Nuno Feio got his start in hyperrealistic art by custom painting on the likes of bikes, cars, and helmets. “It was a great help for my tattooing skills,” he tells me. “You must have a steady hand when you’re painting details with an airbrush or with a pinstripe brush.” This technique translated to putting ink on someone’s skin.
So, why did he choose the hyperrealistic style of tattooing? It comes down to technical challenge. “You need to make exactly like the reference,” he says. “There’s no other way of doing it.” It’s got a low margin of error, which can be nerve wracking. “I remember my first portrait,” Feio recalls, “couldn’t sleep the night before. It’s a huge responsibility.”
Photos © Nuno Feio