For for two decades, tattooist Jason Stieva has been producing assemblage art, taking his creativity beyond the flesh and into three-dimensional space. He’s been working on his Gothic Times series for nine years, starting when he bought a piece of an ancient clockmaker’s land. His sculptures are radically fantastical and loaded with intricacy, combining cases and machinery with various miscellaneous objects.
Stieva spent roughly 15 months constructing Leviathan – Ark of the Apocalypse, a ghostly pirate ship packed with nasty people. His artistic work is done in his leisure time as the proprietor of Sinful Inflictions, a tattoo shop. “Sculpting is not the same as tattooing, which I can perform at any time,” he explains to My Modern Met. “I have to be in the mood to work on sculptures and not be pushed by deadlines.”
Stieva got the idea for the sculpture after seeing a scale model of a tallship hanging from the ceiling of a store he frequented. He began work on an ark that would take all kinds of mutant animals and creatures after admiring it for a while. The finished piece is approximately 8 feet tall, 7.5 feet long, and 2.5 feet broad.
“Overall, it was the most difficult job I’ve ever worked on, and possibly ever will,” he says. “From front to back, top to bottom, there is a lot of exceedingly meticulous detail. It took weeks only to cut the army heads and sand the backs of each to ensure they would sit flush once attached with tweezers. It took a long time to find all of the characters. It required a considerable time to redesign, dismantle, reconstruct, and make the ark physically stable before any sculpting could begin.”
The ship now resides in the house of one of Stieva’s clients, an ardent collector who had a ship tattooed on his chest by the artist. Stieva is still working on his sculptures, exploring garage sales, flea markets, auctions, and thrift stores for new materials to complete them.
In his spare time, tattooist Jason Stieva makes extraordinary assemblage art using components he finds in antique shops and flea markets.
This ghostly pirate ship, which currently resides in the house of a private collector, took almost 15 months to create.
Jason Stieva: Instagram