The term “World Tour” is a heavy one, alluding to an experience that’s sonic, usually explosive and possibly historic. What it does not evoke, however, is something as visual, specific and intimate as tattoo work. Orge Kalodimas’ world tour, currently in session, is just as extensive, bringing his vision from France, to the States, to Goa. Orge is not only a word class artist, but also someone who strives to share what he’s learned about his particular area of expertise in between conventions and guest spots.
The crux of the geometric tattoo is similar to that of certain types of abstract art- the purity of intention. Orge’s large scale black work designs are so far from an established aesthetic that your attention is called to the decisions made within the composition- the unconventional calls made to preserve the often delicate relationships holding the given piece together. The spiritual element is familiar, coming in the form of mandalas and the lotus, but the filter that Orge places on it showcases everything in a different sort of light-He honors its fragility but also manages to directly acknowledge the aggression that becomes a natural part of the creative process. It’s all angles, bold, jagged outlines, and heavy blacks. His work holds the ornamental essence of pattern and shape that this genre uses to interpret the workings of the universe, but makes it physical. The eastern mystical elements are coupled with more commercial images like that of the skull, but thanks to a profound understanding of these symbols, Orge is able to connect them to a greater significance, a higher power and a private enigma all at the same time.
Such assertions are better explained with visual evidence, and there’s plenty of examples from Orge’s portfolio that express this unlikely balance between the spiritual and the raw. There’s the dagger-like piece that extends from the base of the head to the nape of the neck, ending in a long, sharpened point. With round, illuminated forms on top and a linear cross- section lower down, it’s a singular form, almost dangerous in its steep slope, and, surprisingly, broken up by a white butterfly in the middle. There’s an arm piece with a skull- like form separated by different planes that warps our orientation, held together by a third eye on the very top. And the chest piece picturing a human skull split down the middle leaves just enough bare skin to create a chasm going down the torso, with the body’s negative space as the undisputable focal point. All of these are heavy with darks and lights, creating a menacing contrast between black and white that is then softened by the ethereal, spiritualistic style that must have influenced Orge at some point in his career.
There’s a certain level of caution to be taken with calling something sacred, especially when that something becomes a permanent part of the body. Orge, however, works past the clichés that Eastern mysticism is often associated with in the Western World. He prefers to open them up and fill them with the opposites that allow the world to function; a monumental nod to the sublime. To check out where Ogre will be this year, as well as his past work with Europe’s SakeTattooCrew (STC), visit the links below.