The Baseball Card
Where'd Ya Go Boy?
My name is Yoni Zilber. I was born in Israel and began tattooing in Tel Aviv in 1998. Since then, I have tattooed from London to Miami, Thailand, Stockholm, Berlin, Amsterdam, Spain, and New York. In 2002, I began working at New York Adorned and currently have a chair at Brooklyn Adorned.
I have worked and continue to specialize in a number of artistic styles—Thai, art nouveau, and ornamentals. In recent years however, I have developed a deep admiration for Tibetan art. Its sensitive line expression, rich compositions, and simplicity lend themselves beautifully to the body. But, to succeed in this style requires not only technical skill, but also a keen sense of proportion, an appreciation for symbolism and a respect for this tradition, which began nearly a millennium ago. For some time, I studied tirelessly on my own, but without a mentor I could only go so far.
In 2007, good fortune or fate brought me to a master of Tibetan art. While studying Tibetan paintings at the Rubin Museum, I met Pema Rinzin. After several encounters, Rinzin, an accomplished Tibetan Tangka painter and contemporary artist whose work adorns walls in the Dalai Lama’s temple in India as well as the Rubin Museum, agreed to take me on as his apprentice. I am now in the midst of my study under Rinzin—just the beginning of a long-term commitment to learn the intricacies of his ancient art.
I continue my lessons and bring this new knowledge and awareness to my tattooing. To my understanding, I am one of only a few tattoo artists in the world who specialize in the Tibetan style. Though I still enjoy and excel in a range of artistic genres, I have increasingly been focusing on translating the Tibetan style into tattoo. In each piece, whether it is a traditional Tibetan image or an original composition translated through the Tibetan style, I strive for beauty, flow and simplicity while remaining sensitive to my client’s needs and respectful of the tradition upon which I am drawing.
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