Mario Desa Debuts With Satellite of Love

1xRUN Thru Interview
Satellite of Love by Mario Desa

1xRUN: Tell us a little bit about this piece, is the original still for sale?
Mario Desa: This piece is based on a tattoo I did a couple of years ago. I just thought it would make a cool painting. The original is available, but I think I’ll hold onto it for now. I’m not a “fine artist.”  I just try to put images together that I think look cool, and I think other people will respond to and also consider “cool.” Hopefully the end result is they buy it, but if not, I’m happy to hold on to it or give it away/trade it. My main focus is tattooing and I think of myself as a tattooer first and foremost.


1xRUN: When was the piece created?
Mario Desa: I worked on this throughout December 2013 in between tattoos.

1xRUN: Anything immediate you would like us to highlight?
Mario Desa: I work Tuesday to Saturday, Noon-8 at Great Lakes Tattoo!


1xRUN: Tell us how the idea and execution came about?
Mario Desa: The main image is drawn from two traditional designs. The customer couldn’t decide on one so I suggested combining the two, and he went for it! It was a fun tattoo for me and one of my recent favorites. I was pleased with the idea/design I’d done and wanted to revisit it, and thought it would look cool a bit blown up as a painting, but not a “tattoo flash” painting.


1xRun: How long did the piece take?
Mario Desa: I never keep track! A few hours all together I guess, over a few weeks. I only paint when I feel like it and in between tattooing and hanging out with my wife and son, or watching TV.


1xRUN: Why should people buy this print?
Mario Desa: Because it will look cool on your wall and I never do prints, but get asked all the time, so here’s your chance!

1xRUN: Describe the piece/print in one gut reaction word.
Mario Desa: Beauty


1xRUN: When did you first start making art?
Mario Desa: I’ve been drawing since age 3. Got into graffiti very seriously in high school, then tattooing.

1xRUN: What artists inspired you early on?
Mario Desa: The first artists I really noticed while in high school were Frida Kahlo and Rene Magritte.


1xRun: What artists inspire you now?
Mario Desa: Tony Fitzpatrick, Fred Stonehouse , Manuel Ocampo, Ed Hardy, Pose MSK, Richard Coleman, Andrew Schoultz and REVOK…


1xRUN: Do you listen to music while you work? If so what? If not then what is your environment like when you work?
Mario Desa: Yes, I’ll usually listen to mellow music, both for tattooing and painting. Some favorites that come to mind are Death In June, Bill Challahan, The Cure, Miles Davis, Bill Evans, Charles Mingus and Leonard Cohen.

1xRUN: If you could collaborate with any living artist who would it be and why?
Mario Desa: I honestly have no one in mind to collaborate with, but there are a bunch I’d like to own work from or be tattooed by.

1xRUN: What was the first piece of art that you bought? Do you still have it?
Mario Desa: I’ve been pretty lucky to be able to trade and collect with a lot of my peers and buy up some cool stuff from my superiors, but I don’t remember what was the first.

1xRUN: What was the last piece of art that you bought?
Mario Desa: In December I bought two pieces by Thom De Vita, one of my favorite folk artists, and last week I was able to trade tattoos for two etchings by Tony Fitzpatrick.


1xRUN: Where else can people find you?
Mario Desa: Instagram @mariodesa – Great Lakes Tattoo