Dan Trocchio

Published: 01 October, 2007 - Featured in Skin Deep 152, November, 2007

Dan is a man who can’t sit still for any length of time and as such is a prolific artist, whether his art is on canvas or on skin. Dan works with two other artists, Scott Campbell and Opel. All combine their influences and passions to create an infusion of a style of tattooing that isn’t new or Old School; it is Saved Tattoo Style. Skin Deep had a chat with the driving force behind Saved Tattoo; Dan Trocchio...

 

WHAT INSPIRED YOU TO START TO TATTOO?

I was living in Milwaukee, WI around ‘92 I think, doing graffiti with an old friend Mario Desa. I had checked out the possibility of an apprenticeship with Steve Gold in Madison when I was 19 but he thought I was too young to know what I wanted. At the time Steve’s Tattoo was a really busy street shop. There was a total of 8 artists there and everyone made money hand over fist. The idea of supporting myself as an artist and also the excitement of a seemingly fresh (fresh to me) and cultish medium as tattooing, was a huge draw, I would have never thought it would have come into such acceptance. I think he gave in to my requests for an apprenticeship a year later.

WHAT AGE DID YOU GET YOUR FIRST TATTOO AND BY WHOM?

Of course my friends and me tattooed each other with needles and thread when we were 14.  The scumbags that we all are, who didn’t?

HAVE YOU WORKED ANY CONVENTIONS?

I’ve worked a few conventions, problem with those are that I usually just want to walk around and drink and say hi to folks. I haven’t had a chance to see in awhile.  So I usually don’t bother trying to ‘work’ at them anymore.

DID TATTOOING COME EASILY TO YOU FROM THE OFF?

No, I was good at drawing of course but the tattooing part was hard.  I wasn’t afraid of hurting people or anything but the technical part wasn’t made easy for me in my apprenticeship. The practice at the shop was to sell the new guy all your crap tattoo machines that you didn’t want.

HAVE YOU HAD ANY FORMAL ART TRAINING, COLLEGE?

I’m a high school drop out, dropped out because I was always drawing and painting instead of doing my homework.  Got my GED then went to art school in Milwaukee for a semester. Dropped out of that because they wouldn’t let me touch paint for a year, and the thought of making myself that far in dept for people trying to teach me yoga didn’t settle well with me. Though I could really use some yoga knowledge now for my aching back from sitting down working all the time!  I’ve never done anything right.

WHO ARE YOUR MAIN INFLUENCES?

My influences are relative to this time and space, Horiyoshi, Horitoshi, Fillip Leu, Kore Flatmo, Gerhard Richter, Peter Doig, Marcel Dzama, as does go the social tide of craftsmanship in expression.  But my appreciation goes to different folks: Vermeer, John Singer, Sargent, Gustave Dore, and Ivan Albright.

DO YOU GET PEOPLE COMING INTO YOUR STUDIO ASKING TO BE A TATTOOIST? WHAT DO YOU SAY TO THEM?

Give up; you’ll never catch up to me. Ha
ha - just kidding.

DO YOU RECKON THERE WILL COME A DAY WHEN THERE ARE TOO MANY TATTOOISTS IN THIS COUNTRY?

The arc will fall. Only the strong will survive.

 

HAVE YOU WORKED ANY CONVENTIONS ABROAD? IF SO, DO YOU THINK THAT AMERICAN CUSTOMERS ASK FOR VERY DIFFERENT STYLES OF WORK COMPARED TO THE BRITISH/EUROPEANS?

Style is as regional as dialect.  Marked by the resident contributors. There is no end all be all, a taste is acquired. And the patience and appreciation for that taste is required.

HOW DO YOU RELAX WHEN YOU ARE NOT TATTOOING?

Painting, drawing, writing.  I can’t relax, I’m cursed.

WHO IS YOUR IDEAL CUSTOMER?

Someone I get along with.

OVER YOUR TRAVELS, HAVE YOU NOTICED ANY AREAS THAT ARE MORE OPEN AND FRIENDLY TO TATTOOISTS/TATTOOING THAN OTHERS?

Well I’m not sure if this is the way you meant this question, but sometimes tattooing on your travels is the most amazing thing. If it all works out sometimes you get one person after another telling you, you can do whatever the hell you want.  Which is ‘Skulls and Flowers’ for me.  If I had my way that is all I would ever do. Some areas are more conducive to my style also. Sweden and the North West Coast (in America) have worked out pretty well for me in the past.

 

IS THERE ANYBODY YOU WOULD LIKE TO THANK FOR HELPING YOU OVER THE YEARS?

There are too many people to thank. I have been giving a good life, and a lot of people have helped me out. Thanking them is a job in and of itself, but for starters, Kore Flatmo, Scott Campbell, Chops, Chappy, Joseph Ari Aloi, Eric Jones, John Reardon, Vinnie Signorelli, Alex Mcwatt, Vivian Chu, Chelsea Wong, Julie Vogel, and Eunice Pitts. They have all made life better.

 

IS THERE ANYTHING THAT YOU’D LIKE TO AD TO THIS INTERVIEW?

Thanks for the opportunity to show my work and say a few words.  Being in Skin Deep means a lot to me. Cheers.

Credits

Interview: Neil Photography: Dan Trocchio, Kore Flatmo (www.plurabella.com)

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Skin Deep 152 1 November 2007 152
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