Artist Fabrizio Divari tattoos in Toronto, Canada. Hard work and unwavering love for the arts have what led him to where he is today. Where others may have given up, Fabrizio kept going. His story should serve as an inspiration to artists who are just getting started or ones who have hit a rough patch: keep pushing. Keep evolving as an artist and the rest will fall into place.
His introduction to the world of tattooing happened by chance about 18-years ago. It was the mid-90’s, and he was very into in visual arts and painting. When he attended a school of illustration in Milan, one of his professors urged him to go into the Academy of Fine Arts. Fabrizio recalls, “while drawing and painting and trying to make an improbable living with it, I went to Spain with some friends and stumbled into a guy who was tattooing himself on the beach. I sat with him, intrigued, and next thing you know I’m back at the campsite tattooing all my friends, and myself with some cotton thread and sewing needles. Basic stuff, simple symbols.”
When Fabrizio returned to Milan, he started to build his own machines out of walkmans and other small appliances. The very few tattoo shops that were in the area would not accept apprentices at the time, even “if you paid them in gold,” he says. Without knowing how to enter the field, Fabrizio reached out for any bit of information he could find. He bought every tattoo magazine he could think of. He tried out all kinds of supplies. He also found clients through friends who lend him some skin to practice his art. By 1998, Fabrizio had moved and converted part of his dwelling to a tattoo studio. By this point, he also had a steady stream of clients and was charging for his work.
Today, Fabrizio runs and owns his own shop, Fabrizio Divari Art, in Toronto, Ontario. He loves everything about the city, “it’s vibrant, wealthy, exceptionally multicultural (this is my favorite aspect), stylish, and definitely fun. The only downside I find in Toronto are the harsh winters.”
While Fabrizio is a very versatile artist, he loves creating art that’s open to interpretation. He doesn’t want to tell you what a piece of art is or what it means. He wants the person looking at the artwork to come to their own conclusion. His style is influenced by his passion for Cubism and Italian Futurism.
He explains, “the object is left to the interpretation of the viewer. Nothing is set in stone. If I’m watching still life by Picasso, I know that I’m looking at a bottle, but since it’s not rendered in a traditional, realistic way, it’s my perception that does the job, not my eyes alone; and the feeling that results from contemplation that painting might be very different from the feeling that [someone else] experience[s].”
Fabrizio also enjoys using geometric shapes to create movement in his pieces and add a dynamic feel. He enjoys doing Asian work and occasionally some neo-traditional projects. Whenever he takes on a tattoo, he adds his own spin by enhancing the color palette, details, and overall design.
When we asked Fabrizio who his biggest influences were, he said, “Who remembers Bernie Luther? 20-years ago he was the shit! … In Europe anyway. And he always looked like The Big Lebowski, the Dude! Anyway, when I started, I remember wanting to be like him one day. I admired his work in magazines. Then as time goes by, our standards raise, and influences shift. Today’s tattoo industry is filled with immense talents, but to name a few who still represent the best to me: Filip Leu, Steve Moore, Chris O’Donnel, Shige, Leu’s Lip, Aaron della Vedova, Peter Lagergren, and Mike Rubendall.”
Fabrizio loves his life outside the shop. When he isn’t tattooing, he enjoys traveling and discovering new cultures, habits, and places. He spends time with his girlfriend and reads a lot. He’s also, “an avid chef. That translates to, I love good wine.”
Fabrizio’s advice for someone getting their first tattoo:
“Plan carefully, save money, and determine who’s the artist [best] fitted for his/her idea. If you have to travel for it, so be it. It’ll be worth it.”
Fabrizio’s advice for an artist just getting started:
“Create a solid portfolio with tattoo work, drafts, sketches, and clean drawings. With that in place, look for a reputable studio and ask for an apprenticeship, what I never had (sigh). If they ask for money, tell them off; if there are good artists working there, get in even if you have to scrub the floors at first — which you’ll have to.”
Images © Fabrizio Divari
Preferred contact for scheduling appointments is via email providing a clear idea of the project, size, placement, subject matter, style.
Shop: Fabrizio Divari Art
Toronto, ON, Canada