Professional tattoo artist since almost 10 years and at the same time driven by the desire to paint and draw on any surface around him since he was a child, Luca Polini is part of the so-called “Generation Y” but approaches the art world with the mind and passion of a Impressionist painter of mid-nineteenth century, being strongly inspired by the nature and animal world that surrounds him, mixing graphic elements with themes, ornamental motifs and influences from Asian cultures and traditions.

The “Battle Royale” is a classic tattoo design whose popularity spread at the turn of the nineteenth century, representing the union of the Eastern and Western worlds through the symbolic image of two or more animals clinging to each other, locked in a “mortal combat”. The most frequent representations depicts a bird of prey, like an eagle, symbolizing the West, the sky, the death, fighting with a dragon, symbolizing the East, the earth, the fertility, but other animals can also be found and other symbols involved, such as tigers, panthers, snakes or other birds. Duality is the most important meaning in the composition of the “Battle Royale”, formed by contrasting elements: yin and yang, good and evil, life and death, forces of nature in constant opposition but in perfect equilibrium.

The dualism between contrasting but balanced elements characterizes the profession and the artistic production of Polini, which is divided between tattoing on skin, with all related technical limitations and painting on paper, canvas or other surfaces, where he can express himself more freely, transmitting his love for nature and animals, mixing different expressive symbols and languages. The results are paintings and drawings characterized by a unique and original style, with references to post-Impressionist paintings, full of colorful and heavy on paint brushstrokes, combined with iconic elements of Asian art, with depictions of animals with strong and sometimes violent traits that bring to mind the partly expressionist, partly naive works by the Swiss-Emilian painter Antonio Ligabue. A very complex and original mix of styles, ideas and symbolism, harmoniously and inextricably intertwined and balanced together.

The exhibition includes more than ten acrylic and oil works on canvas, painted over a time span of three years, since 2016 to present. An overview that highlights Polini’s artistic and personal development, a constantly evolving process “contaminated” by life experiences and inspirations taken from his daily life.


Luca Polini was born in 1991, he attended the art school in Faenza and once graduated, alongside his passion and predisposition for painting, he began his career as a tattoo artist, with an “old school“ apprenticeship of over two years in a studio in Bologna where he learned technique and discipline. After completing his apprenticeship, he began tattooing, quickly developing and expressing a personal style and aestethic that allowed him to differentiate himself and be recognized and appreciated both nationally and internationally. Since 2014 he opened and has been working in his private studio, “Mr Grady art & tattoo”, which allows him to mix his two artistic careers, tattooing and painting.

Battle Royale – 15th June- 21st July 2019

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