Tamar Barby Camea Smith | 13.06.19
For the last six years, Tamar Bar has been embracing tattooing as a way of life. Bar began experimenting with tattoos while living in Berlin, using her skin as her canvas and practising on devoted friends. Before moving back to Israel, a friend gifted her with a tattoo machine, and she continued to gain experience and hone her skills while completing her studies at the department of Visual Communication at Bezalel academy. A year ago, Bar opened Lev Studio, a tattoo shop and art gallery. The studio recently moved to a new venue at Beit Habad alley, in a prime location close by to some of Tel Aviv’s nightlife staples: the Uganda bar and Romano.
After opening Lev Studio, Lior Lachman joined forces with Bar, and today they own the studio together. They work with a team of four tattooists who share the belief that tattoos are a form of art: the resident tattoo artist Odelia Shimoni (Odel) and Lotem Ginton, Yarden Man and Karin Pinto in regular guest spots. The studio also hosts tattoo artists from abroad and its crew members are often invited to create their artfully inked tattoos overseas. Lev studio’s approach is very similar to that of a gallery: every tattoo etched onto the client’s skin is one of a kind, never to be repeated, and is marked with a red dot sticker in the studio’s flash book after its creation.
While each of the studio’s six tattoo artists has a distinct style, Lev takes pride in delicate and nuanced designs, opting for a flowing and free line rather than strictly graphic body art. In her work, Bar likes to capture fleeting moments, transforming spontaneous images borrowed from contemporary culture or doodled in her sketchbook into permanent skin designs. The studio is the complete opposite of the traditional tattoo parlour: spacious, inviting and flooded with natural light, it was designed to create a relaxed setting for the intimate experience of getting inked. In the future, Bar wishes to use the studio as a platform to present exhibitions by up and coming artists, so that works of art will be temporarily displayed on the walls and forever etched in skin.
Lev Studio, 3 Simtat Beit HaBad Street, Tel Aviv
Photo by Shani Scarlett Kagan