Kris Magnotti Highlark


Working out of NY Adorned and Da Vinci Tattoo, Kris Magnotti’s strength is his absolute fluidity. His tattoos border on the big pair- Traditional Japanese and American Traditional- but weave in and out of styles in such a way that they’re hard to put a conventional label on. Some things though, remain constant throughout his portfolio, showcasing a familiarity with the art form that can only come from experience and a distinct creative identity. He renders all sort of scenes, but all of them are inherently linked by a few of the artist’s signature touches.

The first thing that Kris’ tattoos hit you with is their brightness. The shading is careful, almost discreet, so as to emphasize the color spectrum within each piece. Kris has no aversion to loud colors, letting them speak for themselves. They’re not distracting nor do they clash, and this is a result of Kris’ sense of composition; instead of settling for a safe, muted image, he pinpoints the focal point(s) of the piece (which are not always obvious), and pumps them with color to bring the entire tattoo together. The traditional Japanese imagery, especially, modernizes Irezumi artwork which is usually grounded in a more limited array of colors, yet doesn’t compromise the symbolic element. Kris illuminates tattoos from inside, manipulating light so that it emanates from the eyes of a tiger or bounces off the crests of waves subtly and organically.

Kris Magnotti Highlark

To go back to his ability to adapt stylistically, Kris’ tattoos that lean towards American Traditional fully embody the same breath of life that his Japanese designs do. Irezumi is an interpretation of nature, often featuring the movement of its forces and organisms. Though not all of his American imagery features a living component, that same sense of vivacity resonates throughout. Traditional American tattoos tend to be flatter and less reliant on dimension, because their simplicity is defining. However, whether it be consciously or subconsciously, Kris adds that volume to every piece, putting all of his work on the same plain. Kris is the kind of artist that adapts to a client’s vision without letting go of his own creative principles. As a result, his artwork is incredibly balanced, infused with an equal level of passion from both the tattooist and the receiver.


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