The Inked Art of Dr Lakra

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Artwork by Dr Lakra for BON magazine, 2011
Artwork by Dr Lakra for BON magazine, 2011

We celebrate our new favourite Mexican artist Dr Lakra and his unlikely twist on 50s pin up babes and full body tattoos

A lot of the best stuff comes from Mexico. Obviously there is the perennial AnOther favourite Frida Kahlo, with her sublime art and ever-enthralling love affair with Diego Rivera. There’s the Hotel Posada Mirador, the sandy pink edifice that is at the cliff-top of our list of places we’d rather be during temporally tempestuous February. And now there’s a new discovery – Dr Lakra, artist, tattooist and visual interventionist, whose gothic take on the 50s pin up postcard has won the Loves vote for Another Man fashion assistant Peghah Maleknejad.

Dr Lakra is the nom-de-brush of Jeronimo Lopez Ramirez, the Oaxaca-based son of the graphic artist Francisco Toledo. It translates roughly to mean “Doctor Delinquent”, a word that aligns nicely with the artist’s eternal air of mischievous subversion. He works on both breathing and figurative bodies, forming patterns on the flesh of clients and on the 50s pinups and icons he finds on postcards and in old magazines. Beaming advertising models become half leering death masks, a languorous femme fatale is scrawled with reptiles overseen by grotesque screaming faces and a blithely nude girl posing on the beach becomes an Eve-like figure with the addition of a menacing snake wrapped venomously around her form. Lakra’s figures blend mythology, wit and mischief, etching and elevating the human form to fascinating effect. Here we talk to Maleknejad about her interest in the artist, alongside a gallery of his works.

Why did you love this work by Dr. Lakra?
I like the twisted dark beauty feel it has to it.

Where would you keep it if you owned it?
I actually do have a printed copy which I keep posted on the wall beside my bed.

What artwork would you most like to own and why?
A Renaissance or Baroque style painting, I am obsessed with the top-ness of it all. It's a more-is-more kind of thing which I am really into when it comes to art and decor. 

What is your favourite gothic item - artwork, fashion, film, book?
The film Sleepy Hollow.

If you were to dress up as an artist, who would it be?
Yayoi Kusama.

How would you like to celebrate Mexico's Day of the Dead?
I never have before, I would assume a good way would be with lots of tequila?

What are you looking forward to about March?
The first day of Spring.

What was the last thing you bought?
A delicious pineapple and coconut smoothie.

See more unlikely tattooed icons in the work of Cheyenne Randalls.