Art Tattoos

Lynn Gunn

Lynn Gunn got this tattoo on the inside of her right arm following PVRIS’ concert in Houston, TX on October 1, 2017.

The design that she had inked is one of over 200 chapter headings that illustrator Aubrey Beardsley created for the 1893 book Le Morte d’Arthur which tells the tales of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. This book was the first commissioned work in Beardsley’s short career. Although he died at only 25 years old, Beardsley’s art lives on an iconic example of the Art Nouveau style.

Lynn’s tattoo is true to Beardsley’s style of using only black and white without any gray for a very graphic look.

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Lena Dunham


In July 2017, Lena Dunham got a heart tattoo on her inner right inspired by New York doll artist Greer Lankton.  The  “Love Me” heart design appears on the chest of one of Lankton’s dolls. Lena showed off the new ink on her instagram, writing:

“So I cry, I pray and I beg… Greer Lankton’s last act on earth was this heart. These words were her mantra.”

Lankton used her own body image issues as the inspiration for her doll sculptures. The artist underwent gender confirmation surgery at the age of 21 and struggled with anorexia throughout her life. The personal nature of her art is what makes it so meaningful to Lena Dunham, who first saw Lankton’s work as a child. She told AnOther:

“I think Greer’s conflicted emotions about transitioning helped make her work just so emotionally resonant. We all feel that sense of being lost in and betrayed by our own bodies. She made it into poetry.”

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Skylar Grey


Skylar Gray has a large tattoo on her right thigh based on art nouveau illustrator Aubrey Beardsley’s 1893 drawing “The Peacock Skirt.”  The original illustration (pictured below) is cut off with a hard line at the bottom, so tattoo artist Joshua Lord added his own creative flair to the design by changing the outline into a beautiful mermaid tail shape.

The tattoo celebrates Skylar’s involvement in the Suicide Squad movie soundtrack.  She contributed two songs: “Wreak Havoc” which she performed herself and Kehlani’s “Gangsta” which she co-wrote.  Fellow songwriter Jacob Luttrell drew something on her thigh on the night when they began writing “Gangsta” together.   The doodle was either a butterfly or a fish — neither of them can quite remember — but this piece of art evokes the feeling of both.

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Julia Michaels


Julia Michaels has a surrealist cartoon with the message “Free Hugs” on her right upper arm. It shows a sweater with hands but no head, grabbing onto branches that exist where the head should be. The original design, sans text, was drawn by artist Geffen Refaeli for her dailydoodlegram Instagram page where she creates unique illustrations inspired by the images in her feed.  In this case she combined a sweater from a fashion designer’s account with a photo of a branch from a plant magazine.  What it all means is subject to interpretation.

The “Free Hugs” text which Julia added to the piece gives a hint at how she personally views it. She told Source:

“All my tattoos deal with connections, intimacy, perception: things I deal with and want to learn more about.”

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Dua Lipa


Dua Lipa has tattoos on both of her thumbs featuring dancing people from the works of graffiti artist Keith Haring. “My dancing thumbs! If I can’t afford an original Keith Haring piece (just yet 😜) I may aswell just keep it on me!” she wrote on her instagram.

She got the tattoos from her favorite artist Sean From Texas at Tattoo Mania Hollywood in July 2015 while filming a music video for her song “New Love.” A few quick glimpses of the tattoo session are shown in the video.

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Ruby Rose


Ruby Rose has a huge portrait of graffiti artist Jean-Michel Basquiat on her upper left arm, which she got from artist Jessica Mascitti Ellis at the New York City tattoo parlor East Side Ink in June 2014. She is a huge fan of Basquiat and previously tattooed his iconic crown logo on her chest.

Some fans noted a resemblance between the portrait’s whacky hairstyle and singer The Weeknd, so Ruby took to twitter to clear the air and encourage her followers to look up Basquiat’s art and the graffiti tag SAMO which he shared with fellow graffiti artist Al Diaz. “Although I love the @theweeknd no he is not tattooed on my arm. it’s Basquiat. SAMO! You’re missing out if you don’t about SAMO,” she tweeted.

Basquiat was one of the most prominent street artists of the 1970s and 1980s, but he died tragically of a heroin overdose in 1988 at the age of 27. In tweet, Ruby wrote “So many people dont know Basquiat? You should watch one of the documentaries or read up beautiful soul, lost too young. My favorite Artist.”

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