Stephen’s Green, Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, Dublin 2
Artists to Watch: Kris Barnas, Brian Duffy
Right in the centre of the city, Wildcat is one of the best known studios in Dublin. Originally opening as Celestial Ring, it was taken over by the English “Wildcat Ink” brand several years ago. They currently have two studios in the capital, one on the top floor of Stephen’s Green Shopping Centre, and the other on Jervis Street.
Given its central and busy location, the Stephen’s Green studio has a steady trade of both prearranged custom work, and walk ins from tourists and shoppers whose attention is grabbed while passing by. They also open every day of the week, which is great for fitting your appointment in around work or college.
Kris Barnas has a fantastic portfolio of black and grey work, which is makes him the first choice for many when it comes to black and grey pieces. A talented painter as well as tattoo artist, Barnas’ skill at shading is remarkable. He also has a great eye for full colour work, having won best tattoo at the 2011 Dublin Tattoo Convention for a full colour batman-themed sleeve.
Brian Duffy does great work in what’s known as ‘new school’. This is a style of tattooing which uses old-school symbols and images, such as hearts, roses, swallows scrollwork, etc., but uses new techniques and cartoon-like drawing styles to depict them.
54 Middle Abbey St, Dublin 1
Artists to watch: Sean Kealy, Denise
Hidden away on the 3rd floor of a relatively unmarked building on Abbey Street (next door to the Twisted Pepper and 3rd Floor Espresso) lives one of Ireland’s premier, and most respected tattoo and piercing studios. The studio has been operating for over ten years and has become one of the stalwarts of the Dublin Tattoo scene. Snakebite is well known both for its artists and its piercing expertise, and the shop even offers a 25% discount on piercings for students.
Over the years there have been a large number of artists coming and going from the studio, but two of the best working there at the moment are Sean Kealy and Denise. Kealy has been tattooing for a relatively short time, but appears to be improving with every new piece he does. He seems to favour a new-school or cartoony style for most of his piece, and has proven himself to have a real talent with colour. Recently he’s moved into portraiture and photorealism, at which his skills are rapidly excelling. Denise, who prefers the mystique in having her surname remain unknown, works predominantly in a photorealistic style and also favours lots of colour in her work.
60a South William Street, Dublin 2
Artists to watch: Remis Cizauskas, Pawel Lewicki
Skin City is a relatively new addition to the Dublin tattoo scene, having only been open for a couple of years. However in that time the studio, and the artists there have won numerous awards for their work. The artists at Skin City all tend towards full colour and black and grey photorealistic pieces, and have all done fantastic large scale custom pieces.
One of the artists, Remis Cizauskas, boasts a portfolio of work that is truly breath taking. He has to be one of the best, if not the best portrait artist in Dublin (and the country). It is difficult to find the words to describe some of the work he has done to date. However, a quick warning is necessary: as he does get booked up months in advance, expect a long waiting list.
Working alongside Remis is another master of full colour photorealism, Pawel Lewicki. Famous for his fantasy style and imagery, Lewicki’s work is full of fantastic bright colour and intricate detail. If you’re interested in getting a large sweeping piece, this is certainly the man to look up.
Eden Art Tattoo
8 JKL Street, Main street, Edenderry, Co. Offaly
Artist to watch: Edel Walsh
A little off the beaten track, at about an hour and a half outside the city centre, this studio is definitely worth the trip. In new, modern and very comfortable surroundings, the studio is decorated with prints and photos of the artists’ own work, as well as paintings and images they use as inspiration.
Edel Walsh has also only been tattooing for a short while, but her skills have come along leaps and bounds in that time, and she appears to be improving by the day. Walsh is excellent at black and grey portraiture, and is currently building up her portfolio with these pieces. If you’re looking for some references check out the portraits of Wednesday Addams and Harley Quinn in her portfolio.
On top of this Walsh has done some great full-colour work, using really vibrant colours. Put simply, some of her recent pieces are outstanding. She also has an album online of pieces she wants to do for her portfolio, so if you are looking to get a good deal on some great tattoos this is certainly not an option to be missed.