The SurREAL WORLD
Written by Bobby Boykin

 

IGOR Mitrenga

A young child in a small town outside of Prague, in the Czech Republic, witnesses a train pass by covered in graffiti and street art. His mind is captivated. His intrigue is high, and the evolution of one of today’s great color realism tattoo artists begins to take shape. Igor Mitrenga remembers that day clearly. The train and detail of the artwork remain fresh in thought. It is like a moment frozen in time for him. Influential in all of his artistic creations to this very day.

Following this life-changing experience, Igor recalls embracing his newfound fetish for street art. Like any good self promoting, young graffiti artist, he made use of blank stickers. By writing his nickname on them. He would put them up everywhere, throughout his school and neighborhood. Igor’s progression as a street artist was completely fluid. He quickly progressed to painting his first wall at the young age of 16.

“I was scared, and at the same time I felt an indescribable feeling.”  Igor reflects. “I went back to watch every day, and thought about how I could make it better the next time.”

So, what was the next step for teenage Igor? Trains! Igor had obtained a true affection for graffiti and absolutely loved seeing his art on a train. It was a traveling creative expression for the world to see.

The SurREAL WORLD

The obsession was real. Igor was painting whenever and wherever he possibly could. This meant constant road trips with friends throughout Europe to let the world see his artistic capabilities. “We drove to paint all over Europe. If I was not painting five days a week. I had a feeling that I was missing out.”

For Igor, tattooing became another instant love in his life, from the moment he held his first tattoo machine.

One of the biggest factors for this artistic transformation was the allure that his artwork could not be washed away. It would now be on display forever. Although the artist had changed his instruments. It didn’t change the view or creative process that Igor had obtained through years as a dedicated street artist.

Igor starts his tattoo idea’s on a wall with paint.  Just as he would have done years ago when hitting a train in a random European city on any given night. “I view it as a higher level of graffiti… I start my designs on a wall and then transfer it to the skin, this way you can really see the street art in my tattoos.”

One of the greatest qualities about Igor is his desire to grow. Which is somewhat unique, considering the unbelievable skill level his tattoos exhibit. He is just as hungry as he was after seeing that very first train covered in art, when he was 10 years old. Just as hungry as he was after his initial tattoo venture. One which he performed on his own skin.

In this day and age, it is sometimes difficult to find artists at his level who still have that deep yearning to learn and grow as an artist.

Igor’s “specific view on life and art as a whole,” is one that has been developed through street art, a vast hunger, and a willingness to remain teachable. “There are so many artists throughout the world that are doing great things,” Igor says, “it gives me the strength to keep going. Inspiration and art are all around.”

Igor’s color realism pieces will make your mind wonder if what you are seeing is actually a tattoo, they are that good. The color bursts off the skin just as it would if it were flying out of a fresh can of paint. When you look at his intricate and masterfully designed pieces, the flowers, people, characters, artistic tools, and all features look so real that it’s almost surreal. He is, unquestionably, one of the most prodigious tattooers in the industry. An authentic artist, and a true student of his profession.

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