The Pop Surrealist Tattoo Art of Kozo

pop surrealist tattoo art of kozo IIHIH

There are so many talented tattoo artists in the world (like this guy), it’s always difficult to choose whose work to share with you. But once I saw the work of New York-based Tattoo artist Kozo, it was a no-brainer.

Pop Surrealist Tattoo Art

kozo pop surrealist tattoos
Pulp Fiction’s Uma Thurman X Ave Maria by Kozo

The Pop Surrealist tattoos and artworks by Israeli-born Kozo are a blend of fantasy, history, fine art and popular culture depicted masterfully on human flesh.

Kozo at work, photo: @kozo_tattoo

The tiny masterpieces merge instantly recall the work of surrealist artists Salvador Dali, Georges de Chirico, M.C. Escher and others.

Upon second look, characters from popular books, movies and television inhabit the same narrative.

Hokusai's The Great Wave off Kanagawa being surfed by Batman and Spiderman.
Hokusai’s woodcut The Great Wave Off Kanagawa being surfed by Batman and Spiderman.

In most cases there’s a juxtaposition between old and new, both in subject and in the style in which they’re drawn. Common historical art subjects are imbued with popular characters from today’s movies.

left: A classic marble bust and characters from Studio Ghibli; right: The famous Vermeer painting Girl With Pearl Earring with Marvel’s Deadpool.

Works by Roy Lichtenstein are juxtaposed against classical Greek statues. Works by Norman Rockwell are given a twist and even a painting of Napoleon going into battle is transformed as a Stormtrooper suit replaces his armor.

Napoleon x Stormtrooper

The tattoos shown below have characters from popular culture as torn photos taped over another well-known image (often defaced) altering the emotion and energy of the original sculpture, photo or painting. His impeccable realism and trompe l’oeil create the illusion of layers and depth.

pop culture tattoo art
Salvador Dali X Rick
Van Gogh X Heisenberg tattoo
Van Gogh X Heisenberg
wonder woman athena tattoo
Wonder Woman X Athena

In several cases he recreates an iconic piece of art, such as Van Gogh’s Starry Starry night, and blends it with other art elements.

Others merge history and technology.

And some of his tattoos are just romantic and beautiful.

kozo tattoo art duo

His brief bio from Bang Bang reads as follows:

Artist Kozo, photo: BANG BANG Studio, NYC

Specializes in Miniature color fine art.Kozo is originally from Qiryat Ono, Israel. His work indulges in subjects from movie scenes, famous paintings, surreal drawings, anime and comic book scenes.

all images are courtesy of the artist’s Instagram feed.

Follow him on Instagram @kozo_tattoo

Inquire about an appointment with Kozo through BANG BANG Studio NYC