Calling Duncan X iconic within the tattoo world could seem like an understatement to some, as an integral part of Alex Binnie’s Into You shop in Clerkenwell Mr X has been turning out some of the most abrasive black work tattoos since before the shops inception
His severe appearance is completely authentic to his own art work and lifestyle. The completely original trademark style of tattooing that Duncan has so perfectly translated is solidly black and overwhelmingly brutal in its imagery. Reading almost like a cliche, stories of his progressive and intense life have quite literally been imbedded into his skin.
To explore more about this fascinating man director Alex Nicholson has created an absorbing short film with Duncan revealing accounts of his life. The sophisticated nature of the film has meant that through special effects the director has let Duncan’s tattoos slowly appear and crawl over his skin as the film progresses.
The film was revealed on Tuesday so to celebrate this we’ve created a short interview with the director to find out more.
How did you come about making this film?
Well I just wanted to make a beautiful looking short for my reel initially. Shooting an interesting a subject as possible.
Who has this film been made for? Who do you want to be watching it?
It wasn’t made for anyone really. Me I’d say at a push. I want everyone to watch it. I didn’t want it to be just for people who like/have/want tattoos or people who know Duncan, I wanted it to be as accessible as possible for all viewers.
How involved are you as an individual in tattooing?
Not at all really. I do have quite a few and will continue to get more, as long as Duncan promises to be gentler next time.
What is it about Mr X that you find so fascinating?
Everything! Ha! – Its more to do with the fact that as you get to know him over time, these stories leak out. The fascinating tales of a thousand lives lived within one mans life. Its the fact that he’s highly intelligent, very eloquent, a delightful personality and looks like a Barber-surgeon from the 1900’s
A great mix
Was there a particular stance that you wanted to take with the film?
If I was pushed, I’d say that you should never judge a book by its cover.
How did the decision to have all of Mr X’s tattoo re-appear through editing occur?
I wanted his tattoos to slowly emerge during the film. For him to start naked of tattoos and end as he is, covered. When we got into edit, myself and my editor (David Stevens @ the Assembly rooms) simply pieced together the best story that we saw in there. The animations and tattoos suddenly became secondary to the fascinating Duncan X.