Graffiti has been around as long as humans have. It’s a form of public art that’s often done without permission on walls, billboards, trains, and other public spaces. It can consist of words and stylish lettering or can constitute an entire mural. Because this form of art has to be completed quickly, the goal is maximum impact done as speedily as possible.
Graffiti has been demonized over the years with some taking offense to the practice. However, most people in cities appreciate the art form as it’s art for all. Many love to see it adding color to otherwise grey spaces. When it comes to tattooing, people have adopted some of the shapes and styles often found in graffiti as forms of self-expression. These designs either depict love for art or are done to look like graffiti you’d find around most cities. These tattoos look as if they’ve been spraypainted on and offer big, bold design choices. If you’re a fan of watercolor tattoos, you need to see these 25 graffiti tattoos that are bursting with life.
Here’s a tattoo of a spray can all the way from Barcelona, Span. If you thought graffiti was big in the USA, you should see many urban centers in Europe. It’s everywhere. We love this inspired design.
Here’s another gem from Europe, this truck tattoo comes from Poland. A graffitied truck and other objects make for fun tattoo designs that add so much interest.
Pink and Purple
We love this colorful tattoo of a name even though we can’t really read it. It’s always fun when you find a little mystery. “Pink and purple for his daughter,” the artist who shared this image wrote. We think the tattoo says “Treylyn.” We could be wrong!
This is some topnotch tattooing with truly remarkable lettering. This tattoo says “Hamburg” and you can see how it fades at the end of each line just as a spray can does. Wow!
This might also be considered a watercolor tattoo, but we think the intentional spray lines and splatters make it more partial to a comparison of graffiti. Look at all of that color! We love this king of the monkeys.
Here’s another entry from Barcelona. We find an emoji-like pair of praying hands above the word “blessed.” This very fun design is right to the point which we love.
Tag it Up
Wow! This mesmerizing tattoo looks like a piece of media has been tagged so many times that it’s just completely saturated with paint. A great effect achieved by a skilled artist, no doubt.
Here’s a little graffitied stop sign from Russia, of all places. It’s motivational as well us subversive and we really like the weathered details on the sign itself.
Here, we find a sort of scene of a Paris metro train and a spray paint. The whole thing looks excellent and the little details here, like dripping paint, bring it right across the finish line.
Here’s a fun one from the UK that says “love life” which we find as good a message as any. A woman’s face is transformed into pure street art full of vibrant color. Bravo!
Amazing! This block of color looks as if it’s “covered in paint.” Rich oranges, peaches, and purples warm this design up and act as the perfect background for the slightly translucent number thirteen.
Here’s an electric design that’s bursting with attitude. There’s a hint of protest here and a statement of finite steadfastness with the phrase, “unbuffable [sic] moments.” It portends that the paint won’t simply be buffed away.
This is one of our favorite tattoos on the list. It spans two legs and says “homesick.” Look at the frenetic energy the swooping lines that look like paint give the overall design.
Here’s a neon, vandalized Barbie doll which was just weird enough for us to include it on this list. We don’t know why and we don’t care. This looks like a blast.
A cityscape with a boombox in the foreground is topped by “P23.” Unfortunately, we can’t figure out what that’s in reference to but does it matter? The mellow inks give this a cool look.
Believe it or not, this tattoo was done using the dotwork technique without a tattoo gun. Take a close look at all the dots that comprise the design to give it that sprayed on look. We applaud this artist.
Put a Pin In It
We find a beat up little rag doll with pins through its heart which is cuter than not. We love the blocks of dripping color and the movement lines that bring excitement and interest.
Here’s a tattoo one parent got in honor of his daughter, Emma. You’ll see the name front and center on top of a background of paint splotches. Below you’ll find Emma’s time of birth, and weight. Above is the girl’s birthday.
Here, we found a tattoo that was done in one of the US’s greatest graffiti meccas, New York, and specifically the borough of Queens. There are no bells and whistles here, just a solid tattoo.
Here’s another piece done to look like street art you’ll find in NYC. We could all use a little truth. We love the fill of these letters that consists of all manner of color and shape.
You Okay, Buzz?
Here, we find a tagged up Buzz Lightyear that’s short-circuiting or something. You’ll see the graffiti remarks on his spacesuit include the message “toys will be toys” and “do not copy my style.” Okay!
Here, we find a cartoon character we presume is named Lenny as he’s just “tagged” the leg “Lenny” in red. This one’s pretty weird but wholly original.
“Blood makes you related, loyalty makes you family,” is the message of this beautifully lettered tattoo. We absolutely love the message here and the boldness it brings the overall tattoo.
The last two we will share with you concern themselves more with the act of creating street art than actual graffiti. Here, we find an exceedingly playful looking bear holding a spray can with paint blowing from it. It’s dipped in color and full of energy. What a blast!
And last, but certainly not least, we meet this anthropomorphic paint can with a single eye. It’s done by the same artist as the last and we love them both. These are highly imaginative and still convey a love of the art.
There you go! 25 graffiti tattoos that bring the aesthetics of public spaces to the skin as a form of self-expression. We hope you feel inspired by these designs and will work with an artist to create your very own!
Andrew is a Chicago-based writer who enjoys finding the best of the internet, obsessively making lists, and cooking for friends. After studying Film and Art History, he developed a deep love for both topics. Celebrity news, pop culture, and stories that bring people together are his passions.
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