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Abstract Tattoos NYC

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Abstract art represents the cutting edge of art as it morphs and evolves over time. As tattoos are just art on the skin, the tattoo industry also experiences abstract pieces that push the boundaries on what is popular.


Often calling upon elements from more traditional styles, abstract tattoos are on the rise in pop culture. In this guide, we will specifically explore abstract-style tattoos, where they first started, what elements they commonly have, and some tips to keep in mind as you consider getting yourself some abstract ink.

Mikhail Andersson - First Class Tattoo

Our Abstract Tattoo Artists

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History of Abstract Tattoos

Tracking the exact development of abstract tattoos is a difficult task to say the least. Ultimately, the abstract art form itself dates back before modern civilization. Cave paintings explored early abstract depiction of objects and ideas.


As society developed and evolved, abstract art would appear from time to time in places like science and architecture. Fast forward to now, you can’t pin point when this style developed, but you can understand what is being accomplished by the abstract style.

What Are Abstract Tattoos?

Just like abstract art, abstract tattoos do not realistically portray an object or emotion. Instead, objects and ideas are deconstructed and communicated through the shapes, colors, and construction of the various elements. In this way, abstract tattoos usually attempt to communicate complex human experiences that may be too intricate for words and regulations. In this way, there is no right or wrong interpretation of an abstract tattoo. The viewer, whether he/she has the tattoo or is just admiring it, has their own experience and understanding of the art as it applies to their life. 

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Abstract Tattoo Shapes & Colors

The most minimalistic interpretation of abstract tattoos is that they are a collection of shapes and colors scattered about on the skin canvas, which may have no meaning on first look. But these shapes and colors are meticulously picked and plotted to create a piece that has depth in meaning and presentation that may not be easily apparent to all who view it. What’s more, your abstract design doesn’t require any deep, dramatic meaning. Abstract tattoos look awesome, and you don’t need any more reason to get one beyond just enjoying the art.

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Abstract Tattoos Ideas

Minimalist Abstract:

Just as it sounds, minimalist abstract tattoos are small and void of complex details. These designs typically have simple black outlines with some geometric features scattered throughout. The small size makes these ideas easy to place on the body, but the minimal detail can make them harder to interpret depending on what the actual tattoo is. 

Abstract Flowers:

This style can be utilized with a flower, or any other object that can serve as the centerpiece. The abstractness of the flower can vary from extremely abstract to being realistic. From there, different elements are added around the flower to create the more typical abstract feel, whether that is through geometric designs or the use of abstract color. 

Abstract Arts:

This style of abstract tattoos attempts to capture an emotion more so than an idea. From the Expressionist movement, abstract arts may not even attempt to depict an object at the center. Instead, the focus of these tattoos is on the whimsical linework and color combinations to create the feelings behind a particular emotion. These designs tend to be even more abstract than some of the other substyles we just discussed.

Abstract Geometry:

A common element to a lot of these abstract tattoo ideas is the existence of geometric elements. Before, these geometric elements were around a digestible centerpiece. But some abstract tattoo designs feature just geometric shapes and ideas. Just as you would imagine, these geometric designs feature shapes like triangles, squares, pentagons, and above. The way these shapes play off each other and the way they are layered creates the abstract feel that creates an extremely unique tattoo. The patterns that emerge can be mesmerizing. 

Abstract Tattoos & Cover Ups

As far as cover-up tattoos go, abstract designs provide a great choice for hiding old ink underneath. The saturated color and freedom in design gives a great template for an artist to make a previous tattoo disappear. Especially if you’re trying to cover up fine lines or another smaller piece, an abstract design will often be able to completely envelope the old ink in a variety of different fashions. Contact the tattoo experts at First Class Tattoo to begin designing an abstract cover up to bring new life to your skin today!


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