SlavaKononov is a young tattoo artist born in Ukraine. Recently, he movedto Berlin in search of new opportunities away from conflict. He isnot new to this city, as well as many other places in theEUand beyond: he travelled a lot as a guest of Europeanstudios.

Someof the true fans of his post-old-school Art travel across oceans to be tattooed by Slava. He is both light-minded and smiling - and way too serious for a person in his twenties. Today he is known as one of the mostprogressive figures in tattoo art and he now works at Craftz Berlin Tattoo Haus.

We met him to share his thoughts on art and his life. 

Toyour mind, why are tattoos always modern?

-Today's world is open and loyal to all forms of self-expression anddemonstrating personality. This is the freedom we have instead ofpreserving the true human values. Still, tattoo is a modern art. Andanyone can become a part of something beautiful and thus break theeveryday routine or emphasize its singularity.

Whatwas the first tattoo on your body?

-That was a primitive geometric logo of the old Gothic band BlackFlag. Their music changed my young naïve nature a lot. NowI get food-for-thought from philosophy, religion, psychology, popularscience, communication and art. I believe that we should strive toideal.

Development and growth is an internal necessity. Lack ofgrowth leads to crisis.

Whydid you move to Berlin? What about your studio in Kiev?

- Fornow, Berlin gives more opportunities for artistic, personal andspiritual growth, away from political issues, crisis and regime. Thiscity is ideal for me, at least at a glance, and I'm movingforward.

The Kiev studio keeps working and hopefully I will returnthere someday.

Haveyou ever refused to make a tattoo? Why?

- Well,I refuse regularly. I work only with my own sketches in my personaltechnique. And a client should trust me. This is the only way I workwith people.

Whatis specific about the old-school tattoo and its fans?

- Thereare no strict borders between styles. In fact, this only matters to afew connoisseurs. What really matters is good taste – the rest isconditional.

Whatdo you think of the extreme body modifications? Why do people dothat?

- Thisis a very complicated issue. Roughly, the Oriental philosophyexplains that by ignorance and degradation. We live in the age ofillusions and discord – discord not only with our body, but witheach other, our parents and nature.

How will tattoo art develop if it keeps its present pace of growth?

- It is hard to imagine how this kind of art will change even ina week. This is a social mirror and nowadays society developsfast and uncompromisingly – I have no idea what's going to happenin a decade.