Mo Coppoletta: "If you want to succeed in tattooing, you need to breathe, eat, drink and smell tattooing."

view gallery VIEW GALLERY

One of the world’s most respected tattoo artists shares his inspiration and an insight into his work in the new book ‘Tattooed By The Family Business’.

He established his tattoo parlour in 2003 in the heart of London with the aim of creating a new setting for tattoo enthusiasts. Having built an enviable reputation within the industry, he’s now revealed images of his work and studio, as well as testimonials from clients.

Singer Paloma Faith said “I've known Mo for a while, actually, my friend worked as a receptionist at the Family Business, so I knew his work, knew how good he is. When I decided to get a tattoo I wanted only him to do it, even though he's in such a huge demand that it is a long really long wait, because of the fact that it is forever, and I wanted something that could age with me.”

"The Master Tattooist" is a new exhibition by Jack Vettriano which contains imagery from the book created by Italian photographer Fredi Marcarini. The two met during a magazine shoot for Italian magazine, Monsieur, and have since collaborated on several projects, including pieces which inspired the work in Vettriano’s exhibition, Days of Wine and Roses.

Vettriano said “I’ve always been attracted to the retro appeal of tattoos. To me there’s something so romantic about the commitment a person makes in having the name of a loved one, a place or even an idea inscribed, forever, on their bodies. We literally wear our heart on our sleeves.”

“A tattoo is a poetic and artistic creation and a truly great tattoo can only be created by a true artist. It was a great privilege for me to have mine created by Mo Coppoletta, who is first of all an artist and then a master tattooist.”

“Wander into The Family Business and you have entered an artist’s studio; the walls adorned with drawings and paintings; memorabilia and found objects scattered around; the music playing only partially masking the incessant buzzing of the tattoo machines, a soundtrack that just adds to the experience. It’s a melting pot of creativity in there; sights, sounds and smells all around you, stimulating all your senses but the moment you surrender to your artist, the experience becomes oddly private, calm and intimate between just the two of you. Choose your artist with care.”

Photographer Marcarini also commented on the precision of Coppoletta’s work:

“Unusually for a tattoo artist, Mo looks like a “regular” guy, he could be an architect, or a tax lawyer, one would never bet his real profession. But when he wears his glasses and his gloves and start carving a skin, he has that look of seriousness and attention of the artist for the work he is attending to. I studied his expression on the many pictures I shot of him while he was working, the movement of his hand, the marvel of the colours of the drawing, the satisfied look on his face when cleaning the finished job, and I could see the different faces of the artist, the manager, the business man, and the interesting and amusing man when outside the parlour.”

Their aim is to reflect the status of the tattoo as a truly twenty-first century art form, and the exhibition will be displayed at Heartbreak, a new gallery opening in Marylebone, London from the 16th September.

Click here or on the image to view a selection of the images from the exhibition

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
Arts and Entertainment
theatre
Arts and Entertainment
Place Blanche, Paris, 1961, shot by Christer Strömholm
photographyHow the famous camera transformed photography for ever
Arts and Entertainment
The ‘Westmacott Athlete’
art
Arts and Entertainment
‘The Royals’ – a ‘twisted, soapy take on England’s first family’
tv Some of the characters appear to have clear real-life counterparts
News
Brooks is among a dozen show-business professionals ever to have achieved Egot status
people
Arts and Entertainment
A cut above: Sean Penn is outclassed by Mark Rylance in The Gunman
film review
Arts and Entertainment
arts + ents
Arts and Entertainment
James Franco and Zachary Quinto in I Am Michael

Film review Michael Glatze biopic isn't about a self-hating gay man gone straight

Arts and Entertainment
A scene from the movie 'Get Hard'
tvWill Ferrell’s new film Get Hard receives its first reviews
Arts and Entertainment
Left to right: David Cameron (Mark Dexter), Nick Clegg (Bertie Carvel) and Gordon Brown (Ian Grieve)
tvReview: Ian Grieve gets another chance to play Gordon Brown... this is the kinder version
Arts and Entertainment
Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman in the first look picture from next year's Sherlock special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Because it wouldn’t be Glastonbury without people kicking off about the headline acts, a petition has already been launched to stop Kanye West performing on the Saturday night

music
Arts and Entertainment
Molly Risker, Helen Monks, Caden-Ellis Wall, Rebekah Staton, Erin Freeman, Philip Jackson and Alexa Davies in ‘Raised by Wolves’

TV review
Arts and Entertainment

TV
Arts and Entertainment
James May, Jeremy Clarkson and Richard Hammond in the Top Gear Patagonia Special

TV
Arts and Entertainment
Game of Thrones will run for ten years if HBO gets its way but showrunners have mentioned ending it after seven

Game of Thrones
Arts and Entertainment
Mans Zelmerlow will perform 'Heroes' for Sweden at the Eurovision Song Contest 2015

music
Arts and Entertainment
Elizabeth (Heida Reed) and Ross Poldark (Aiden Turner) in the BBC's remake of their 1975 original Poldark

Poldark review
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    Election 2015: How many of the Government's coalition agreement promises have been kept?

    Promises, promises

    But how many coalition agreement pledges have been kept?
    The Gaza fisherman who built his own reef - and was shot dead there by an Israeli gunboat

    The death of a Gaza fisherman

    He built his own reef, and was fatally shot there by an Israeli gunboat
    Saudi Arabia's airstrikes in Yemen are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Saudi airstrikes are fuelling the Gulf's fire

    Arab intervention in Yemen risks entrenching Sunni-Shia divide and handing a victory to Isis, says Patrick Cockburn
    Zayn Malik's departure from One Direction shows the perils of fame in the age of social media

    The only direction Zayn could go

    We wince at the anguish of One Direction's fans, but Malik's departure shows the perils of fame in the age of social media
    Young Magician of the Year 2015: Meet the schoolgirl from Newcastle who has her heart set on being the competition's first female winner

    Spells like teen spirit

    A 16-year-old from Newcastle has set her heart on being the first female to win Young Magician of the Year. Jonathan Owen meets her
    Jonathan Anderson: If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    If fashion is a cycle, this young man knows just how to ride it

    British designer Jonathan Anderson is putting his stamp on venerable house Loewe
    Number plates scheme could provide a licence to offend in the land of the free

    Licence to offend in the land of the free

    Cash-strapped states have hit on a way of making money out of drivers that may be in collision with the First Amendment, says Rupert Cornwell
    From farm to fork: Meet the Cornish fishermen, vegetable-growers and butchers causing a stir in London's top restaurants

    From farm to fork in Cornwall

    One man is bringing together Cornwall's most accomplished growers, fishermen and butchers with London's best chefs to put the finest, freshest produce on the plates of some of the country’s best restaurants
    Robert Parker interview: The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes

    Robert Parker interview

    The world's top wine critic on tasting 10,000 bottles a year, absurd drinking notes and New World wannabes
    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    Don't believe the stereotype - or should you?

    We exaggerate regional traits and turn them into jokes - and those on the receiving end are in on it too, says DJ Taylor
    How to make your own Easter egg: Willie Harcourt-Cooze shares his chocolate recipes

    How to make your own Easter egg

    Willie Harcourt-Cooze talks about his love affair with 'cacao' - and creates an Easter egg especially for The Independent on Sunday
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef declares barbecue season open with his twist on a tradtional Easter Sunday lamb lunch

    Bill Granger's twist on Easter Sunday lunch

    Next weekend, our chef plans to return to his Aussie roots by firing up the barbecue
    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    Joe Marler: 'It's the way I think the game should be played'

    The England prop relives the highs and lows of last Saturday's remarkable afternoon of Six Nations rugby
    Cricket World Cup 2015: Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?

    Cricket World Cup 2015

    Has the success of the tournament spelt the end for Test matches?
    The Last Word: Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Justin Gatlin knows the price of everything, the value of nothing