In 2015, we were mesmerized by Berlin-based artist Mo Ganji‘s collection of simplistic yet stunning line tattoos. Rendered only in black ink, each minimalist tattoo is created using a single, continuous line. Even with such a limited composition, Ganji is able to aptly represent and capture the recognizable contours of people and animals.
In order to “create simple images with a strong impact,” Ganji employs a characteristic aesthetic that is understated yet bold. With only a single line curved into various shapes, the artist is able to compose one-of-a-kind portraits that beautifully adorn the skin. In addition to minimalist faces and figure studies, the artist also finds inspiration in wildlife. Mighty bears, intertwined fish, and howling wolves are just some of the animals that inspire Ganji.
With such a wide array of subject matter, the countless—and often surprising—possibilities of line tattoos become clear. While Ganji often includes small amounts of stippling to suggest shading or add a bit of tonality to his pieces, these details do not detract from the skill evident in each one line tattoo. Ultimately, his ability to transform a continuous line into a clear-cut object remains the most remarkable aspect of his work.
To see for yourself, be sure to visit Mo Ganji’s ink-filled Instagram.