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Artist Feature: Juan Salgado


Juan Salgado is one of the foremost tattoo artists in the United States. He has been obsessed with artistic expression since his youth, drawing on everything available... including his own skin.


Juan Salgado is one of the foremost tattoo artists in the United States . There is a wide variety of tattoo artists in the country that are attempting to bridge the gap between tattooing and fine art, and Mr. Salgado is one of those who have met with great success. He has been obsessed with artistic expression since his youth, drawing on everything available including his own skin. He also studied art at a college level to help hone his craft. In 2002, a friend trained him in the methodology of tattooing and he discovered his destiny. He is now a famous name in the industry with his work gaining recognition nationwide.

Some of Mr. Selgado’s most stunning work is in color . This piece (above), an octopus spanning the pectoral, shoulder and upper arm, is a prime example of the detail and shading that he puts into his tattoos. The juxtaposition of the bright orange-red octopus and the cool blue water provides a complete piece of artwork with this man’s body for the canvas. The negative shading for the water is also a style of his that is seen in many of his tattoos. His use of bright color ensures that this tattoo will be noticed and recognized for its superior craftsmanship.

Juan Salgado also does a lot of work in black and grey . This particular sleeve is an amazing portrait, with the focus being on the vampire woman and the skull . The red accents serve to break up the monochrome of the main piece and draw attention to the detail in the facial expression and emotion expressed by the tattoo. Selgado’s talent lies in his ability to fabricate a beautiful black and grey tattoo with color used as an accent. This piece is truly unique in that the red adds to the beauty and quality of the tattoo instead of distracting the admirer from the grey and black because of its sparing, precise use.

Another area of Mr. Selgado’s expertise is in portrait tattoos . This is a very difficult style of tattoo due to the propensity to inaccurately depict the person on the skin. Juan has transcended that barrier to create many beautiful portraits. Many of his portraits are in black and white, but this particular tattoo is gorgeous with its sepia-toned profile decorated with vibrant pink lilies . The pink complements the browns in the face to create a cohesive, pleasing project. The shading on the face is perfect, with the expression and personality shining through the ink in a way that mimics life.

Some of the awards Mr. Salgado has won are: First Place for Best Color in Hell City Ohio 2007; First Place Best Color Tattoo of the Show, Hell City Ohio in 2008; First Place Best Color Philadelphia Tattoo Arts in 2008; First Place and Second Place in Best Color, Hell City, Arizona in 2009; First Place in Best Color, Detroit Motor City Tattoo Expo in 2010 and in Third Place Overall: Hell City Ohio 2010. These awards not only justify his talent, they prove that he is recognized on a national level for his work.

Juan Salgado has stated that his mission is to inspire others . He uses his art and tattoos to reach people and create an impact on their lives. Permanently inscribing his art onto someone’s body is the best way to do just that. With every mark he makes on the skin, he is creating a legacy that will continue to inspire everyone he touches.


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