According to some historical records, tattooing – a form of widespread body modification – originated in Ancient Egypt somewhere between 4000 and 2000 BC. The discovery of mummies with visible tattoos in the mid 90’s supports and further reinforces the theory of the roots of this kind of millenarian art. Being a ritual of deep religious origin, it is curious that it was banished from Europe – by the hand of the Catholic Church – and classified as a demonic practice, leading to the Pope’s prohibition. From then on, its historical evolution is already commonly known: popularized by seamen and prisoners or used to identify and ostracize prisoners in Nazi concentration camps.
In fact, much of the prejudice that still rages against those who make themselves tattooed is limited to following a cultural heritage of continued marginalization, without ever trying to understand the phenomenon of drawing the immutable on the skin. It is precisely the fight against this stigma, one of the driving forces of the Odin Tattoo Studio: who leads it, defends that tattoos are for everyone, regardless of gender, age or lifestyle. And he insists that his “temple” transpires this philosophy.
With physical presence at Almirante Cândido dos Reis Street, it is difficult for anyone to feel like an outsider when entering this establishment, even without body paint. The space, disguised as a lounge, was decorated thinking (also) of the ones who never tattooed. In fact, no one would say that here the body is punctured or that designs are perpetuated on the skin, even if the space once housed a restaurant, a tarot house or a brothel. The twists and turns of life…
Vasco Pinheiro – the main responsible and spokesperson of Odin – knows these life twists all too well. A salesman by vocation, he began his career by selling tattooing equipment at the invitation of a friend. He made several kilometers, was stolen, strengthened ties with former customers and broke ground among the young. All the sweat he poured gave rise to Odin Tattoo Equipments, later to hatch in the creation of the physical aspect of the brand, already with the daily support of Paula, his lifelong companion. Initially, the tattoos done in the small shop of Azurva were made (exclusively) by appointment and only with invited artists. From these days until now, the shop’s space has grown. The current studio has 3 floors and some collaborators: Alex Almeida and Joana Aguiar are the resident artists and take care of the tattoos, while Rita Cabral takes care of piercings, along with all the guest artists who populate the guest spots, promoted with even more increasing regularity. With an entrance of new blood that occurred naturally, this is how the five fingers of an increasingly robust and diverse hand full of talent and potential came together, a hand we envision as being completely tattooed.
Synergies are recurrent and the ones established with Caritas / AME or the 501st Legion, especially stand out within the scope of the “Solidary Tattoo” initiative. The purpose here is noble and the process could not be any simpler: in persuading tattooists to “donate” their work, Odin guarantees that the revenue obtained during the event reverts in full to a social care institution. However, whoever thinks that walking in these proceedings since 2012 makes inexperience an inevitability, should think differently. An expert know-how has lived in this house for a long time. Odin was involved in organizing the three editions of the Oporto Tattoo Expo, the largest art event in the country. In addition, the Setúbal Tattoo Show 2017 and the 2nd place, in both the Color and Black & Gray category, are already on Odin’s award list. If Odin’s talent had already been recognized for a long time, international attention is now beginning to arrive: the invitation to join the jury panel of the Malaga Tattoo Convention (Spain) was promptly accepted. From our end, the proposal could not be more obvious: Hit the road…and the ink!