The bentback girl is a subject that fascinated more than one generations of tattooers. In Stef’s case it also led to the publication of his first book ‘Yokai Bentbacks’, where this traditional tattoo design meets Japanese folklore. Where does the bentback tattoo come from?
Its origins, as often with most designs, is not well defined. One of the oldest sketches available goes back to a stencil by Baldwin, from 1910, in a Jerry Swallow’s collection.
Today this subject evolved in more refined interpretations, offering a good challenge when trying to represent a specific concept while respecting the optical illusion that makes it special.
As you can see below, famous characters from movies, popular culture, music, history come to life in this playful motif. Salvador Dalí, Charlie Chaplin, Frida Khalo, Sloth from the Goonies, Keith Flint,Steve Zissou, Lemmy and many more. Also more traditional japanese supernatural characters, such as the Hannya, Oni, Baku, Foo dog, Tengu, Hyottoko, Nue, Heikegani etc.
Please feel free to discuss your tattoo idea to realize a unique custom tattoo design.