The self-taught tattooist and photographer celebrates the cult following that surrounds her work
If you’ve got a fascination with tattoos and an Instagram account then you’ve most likely heard of Madame Buraka and her work.
A fast-paced lifestyle leaves her trekking the globe, inking customers wherever she lands – mostly on recommendations from whoever she’s tattooed last. “The first half year that I began tattooing was just like a snowball system. Whoever was getting tattooed was bringing me onto a new path. I would meet these kids from London in Berlin who would recommend me to go to London and tattoo there. Then someone from London would be like, “You should go to New York, there is this guy who wants a tattoo of yours”. So I would go to New York, tattoo there and come back. I’m like a travel tattooist – sometimes I stay three months and sometimes I just get bored and move on.”
It’s this mentality that allows her the luxury of forgoing a studio space to create her own private realms. Which, in turn, creates a sense of intimacy between her and her clients.
All this is documented by her analogue camera, most often shared on her Instagram but now being plastered across Montana Cafè & Restaurant in Barcelona, a city where she tattooed her first patch of flesh – a palm tree on a post-Primavera reveller.
At first glance of the week-long exhibition and its accompanying zine, titled Cold Romance, the images appear as a series of hedonistic portraits of youth in rebellion – tattoos, booze, blunts, sex. But on closer interaction with them, you’ll see that Buraka is capturing a subculture that she’s helping to craft, thanks to her notorious tattoo style.
Cold Romance opens 9 – 16 June at Montana Cafè & Restaurant. More information here