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».
Zac Scheinbaum – Diletta Lembo – Mary Joy – Stef Bastian – Sam Rulz – Vlady – Bryan Burk – Brian Bruno – Heinz – Flo Nuttall – Lal Hardy – Bart Bingham – Alvaro Llorar – Kris Magnotti – Paul Dobleman – Beaux Brady – Dan Sinnes – Gianluca Fusco – Andreas Lauton – Sandor Jordan – Marius Meyer – Javi Castaño – Jen Lee – WaterStreetPhantom – Steve Morante – Olivia Chell – Arran Burton – Lobinho – Taioba – Delia Vico – Andreas Coenen – Jason Tyler Grace – Isabella Stabile – Cheyenne Sawyer – Rio Adrenalink – Klem Diglio – Theo – Florian Santus – Jack Peppiette – Inma – Teide – Shag – Vale Lovette – Ramon Maiden – Marc Nava – Foerdl – Crez – Manekistefy – Claudia Ottaviani – Alixge – Len Leye – Bill Canales – Jee Sayalero – Scott Sylvia – Brian MacNeil – Todd Noble – Filip, T. Leu, M. Leu – Sophia Baughan – Mike Dorsey – Jeroen Franken – Giada Wood – Emma Kierzek – Emily Dearmon – Jon FTW – George Campise – Chris Astrologo – Aaron Hewitt
You can follow the project on Instagram at @stef_bastian_presents