ArtJaws Collector #3 by Titine K-Leu: Box set “Hommage aux Icônes du tatouage”

 950,00 Excl. Taxes

Titine K-Leu was born just after the events of 1968. Lives in Switzerland. Self-taught painter, former tattoo artist, key figure in the world of contemporary tattoo, Titine K-Leu grew up surrounded by artists, musicians and intellectuals. The daughter of Françoise and Rolf Kesselring (writer, journalist, editor and founder of the underground libraries “La Marge” in 1971). Close to Roland Topor, Jean-Claude Forest, Hugo Pratt, Milo Manara and other artists Titine K-Leu painted and drew since her childhood – as a teenager, Hugo Pratt introduced her to watercolor and Joe Boehler to sculpture. Read more.

This ArtJaws edition is limited to 7 copies worldwide. Estimated date of delivery: June 15th,  2016.


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Ten fine arts prints ( 40 x 30 cm) of selected works by the artist from her historical series, presented in a box and embellished on top by an original painting by the artist. Print run: 7 copies for the world, dated, signed, numbered.

About the series Hommage aux Icônes du tatouage

From 1997 to 2003, Titine K-Leu created the series of paintings “Hommage aux Icônes du Tatouage”. When she started this project (twenty-seven pieces in all) Titine couldn’t imagine how important these works would be in the contemporary landscape of worldwide outsider art.


In 1997, encouraged by the master tattoo artist Felix Leu, she started working and established a personal research approach. For her painting these people was a way to celebrate the tattooed men and women and tattoo artists of the late nineteenth century and the first half of the twentieth century before they are forgotten. By using Spider Webb’s book “Heavily Tattooed Men and Women” and talking with Lyle Tuttle (master tattoo artist and tutelary figure of the American tattoo history), she refined her approach to a subject that few people in the world had knowledge about at the time. Then, from old black and white photographs (photographic portraits made between 1850 and 1960 that have been given to her by Henk Schiffmacher – Dutch tattoo artist, painter and major collector of artifacts on tattooing), Titine K-Leu tried to recreate as closely as possible the patterns and colors of the old tattoos on canvas. The tattoos were complex, and required delving into a long and careful observation of documents prior sketching them. She gradually deciphered the patterns (the classic iconography of the American tattoo) and reproduced each line of the designs worn by her models. Besides this unprecedented feat of archiving for present and future artists, reaching this level of accuracy is not purely aesthetic and / or documentary, it is also to produce images showing love and respect for these tattooed people. At the same time intervenes and nestles the evocative interpretation and imagination of the artist. From this singular alchemy arose a truth, a discourse, an accuracy and an aesthetic that settle these works in a contemporary heritage.


In painting the gist of the history that makes her a woman, an artist, the wife of Filip Leu, a member of a family where art and tattooing are the main languages, Titine K-Leu found herself as a painter. And asserts herself. Masterpieces of outside pop art in the representation in painting of tattoos, this contemporary series is also the first of its kind. In the tradition of the famous portraits of Gottfried Lindauer, she maintains the tattooed person as a “subject”, and installs a noble vocabulary. Since then, many artists in the world (illustrators and painters) also joined the topic: in the current forest of these artistic proposals, the series of Titine K-Leu is definitely a founder. Text by Anne & Julien


Additional Information

Weight 3 kg
Dimensions 44 x 32 x 3.5 cm

Titine K-Leu






Digital Print


Unframed artwork


7 copies + 1AP

Certificate of authenticity


ArtJaws Exclusivity

Artwork created for ArtJaws