In 2018 Stef launched a series of non-profit art projects under the name “Stef Bastiàn Presents”.
These projects are a collaborative efforts between the most recognized, talented and experienced tattoo artists in the world, with incredible names such as Filip Leu, Paul Dobleman, Lal Hardy, Timothy Hoyer, Juan Puente, Freddy Corbin, Florian Santus, Junior Goussain, just to name a few. Under Stef’s guidance, different initiatives were born, all with a clear goal in mind: help those in need while pushing the artistic boundaries of the industry. Over the years wooden dools, paper fans, ceramics, paintings and various others handcrafted items decorated the halls of the prestigious London Tattoo Convention. After the pandemic other avenues have been explored, giving birth to online classes and tattoo session around the globe, always with the same charitable spirit.
Thanks to the artists’ collective endeavour, 160.000$ have been donated up till now to various charities, social projects, and hospitals. Read more in the dedicated sections.
OFF THE WALL
The so-called FLASH (often presented in 11×14 inch or A3 in Europe) has been a pillar of traditional tattooing and main source of inspiration for customers for over a century, creating a unique and immediately recognizable aesthetic.
As a collective of dedicated artists, we want to pay homenage to this art form and put once more the spotlight on this classic foundation in tattooing.
In collaboration with tattoo museums and collectors, 70+ tattoo artists, handpicked for their excellence in the field, we executed one of these designs each, chosen amongst vintage classics.
The 13.000€ raised with this initiative have been donated directly and entirely to GLOBAL GIVING, to support the humanitarian efforts towards those affected by the war in Ukraine.
Fun fact: Why is it called “Flash”?
Because at the turn of the century, many tattooers would work in bars. Brawls being often the outcome of the evening for these colorful establishments, the tattooer would have to pack the displayed artworks “in a flash”, to avoid dire consequences.
Value, Community and Impact. These are the founding principles of this brand new project, FOOD BANK.
Connect live with some of the best artists in the tattoo industry and other creative fields to learn new skills, deepen specific knowledge and build the best version of yourself, professionally, physically and mentally. The small fee required to join the classes will be donated directly to charity, in this case a global foodbanking network.
As with all the Stef Bastiàn Presents’ projects, we create social impact through art, helping those less fortunate than us while investing in art or, as in this case, ourselves and our businesses.
Read what Tattoodo wrote about us Here
In response to the coronavirus epidemic, hundreds of tattoo artists from 30 countries raised €72,000 to support hospitals in some of the world’s worst-hit areas.
Every penny collected as part of the initiative, the most recent charitable endeavor from @stef_bastian_presents, was distributed among the following three non-profits: CESVI (which is raising funds for hospitals in Italy), INSEAD (the Spanish Green Cross) and MASKS4AMERICA (which is distributing N95 masks across the states). The money will be spent on protective clothing, ventilators, and other specialized medical equipment.
“During the challenging times of the Covid-19 pandemic, I realized more than ever before the importance of helping each other,” said Stef Bastiàn, the organizer. “With this level of response, we’ve been able to put the skills we worked so hard to develop at the service of those in need. ”Canvas, ceramics, wood – even a customized tattoo machine. Whatever they wanted to use as their base, the artists painted on it, with figures such as Tim Hendricks, Shawn Barber, and Alex Binnie among the approximately 300 artists who lent a hand (or two).
And so, as the world has slowly started coming to terms with a new reality, the connected spirit of the tattoo industry has been an inspiration, said Stef. “Once more, this industry has shown what lies at its very foundations: big hearts. That’s not all. It’s also made it apparent what a talented and well-coordinated collective can accomplish when working together for something bigger than itself.”
You can see all the artworks on Instagram
THE TATTOO FAN CLUB
For the second edition of his charity oriented art projects, Stef Bastiàn decided to bring together an even more spectacular collective of world-class artists. The 15th anniversary of the London’s convention displayed the works of 200+ artists, once more amongst the very best this profession has to offer. This time they decorated the Uchiwa, a traditional Japanese paddle paper fan.
In a fast moving world where the meanings of acquiring informations changed, Stef felt there was the need to remember where the basis of this industry come from and whom to be grateful to. With the belief that it’s important to be aware of the roots, and not just look at the fruits, this exhibition wants to celebrate Gratitude and Traditions. Therefore, each participant paid homage with his/her painting to artists of the past which contributed to pave the way.
As for last year, the end goal is to go beyond the boundaries of tattooing and inspire on a higher level through charity. Through an online auction, almost 40.000$ have been raised and entirely donated to Operation Underground Railroad, an association which actively fights children’ sexual exploitment worldwide.
You can see all the artworks on Instagram at @stef_bastian_presents
THE MARCH OF THE MATRYOSHKAS
The March of the Matryoshkas is a charity art project featuring 66 of the world’s finest tattoo artists, presented at the 2018 London Tattoo Convention.
Curated by traveling tattooer Stef Bastiàn, the exhibition composes of several sets of Russian nesting dolls (or Matryoshka). Stef has brought together 66 of the very best tattoo artists in modern times to participate in the project. Each artist received one set of Matryoshka dolls to decorate with absolute artistic freedom and the result is nothing short of astonishing. Participating artists are some of the best in the business, with tattooers such as Filip Leu, Scott Sylvia, Paul Dobleman and Brian Bruno contributing to the project.
Of the concept behind the exhibition, Stef says: «Everything started as a simple idea, completely unrelated. Like any good projects I’ve been working on, I realized that the growth of that idea has to be organic, natural. Then you know it’s gonna be authentic. In this specific case, the very intention behind was of connecting a group of like-minded people, focusing on one common goal. I’ve been surprised by the response and in a relatively short time, I manage to reunite some of the most influential artists in contemporary tattooing. I wanted to leave them complete freedom in techniques and subjects to enable them to fully express their potential and especially to see how they would solve the structural puzzle and the narrative they would choose. Once the baseline had been drawn, the charity idea naturally followed.
I always keep in mind the importance of giving something back to the industry that gave me so much, I think it’s fundamental in order to keep a grateful attitude, to value what we have and to work towards making this craft grow for everybody’s benefit.
This can be done through inspiring and bringing something new to the table but I wanted this project to have many angles you can look at it from. One of them is to transcend the world of tattooing and setting an example of Giving, for people outside this business as well. Once more, the artists responded very positively to the intention set and showed, through their hard work, exemplary craftsmanship, creativity, humor and kindness. I’m really grateful to each one of them, as a collective, they made this possible. I’ve chosen Save The Children as designated charity because the Matryoshka doll was originally born as a toy, it seemed appropriate.
At the end of our charity auction, 15.015£ has been raised and fully donated. With the afterward perspective I can say that it’s been a wonderful journey. I loved the organizational part, which comes natural to me, even with the incredible amount of work for one man only (especially considering that I organized this whole event while being on the road and changing country every week for the last 6 months). Every penny spent to put it together, every a headache, every minute is been totally worth. I feel honored for the chance to work towards such cause».
… And what’s next? «That idea was definitely a one-off, which I don’t want to replicate. Luckily ideas and will to realize them is something I never run out of. I already have a few things I’m thinking of for the future, let’s see where they bring me. Stay tuned to see the developments. Ultimately, I would like to sincerely thanks Miki Vialetto for providing the prestigious London’s platform; Emma Kierzek, Sam and everybody at Aurora Tattoo which supported me with some of the logistics; Henrik Strehmel which generously contributed to the auction (buyin 11 artworks!) and everybody that supported my vision through joining the exhibition, the auction and overall showing love on social medias».
You can see all the artworks on Instagram at @stef_bastian_presents