Each week our intrepid artist liaison and generally jovial Eikon staffer Patrick Coste sits down with a tattoo artist to get to know them a little better. This week, he's catching up with Karine Tremblay AKA Kitsch Karine.
I bet Karine's brain only shuts off after she sketches everything she has in her mind before going to bed. I mean, where the hell are all those ideas coming from?!? - Patrick Coste
Name: Karine Tremblay
Years tattooing: 21 years
Years actually good at it? I find it pretentious to proclaim myself talented, the art is constantly changing and what we find well today will be obsolete tomorrow ... but I can at least say that my job has stopped giving me insomnia around 2010.
Place of business: Enlight Tattoo, Quebec City, Quebec, Canada
PC: KAAARIIINNEEEEE, Wasssaaappp?! How's the rockstar life treating you? I mean, you play banjo, you've got a killer car AND you won pretty much everything you participated in last year...
KT: Heyyyyy Paaattttt! It's crazy, right? It's with pride, but also with great modesty, that I accept the prizes that I win. I consider that I've come a long way. I have a somewhat crazy life of course, so I'm grateful x1000.
PC: Hehe!! Your personality is as flamboyant as the tattoos you create. I wonder, do you still have your Cadillac DeVille?
KKT: Thank you so much! I think we spend our lives looking for our happiness and our truth. It's a daily challenge because we have to live our uniqueness in a very square, uniform world. While respecting others, I shout "Fuck preconceived ideas and live freedom!" The huge place that art takes in my life, has transformed it into a kind of big imaginary world where everything is special and vintage. So inevitably my car is too!
I've had this 1964 Cadillac DeVille Sedan for over 10 years, and its name is Tétanos. Unfortunately, I've never been able to understand mechanics, it's a shit-show to park, it always has surprises, but I would never get rid of it. We're like an old couple! It's my badass tank-boat!
PC: We've been tattoo friends for a while. You told me the meaning of "kitsch" and oufff!! For those who aren't following you, how do you come up with all those ideas? What would you call your style?
KKT: I have trouble putting a name on the style of my work. Without really knowing where I should be, one day I read about the DADA movement in an art history book and it was like a revelation - OMG, that's exactly it! I was just born 100 years too late! Visually I'm inspired by the art of collage. Being myself a sea of contrasts, I like to mix textures, colours and shapes etc... But symbolically it's more complex. When I was young, to facilitate my learning, my mother always created metaphors. These strong images allowed me to better visualize, better explain things. So I think my brain is conditioned to make associations of images to symbolize emotions, expressions... Well, sometimes my projects are humorous or only aesthetic - you can't always be serious, life would be far too boring!
PC: You're travelling quite a bit. Where can we get tattooed by Kitsch Karine Tremblay this year?
KKT: For the first time this year, I have the privilege of participating in the 2020 Mondial du Tatouage de Paris in March. I can't wait to see the atmosphere of this great convention, which I'd hoped to do for a few years. Also, a few visits to France and Montreal are planned by then, but full-time I can be found at the Enlight Tattoo studio in Quebec. Also recently I started to create with other mediums, either painting and collage. I gave myself the challenge of exhibiting eventually, so to follow!
PC: Karine, Tu rocks! Merci, and say "hi!" to all. See you on the road...
KT: Merci Pat! On se voit bientôt! (See You Soon!)
Follow Kitsch Karine Tremblay: https://www.instagram.com/kitsch.karine/