In a world of disappearing digital photographs, Alican Gorgu has found a way to make your most nostalgic memories permanent. The Turkish tattoo artist uses old photographs to create simplified line drawings as tattoos.
Our photographs act as a memory placeholders and we are able to look at them so that we can jog the recesses of our brain and hold onto cherished events longer than we could in the past. For some, tattoos offer the same by connecting the individual to an emotional memory.
This artist has overlapped these two attempts at holding onto past experiences. The results are incredibly moving. Moments from decades ago are displayed in a very distinct style and, although simplified, remain very close to the tone original image.
Gorgu has always been interested in the emotions that are connected to images. Through his simple line drawings, he focuses solely on the essential characteristics.
He has tattooed so many photographs from so many different years and places. His portfolio is a collective sense of nostalgia for personal memories but also of a more general recent history.
There is an immediate sense of permanence that we connect with tattoos while photographs seem more fleeting, however, the tattoo’s existence is determined solely by the body on which it appears. The photograph can be preserved for years after the people in the photograph, or the person with the photograph tattooed onto their body, have gone.
Ideas such as these make these tattoos far more interesting.
Gorcu was faced with a decision with which many people working in a creative industry are faced: go into a corporate 9 to 5 career or pursue something less straightforward. He chose tattooing.
Although the artist is recognised for his work with nostalgic family photographs, he has also tattooed images from movies that are significant to either the artist or the person receiving the tattoo.
These appear in the same minimalist style and capture a shared pop culture memory.
The tattoo artist’s work creates something that is his interpretation of a memory that is often someone else’s. This turkish tattoo artist recreates other people’s memories but is somehow, through imprinting his own style, able to become apart of the memories as they take on their new form on someone’s skin.