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Artist Creates Surreal 3D Tattoos With Incredible Depth and Definition

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Artist Arlo DiCristina produces hyperrealistic paintings on an unlikely canvas—the skin. With an incredible attention to detail and an active imagination, the Colorado-based “dermis architect” creates life-like portraits that fuse into other forms, like smoke-filled cityscapes, fancy flourishes, and the depths of the ocean. Each portrait has the distinct feeling that it was painted with a brush rather than needles, as DiCristina’s approach favors dramatic shading over outlines—the result looks stunningly three dimensional.

To accomplish its high level of artistic definition, DiCristina’s tattoos take cues from other types of art. “I am inspired by many artists, photographers, and sculptors,” he told Inked. “I love to see the new amazing things people are coming up with. The biggest fulfillment I get is creating something new, but I know how much of an impact the inspiration of other artists’ work has affected my own.” His myriad of interests—along with having dabbled in oil painting, airbrush, and wood burning—further inform his fantastical “face morph” style-pieces, making them full of intriguing visual references. It ensures that the wearer will never grow tired of their multifaceted body art.

DiCristina's work looks like it could leap right off the skin:

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Arl DiCristina: Instagram | Facebook

Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met and Manager of My Modern Met Store. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.

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