Barcelona Tattoo Expo 2010

Published: 21 March, 2011 - Featured in Skin Deep 193, December, 2010

One event that passionate tattoo people daren’t miss is the Barcelona Tattoo Expo International organised by Mik Garreta assisted by Carlos and Barcelona’s Pro Arts Tattoo Studio. This convention is one of the oldest in the country and certainly the most anticipated in Spain.

During the three day event (1st to 3rd October 2010) the expo brings body art professionals and aficionados from around the globe. The atmosphere is such that here, you can find out everything you want to know about tattoos and piercing by openly talking to willing experts from all around the world. You also can see some pretty colourful characters - both attending the event and covering every visible body part. 

This year was full of new concepts - such as the contest for New Tattoo Artists. There were more shows, more spectacles, more seminars from tattoo professionals, music, fashion and of course, tattoos in their purest form along with the not to be missed official election of Miss Tattoo in the competition to elect the cover-girl of a tattoo magazine.

The winner of the competition was adorned with exclusive clothes from one of the best brands of swimwear and lingerie donated by the sponsor. She was then made-up to be photographed and published in a tattoo magazine and also won a €1000 prize. 

From noon to the end of the day, every half hour, visitors were also able to visit fine spectacles of dance, concerts, tattoo contests and audiovisual conferences and seminars from the artists and the professionals where different subject were approached including a seminar on piercing, a seminar on regulation of machines and also one on new hygiene-sanitary courses approved by the department of health.

Over the three days, the expo introduced more than 134 different artists including: los Buenos Muchachos from Argentina, Daruma-Goya from Japan, Tatuajes de Reyes out of Mexico, Erevos Creations from Greece, East Tattoo from Taiwan, Brasilian Cew, Tattoo Tatauy who made the trip from Australia and Jess Yen of My Tattoo - USA and most European countries where also well represented. 

Many people regularly and consistently gathered around the stand of Jess Yen at My Tattoo from California - it was a real event to see him at a Spanish tattoo convention. Located in Southern California, he tattoos with both machine and traditional tebori hand style. All of the artists from My Tattoo are taught by older generations under the owner of the shop, Jess Yen (Horiyen) and it was great to see those artists giving the visitors the unique opportunity to watch closely how they worked.

This year, Mik pulled out all the stops to ensure that this event was an exceptional international meeting of tattoo artists and also a multi-cultural melting pot by exposing the most recognised tattoo artists of the profession. During those three days, one could see three different competitions and every day was totally different with the competition on the last day reserved for the Best of Show. 

“Nowadays, the tattoo is not a fashion statement, it is an art which has its own culture, and attracts people of different social status. Thanks to these conventions, we hope to demonstrate that the artistic and cultural aspect of tattoos is much more diverse than it can appear,” commented Miquel.

The convention ended on the Sunday evening, when it was estimated the total number of people through the doors was far in excess of 10,000.



Barcelona is the second largest city in Spain (after Madrid) and certainly has more than its fair share of museums for the art enthusiast. The National Museum of Art of Catalonia possesses a well-known collection of Romanesque art while the Barcelona Museum of Contemporary Art focuses on post-1945 Catalan and Spanish art. The Fundació Joan Miró, Picasso Museum and Fundació Antoni Tàpies hold important collections of these world-renowned artists. Good weather, good food and a strong tattooing culture as we've seen over recent issues - what are you waiting for?


Text & Photography: Daniel Pissondes