Chris Trevino- Top Japanese Style tattooists! pt5

Chris Trevino is an expert in traditional Japanese tattooing who earned the nickname “Horimana” after studying for five years under the legendary master Horiyoshi III.

His elaborate, full-body representations of Asian symbology reminds us of the later works by Norman “Sailor Jerry” Collins aka Horismoku. Trevino now runs Perfection Tattoo in Austin, TX which was founded by Bob Moreau in the late 70s…

The shop attracts people from every continent seeking to receive the gift of his artwork. His clients are usually serious about their tattoos, often committing to large scale projects that cover much of their body. Trevino knows how to communicate with individuals to draw out and refine an initially loose idea of what they want. He fully understands the iconography of Japanese art and explains how a seemingly simple warrior tattoo can represent far more than meets the eye based on the stories behind the character. His in-depth bio can be found in Tattoo Artist Magazine #11 and a full retrospective of his artwork and tattoos can found in his latest book “Gods & Warriors – Horimana: The Works of Chris Trevino”

Chris Trevino tattoo artist

Horimana is his Japanese tattooer name, given him by Horiyoshi III, but he’s more commonly known as Chris Trevino, aka the workaholic, aka the Cyborg, aka THE MACHINE: Here’s why!- by Crash

Hailing from Austin, TX, Chris Trevino was already well-known in the early 90s for his cutting edge tattoo skills and flash designs. This was the start of the ‘new-school’ movement of tattooing and Chris’ name was right up front, but once he found his interest in Japanese tattoo themes, the workaholic tendencies and driven passion kicked in as Chris studied and worked non-stop for years on end, traveling to Japan several times annually, learning both the heritage and the techniques, (no to mention the language!), and then pushing the boundaries in his own, unique way, earning him the admiration and respect he humbly carries today. Most incredible for an American artist is the sheer volume of large scale pieces and body suits he’s been able to complete in over the last 15 years or so. So many that when we did Chris’ interview in Tattoo Artist Magazine #11, it was the longest article to date, and then we made an entire book of his work after!

Chris is one of the hardest working artists I’ve ever known. People call him The Machine, there’s rumors of him being a cyborg, and for good reason. It isn’t uncommon for Chris to tattoo 11 to 15 hours per day, or more. At conventions, he’s often the first to work in the morning and the last to leave, and it’s non-stop. When I fist met Chris while visiting friends in Austin, we immediately hit it off and started planning his interview. In the weeks and months to come, I ended up getting one of my favorite pieces, a Baku (a mythical creature of Japanese lore who devours bad dreams, leaving good fortune in its wake); it was a partial cover up on my lower left arm, post laser sessions, and I could NOT be happier with the outcome! (One reason I’m such an advocate of laser!) Meeting Chris and getting that tattoo are some of my fondest memories of the TAM project. Just good people! Y’know what I mean? There are good artists, and there are good people, and then are good artists who are also good people! They’re a little more rare these days. Chris (and his wife, Roxanne) are some of the best people I’ve met yet, and yeah- if you want large scale Japanese work, get something from Chris. He’s a master. Chris Trevino can be found at Perfection Tattoo in Austin, TX.

Enjoy this FREE video teaser and below is an introduction to Chris and his work, written by Don Ed Hardy


(Chris is featured in Tattoo Artist Magazine Issue #11 ON SALE this week And use this code TREVINO1 for 20% OFF the issue (in print or digital) and the book! 

Or buy a PDF of Chris’ TAM INTERVIEW HERE!  56 RAD pages of biography and TONS of tattoos for only $1.99

For more info on the book- click here!

By Ed Hardy:
“I first met Chris Trevino when he and his then-partner, Shawn Degan, came to San Francisco in about 1992 to talk with me about getting some work done. He had not been tattooing very long at that time but Chris’ enthusiasm and ideas were off the charts…

Pictures he showed me of his work were unlike anything I’d seen at the time, a free-flowing mix of unexpected juxtapositions of subject matter and style, all rendered boldly, freely, and with great humor. Obviously there was a pool of customers in Texas with highly original notions of what to wear as a tattoo, and these guys absolutely encouraged them and took the clients’ ideas many steps further.

Chris Trevino tattoo artist

Over the years Chris has stayed in touch on a regular basis. Along the way, he became more and more fixated on classic Japanese tattoo style and symbolism. At some point, perhaps ten years ago, he chose to work exclusively in that format. Since then he has obsessively pursued Japanese legends and tattoo styles, especially closely studying the work of the late Tokyo Horiyoshi II (Tamotsu Kuronuma) and Horiyoshi III of Yokohama (Yoshihito Nakano), probably the most important and globally influential living Japanese tattoo master.

Chris established connections in Japan and began commuting on a regular basis, I believe alternating months, between Osaka and Austin. He has developed epic work on clients in both places, as well as tattooing at a range of conventions every year. The sheer volume of large-scale Japanese-style body tattoos he has created, all replete with enormous detail, is probably unsurpassed. Every time he visits San Francisco and shows me his enormous album of recent work photos, I’m overwhelmed—it’s nearly impossible to take it all in. His energy and enthusiasm over the years have grown, if anything, and I am consistently concerned about him seriously damaging his health by keeping up such a demanding workload.

So far, he has proved unstoppable and seems likely to continue at this pace, pushing himself and his clients. This book will give some idea of the astounding realms Trevino has created, an extended and unique fusion of Texan and Japanese sensibilities that catapults 21st century tattooing into a unique realm.”


Chris Trevino Article — Digital edition of Tattoo Artist Magazine issue #11 with 56 pages of Radness!

PART 1: HISTORY of Japanese Tattoos, and Sailor Jerry:

PART 2: The Master, Horiyoshi III:





Chris Trevino Article
Chris Trevino Article

Download your copy of Chris Trevino’s Article here!

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Tattoo Artist Magazine japanese set TAM
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Tattoo Artist since 1990 and creator/publisher of Tattoo Artist Magazine since 2003

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