Interview with Müllner Csaba | tattoo realism | Hungary 26/11/2012  

Hello Mr.Csaba! It's a great honor to talk with you about your art. You have a pretty unique style and your tattoo technique is more than outstanding. I mean, It's like seeing those faces right in front of me! Ha! Seriously, I've seen a lot of tattoo artists in my life, but your work is really something different and simply fascinating!!  In the very beginning, let's start with some basic info.

Q: How long have you been tattooing?
A: I started in ‘99, after 3 months of studying, living in a tattoo studio.

Q: Why a tattoo artist? Was it your dream work, something that you've always wanted?
A: This is a rather long and sentimental story, its essence was born from the coincidence of a place and a person which despite the fact that it has changed my life and I have became a tattoer, later turned out that it was only my illusory fiction. It was about a girl and a place where I thought I want to live, so I started to think about what I should do and the idea came to became a tattoo artist and open a tattoo salon there. Actually I didn’t open it, I could never commit myself to anything.

Q: Artists are constantly making some changes in their style, technically and artistically. How has your work developed over the years?
A: It’s true enough, but just until someone finds himself and his own style. Of course there are also some eras within, such as the blue period of Picasso, but these go to the same direction. However, in order for this to happen many things should be obtained, which is not only related to art. I’ve changed a lot because of an accident that happened to me a half year ago, when in the height of 30m my parachute closed and I crashed. Since that I walk with a stick but I don’t really care, I just fell sorry that I can not fly for now. Than I started to work in much more details, because instead of extreme sports I’d rather painted and my direction was always the hyper-realism, it can be seen at my tattoo works too. In many ways I am a fatalist, I believe that there are no coincidences. But that was just an example, there are many other necessary things in order a person to became as he is. Our art comes from our existence. Anyways now I fell like I have found what I was searching for in painting and tattooing too. Finally it started to emerge after all these years.

Q: Tattooing is very creative work. How do you get inspired? Do you use some other art mediums to get inspired such as painting, photography etc?
A: The inimitability is the definition of art for me, so this inaccessibility is my inspiration. Fortunately now it is the renaissance of realism, if there is a good theme what is more than a simple still life or a nude, that is real art for me. One Kazimir Malevich was enough, anyone could make the same. But not Sandorfi or Helnwein. Otherwise yes I’m painting. Even, painting is on the first place, it’s above all but I haven’t really published it yet, later, all at once.

Q: Portraits are probably the most remarkable designs in your art portfolio. Do you consider this type of work as your specialty?
A: I would rather say, it’s the realism but my real specialty is when I shoot myself the composition with models, costumes, fake blood etc.. This is an upcoming process, right now I am assistant of a famous fashion photographer because I want to learn how to use the light. At a large composition I would take only one work a day and I work with a complete crew to prepare the sample, (hairdresser, make up artist, photographer, models etc..)

All the painters used to paint models, even they used photograph, scenery, etc.. (eg. the camera obscura from the 1900s) Well, that’s what I would like to transfer into tattoo making, on my opinion it makes tattooing individual and artistic.

Q: What part of doing a color portrait is most challenging?
A: The realistic visualization, that my hand tries to achieve what in my head is, even thought it have never succeeded..It’s important to illustrate as similar as you can if you have to illustrate not just a face but an entire person. Thus in case if we have the chance the best way is to shoot photos of the person on our own. Besides the biggest challenge is if we want to create something that has never existed before, it’s almost impossible but at least we should try.

Q: Looking at some of your masterpieces makes me wanna get a tattoo. :) Are you always "the main" creator in someone's tattoo idea? Are you always supportive to the client's idea?
A: That’s really kind of you! Of course I make you a tattoo heartily any time haha. I like when clients give me the idea what they want to have but then I got free hands. Fortunately I am in a really lucky situation because I can take only those who don’t really tell me what to do. As a client, even a laic starts telling the tattoo artist what to do and how to do, from that point the individual art stoppes and the result is just a tattoo, not a work of individual and pure art. In turn it’s like painting just the psychic is different.

Q: Many humans emotions captured on the skin, every detail is captured on skin. Just wow! How do you make it so real? What's the secret? :)
A: Actually I try to strive for what you just told me and illustrate feelings in tattoos or paintings. This makes a work photo realistic but not the homogeny technique. I’m really happy for your question that you realized that, but I have never felt that I reached that point in my work. At creating of portraits or I would say at creating of more complex tattoos the result is always assured by the summary of several smaller and bigger components at the same time. This is much more complex than writing down in few sentences. Anyways I recorded my entire techniques with description, illustration in a video on a website which I’m going to publish in a few days. Everything can be followed on my FB or my websites.


Q: After all those years of experience, is there any dream piece that is still undone?
A: There are still a lot to do! As I mentioned before I would like to start creating tattoos from a new aspect. Find individual themes and work together with a whole crew, like at fashion photo shoots or at creating hyper-realistic paintings, than I would maybe correct the sample with my hand. This would lead to totally individual tattoos which you can’t find in the Google. In addition I try to experiment some new techniques in tattooing which no one has ever used before, but it’s not public yet. All these need a lot of time and a suitable place which finally I’ve found in Paris after all these rambling years. Paris is the capital of arts and culture, so right now I am working on to establish my own tattoo shop there.

Q: What reaction from the clients makes you happy? Are there any crazy experiences with the customers you would like to share with us?
A: Certainly I’m happy if I see that the clients are proud, happy and they feel that they got more than they expected. If I have this experience it refreshes my spirit and gives me more energy to work. Crazy stories I have a lot, I’m a hedonist and my entire life is about it. Regarding the clients there are some really crazy stories but it would rather fit another kind of magazine haha.

Q: Seems like you love to work on many different mediums. From tattoo art to custom made paintings on canvas. I even, saw a snowboard too - really cool! Which one is your favorite, where do you find most creative freedom?
A: I could not live for only one thing. Beyond tattooing there is also painting. By the way the snowboard was only occasionally, it was created for an exhibition where different tattoo artists created custom-designed snowboards. But where I could find myself or I would say I try to oil-painting where in bigger size I can illustrate different feelings in hyper-realistic style. It has a meaning, at least I hope and the biggest challenge is the kinetic, the contrast between light and shadow and the two-dimensional display of the movement.

Q: What kind of supplies you use? A: Sometimes I use pastel, but I don’t take it seriously because it’s not so timeless. It’s just because of practice, the real is the oil.

Q: I totally relate your painting style to your tattoo style. Do you find painting as a self-expression, or it's just a great hobby?
A: Painting is not a hobby, it couldn’t be. Painting means everything for me, I subordinate everything to it including my relationships, too. This needs a whole person and there are many things you have to give up. There are paintings which I haven’t published yet but I will soon. Those really show my personality and of course if someone is tattooing and painting at the same time, these two elements will meet one day and their style will be united.

Q: Art could be a great influence on someone's personality. What is the best lesson that you've learned from your art journey?
A: We should sacrifice everything what we have and accept if it makes us mad or ruins our relationships. In this way maybe we are able to achieve our aim or not.. Art is a savage lover. But everyone has the right to be crazy-said Dali.

Q: Do you have any advice for the new artists?
A: There is only one thing: never be satisfied with yourself, never love your creation, this is the only way to be good. This kind of frustration has to come from your soul, not from false modesty. If can help to act beyond your borders.

You can find me on Facebook as Müllner Csaba and Thank you!