tattoo community and it allows us to be seen and connect both by clients, studios and other fellow tattooers around the world. It is a great way to share our work and gives us the chance to travel and arrange guest spots in a very easy way.

What’s next for you and your work?

At the moment I’m very exited to be painting again after so many years, lockdown has helped me to focus on this since we are not allowed to tattoo at the moment. The William Morris project gave me the chance to combine different aspects of my work as an artist and I would also love to continue working in projects were tattooing is the result of a collaboration with other entities: researching on a specific subject to create a tattoo piece that becomes a space for reflection and channel for a powerful message.

www.danielthegardener.com

@danielthegardener

Photo: @anna_kordyka

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