published at 27.02.2015, 18:00

From street art to fine body art

The BMW R nineT at the Tattoo D'Haute Couture exhibition

The synchronicity of high fashion, body art, cutting-edge design and precision engineering could be seen in Italy earlier this month when the street-legal BMW R nineT custom boxer joined forces with living, breathing, moving works of tattoo art in a special exhibition dedicated to this creative and increasingly popular art form.

When different worlds collide the results are often spectacular, as was the case at the Maxxi Museum in Rome, where a selection of ‘inked’ models pouted and paraded with BMW Motorrad’s retro-cool ‘9T’ custom boxer for an exhibition of work by well-known tattoo artist Marco Manzo.

Sponsored by BMW Motorrad Rome, this exhibition was all about presenting the ornamental tattoo art form within the context of fashion and fine art. Manzo is legendary within the tattoo community for his intricate black and grey ink work on clients’ backs and legs, and this artistic performance saw some of his most favourite models proudly exhibiting their skin designs while posing on BMW Motorrad’s classic custom boxer roadster.

Even though tattooing is in principle an ancient art form, these latest creations are unquestionably contemporary and designed to complement the bespoke high fashion clothing, supplied here by famous Italian design house Gattinoni. The models’ own tattoos were the true works of art in this exhibition, their unique designs suggestive of embroidery and fine lace, and far removed from the ubiquitous tribal tattoos adopted by many people in recent years.

Manzo has won over fifty national and international awards for his work, which in this exhibit clearly bring out the silhouette of the models’ bodies, especially when combined with exclusive, bespoke designer clothes from the Gattinoni fashion house. With its classic proportions and striking design, the R nineT also exhibits a refined elegance, characterised by clear lines, fine details and high-quality workmanship – just like that of Marco Manzo.