Tattoos are really an incredible art form. There are so many different possibilities when you are working with ink on skin. And although tiny, minimalist tattoos are totally having a moment, this is not a gallery of eensy-weensy cutesy tattoos!
The tattoos in this gallery truly work with the canvas they’re on to create incredible illusions and clever designs. For some of these, you will see that when the person bends their knee or their elbow, their tattoo transforms into a totally different picture. This is a far cry from the little hearts or anchors you’re seeing on many wrists these days. These are huge statement pieces with something to say.
Some of the other tattoos in this gallery are straight-up optical illusions that will mess with your mind and change what you think is possible for the human body.
It might take you a minute to comprehend these tattoos.
They are wild. They are unexpected.
And, they are ridiculously impressive.
This cool design looks like a perfect spiral when this person’s elbow is bent, but check out what it looks like when it’s extended in the next photo.
There is nothing off or odd about this tattoo. It totally works in both positions. That is no small feat.
That is quite a serious fish, and although you may not realize it at first, its placement on the elbow is quite important.
When you open it up, it is also a fish, but a totally different-looking one! It takes some amazing skill to get the eyeball to line up perfectly.
Here is another majestic fish that looks perfect when this woman’s knee is bent and she’s in a squatting position.
But what does it look like when she’s standing up straight?
Why, an intricate, super cool conjoined fish, of course!
What an awesome looking and amazingly detailed tattoo!
You’ve got to watch the video of this tattoo being revealed. At first, it just looks like an abandoned building with waves crashing into it, but when he bends his elbow, you see its face!
Apparently, this tattoo artist likes drawing fish. Maybe because he’s so insanely good at it.
But if you think this fish won’t translate when the arm is extended…
Do you see that? Now it’s a fish with a cityscape in its eyes.
Which makes me wonder… is this fish flying through the air?
There is something so wonderfully magical hidden in the middle of this tattoo.
Who knew what a fish could be hiding?
I absolutely love and totally fall for designs that work no matter which way you look at them, and this skull castle tattoo is no exception.
On their own, these arm tattoos look like crabs or some crustacean.
But the second you bring them together, of course it’s a dragon.
That moon has an expression on its face that’s like, “Go on, walk up that mysterious staircase. Nothing bad will happen to you, I swear!”
This tattoo is amazing and mesmerizing in every single position.
I think it’s because of that intense eye in the middle.
No matter what angle you look at this tattoo, you’ll see a bunny with a unicorn horn.
But if this person’s knees are bent, its ears are back!
When the knee is bent, this looks like a beetle with a giant eye on its back. But when the leg is straight, this bug is in flight.
There’s something so whimsically spooky, and cool about this tattoo…in both positions.
I think it’s all those little eyes surrounding the big one.
Just look at this majestic beast! It looks perfect in both positions. This is so cool.
And now, for my next illusion…
It looks like you can just grab a chunk of his arm, right?!
What a trip to see a design like this on a human body.
Wow, I cannot look away from this design. It makes the skin look so textured.
I just want to reach out and touch it, but that is not acceptable since I do not know this person.
Contrary to what this tattoo makes it seem like, there is no actual hole in his arm.
It’s just an illusion!
Okay, this tattoo is actually insane. The shadow work is so impressive and terrifying.
This looks like something out of The Terminator.
Not only is this a wickedly-clever optical illusion, but also the whole thing happens to be made out of 10,000 dots.
Sure, at a first glance, that looks like a handprint, but if you look closely, it looks like two people holding hands and walking.
It’s a gorgeous, huge owl, but it also looks like a thumbprint, doesn’t it? This is one of the most unique tattoos I’ve ever seen.
How cool is it to have a blurry 3D image tattooed on your body?
I wonder if it really works with the glasses. I bet it does.
Honestly, I don’t think I understand everything that’s going on here.
I could look at this picture for hours and not truly comprehend the whole thing.
His skin looks wavy! How?! It’s amazing.
I don’t know if I could have a tattoo like this because I’d be too distracted looking at it always.
Ah yes, the classic optical illusion. I have to stop looking at this elephant’s legs or I will never get anything done.
Share this with someone who appreciates great tattoos!