Born in 1952, Hendrikus Johannes Everhardus Schiffmacher is known worldwide as one of the pioneers of the art of tattooing and, today, one of the greatest experts in the field.
During his career he has painted with ink the skin of all the biggest celebrities in music and beyond. Anthony Kiedis, the frontman of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, knows him very well and once defined him as “an underground philosopher, artist, an absolute rapscallion of Dutch proportions.”
Once he finished his studies, Henk Schiffmacher began to travel and during his travels he discovered and became passionate about the art of tattooing, starting to study its techniques and subjects. Completely overwhelmed by this passion, as soon as he returned to his hometown he started collecting all the necessary material and opened his own studio.
Last year, Henk decided to put all his knowledge into the book TATTOO. 1730s-1970s. Henk Schiffmacher’s Private Collection, published by Taschen. The book collects everything he has collected over the years, namely about 40,000 pieces preserved thanks to the work of his Foundation, the Schiffmacher Tattoo Heritage.
The book is a true encyclopedia that oozes history from every page, recounting all of the tattoo artist’s experiences, going from his iconic designs to the worldwide conventions he took part in.
Henk Schiffmacher has encapsulated three centuries of the history of tattoo art, what he himself has called “the Rembrandts of the common people, the jewels of the poor”.