JOHN SULTANA’S TATTOOS CREATE THE ILLUSION OF GLOW, LIKE A STAINED GLASS WINDOW
GEOMETRIC YET INTRICATE
Geometric yet intricate, John Sultana’s work is easily distinguishable. His tattoos, many of them spin-offs of the ancient mandala design, play with pattern and light. His designs are reminiscent of kaleidoscopes, expanding outward across the skin. What stands out most to me about these tattoos is the skilled use of shading and line work to create the illusion of glow, almost like a stained glass window. One of the main characteristics of a mandala design is that it draws your eye in, shutting out the constant chatter of your brain and heightening your awareness of the moment. John captures this quality perfectly.
He is also an astrologist, and he uses this knowledge of the relationship between man and sky as inspiration for his artwork. His non- tattoo pieces incorporate various symbols, figures, and often, the night sky, creating an eerie and mystical effect. They help one consider the connection between what Celtic alchemists or Aztec priests saw when they looked at the sky, and what we see in it today. Details such as bold lines and dot work shading show how Sultana’s skills as a tattoo artist transfer over into his other artwork.
I also get the impression that a tattoo by John is somewhat sacred to the individual receiving it. Whatever the given mandala- inspired design represents, whether it be change, transformation, or growth, the tattoo becomes a vessel of spirituality; a permanent amulet. As an artist, the ability to give another person a well- rendered and personalized representation of themselves is a skill worth having. This sacred geometry and astrology guru works out of a private studio in Brooklyn. Check out his website below for more details.