Slovakian-born Filip Fabian got into tattooing at the age of 16 because of his cousin, who had a tattoo studio. Eager to get started, he bought a $20 coil machine and tried inking a rose on himself, but the device broke down. With practice, better tools, apprenticeships, and many guest spots, he became a professional in 2010.
Fabian studied art at the Technical University of Kosice, becoming interested in Basquiat and Rothko; the latter artist commented that “Shapes have no direct association with any particular visible experience.” Although inspired by the spontaneity of these painters, Fabian explained that “I also work with shapes. I love anatomy, geometry, and forms that blend into the abstract without losing their meaning.”
Having been a resident tattooist at Prague’s Tribo Tattoo & Piercing and Sydney’s Kaleidoscope, Fabian is currently working at Black + Blue Tattoo studio in San Francisco.
Photos © Filip Fabian