Myra Brodsky is a tattoo artist based in Berlin, Germany. She is known for her stylized work, which is influenced by art history, like classicism, Art Nouveau and Baroque art movements.
Having worked in Berlin, New York City and the U.K., she is one of the most sought-after woman tattoo artists in Europe. Her style bridges Old World artworks with 19th century illustration to create what the artist calls imagery that is both “uncanny and ambiguous.”
She has been featured in various press outlets, including interviews in Forbes, VICE magazine, Total Tattoo and The Huffington Post, among others, including Inked Magazine, Needles & Sins and Things & Ink. She currently works at the Good Old Times Tattoo Parlor in Berlin.
Strongly influenced by art nouveau, art deco and the Victorian era, Brodsky’s tattoo style is fused with the past and present. She is influenced by the old, animated cartoons of Ralph Bakshi, Terry Gilliam and Bill Plympton, 19th century realism is a stronghold on her designs, which range from fruits to foliage and otherworldly characters.
“Anything from the past has a big influence on my work,” said Brodsky.
She began tattooing as a teenager, practicing on her friends, and turned to professional tattooing after studying visual communication at university in Berlin, Germany.
As demand for her work grew, Brodsky went to work between several tattoo parlors, including Black Mirror Parlor in Berlin, then at Red Rocket Tattoo in New York City, from 2016-2019. After a few years thriving in New York, and briefly working in Los Angeles and Amsterdam, Brodsky returned to Berlin, where she has been working at Good Old Times Tattoo since April 2021.
Her tattooing style is defined as “European American traditional.” Fusing together contemporary with traditional imagery, she creates timeless tattoos which draw from fine art, architecture, and sculpture from 800 BC to 1900 AD.
In her work, there are often hidden details like century-old, stylized acanthus leaves, palmettes and rosettes, which are used as decorative elements in her work. “I’m convinced people will still be happy wearing these as tattoos on their skin because they still pay admission to see artwork in museums from all eras,” said the artist.
As an avid reader and student of art history, Brodsky is influenced by classic art, from Greek and Roman sculptures to French artists like Jean-Honoré Fragonard and Auguste Leroux. She also counts illustrators like William Morris, Toulouse-Lautrec, and Winsor McCay as an influence for her detailed linework.
Technically, Brodsky is inspired by Florentine inlays, Corinthian columns and stonemasonry. Her work features details from historic heraldry, Neoclassicism and from the 1920s art movements, like Art Nouveau, as well as old botanical illustrations by Maria Sybilla Merian.
As a published artist, Brodsky published a coffee table book titled “Myra Brodsky Tattoos, 2010-2015,” which featured numerous drawings and best-of tattoo designs over her many years in the tattoo business. The book was launched at the Bright Tradeshow in Berlin, in 2016. Her forthcoming book is called “Glass on Glass” and is slated to be released in 2022.
Among the tattoo conventions she has worked at, they include the high profile Mondial du Tatouage convention in Paris, France, as well as others across Europe and the U.K., among others.
As an illustrator, Brodsky has worked for advertising agencies, and designed commercial material for DIESEL’s “Loverdose Tattoo” fragrance in 2015.
Specializing in illustrative fine art, her work excels in both color and black and gray imagery. Brodsky has a strong grasp of curvaceous linework and three-dimensional, animation-like drawing and design work, along with a completely unique take on tattooing.
She is sought after for her skill in historic, ornamental patterns, her take on floral work and illustrative color.
Brodsky is currently working on her next book, working on illustration and commissioned portraits in her home studio, “Hotel Myra,” and is setting up appointments for the future (after Berlin tattoo shops are allowed to reopen with safe social distancing measures).
Among her favorite pieces to tattoo are those which are large, hand-drawn artworks which have a story to tell. “Storytelling and coherent tattoo projects always require a bigger panel of skin,” said Brodsky.
“I set a high value on getting along with my clients on a personal level,” she adds. “So, the first get-together with a client always requires more time before we actually start tattooing; I ask them about what they want and draw accordingly. Our collaboration has to be an excellent match.”