Simple, effective, and easy-to-understand, there’s nothing quite as clear as far as meaning goes as a brick wall. Broken, it can represent unstoppable power, and while it can include or divide things.
Today we’re going to talk a little more about brick wall tattoos as a powerful self-expression for skin art.
Don’t let their deceptive simplicity fool you – brick wall tattoos can make a very powerful statement and we’re about to tell you why!
What is the History of Brick Wall Tattoos?
Pinpointing the history of brick walls is really almost impossible. For as long as we have been building structures, we’ve been building up ways to protect them – such as towers for sniping, water-filled moats, and of course, walls.
They’ve a big part of our history and they’ve been erected for different reasons. The Great Wall of China , built between 770 and 476 B.C. was predominantly designed to keep out invaders, but also allowed for signaling and for controlling trade. In 121 A.D., Hadrian’s Wall marked the North-West borders of the Roman Empire.
Then we have the Berlin wall of 1961, which was built not to protect, but to divide up Berlin, both physically and ideologically. With these only being a few examples they’ve certainly found their way into brick wall tattoos over time, because they are rich with history.
That’s not to say there aren’t more free-form brick wall tattoos – the English Rock band ‘Pink Floyd’ and the infamous musical journey ‘The Wall’ has inspired many a tattoo though ultimately for the same essential reasons – brick walls protect and divide.
What Do Brick Wall Tattoos Symbolize?
A Brick wall can symbolize a lot of things, depending on how you depict it.
With Pink Floyd’s wall, it was a construct that was created to hide and protect their owner, who’d grown up with a lot of pain, but who also built their wall too efficiently and found themselves trapped inside.
A brick wall placed around two hearts or names, however, would symbolize a love that promises to ‘always build the walls around us, but never between us’. Brick walls symbolize protection, but primarily are going to indicate either protection against the outside or a statement of division that is literally set in stone!
What Do Brick Wall Tattoos Mean?
Brick wall tattoos inevitably mean that someone is making a statement and a stand. The wall says that nothing is coming inside without permission or represents a firm stance that sets the owner apart from the rest of the world.
As with the Floyd example, it can also mean that the owner of the tattoo has experienced difficult times in life and has become almost TOO good at locking themselves away as a defensive measure. A broken wall, however, tells the world that you’ve escaped persecution of some sort – from the world or even the self.
As a wall is a pretty potent symbol that everyone in the world can understand, it’s open for quite a lot of meanings – all of them quite personal. What you put near the wall is going to say the most. Are these things inside or outside of the wall? Why is the wall there in the first place?
As far as symbols go, you’d have a difficult time finding one as deeply understood by the world at large as the deceptively-simple option of a solid or broken brick wall.
Where Do Brick Wall Tattoos Usually Go?
This really depends on how much you are trying to say. For instance, a small, broken-up brick wall on the forearm might mean that the owner is a brawler, with fists ready to break any defense that comes their way. A solid wall there, by contrast, might indicate a strong defense against the world at large.
With a wall, however, the most common placement of Brick wall tattoos is going to be on an area with a lot of skin, such as the back or the hip, so that a deeper symbolism can be created in the skin art composition by placing other items, people, or animals close to the wall, either inside or outside of it.
One might even put it on the ankle or the outer side of the arm as if to depict that there is brick in place when you peel back the skin. It really just boils down to how visible you want your skin art-message to be.
Characteristics and Styles of Brick Wall Tattoos
For Pink Floyd fans, brick wall tattoos will typically reflect the style of the artist involved with the movie, whose name was Gerald Scarfe, but this is certainly not the only style of brick wall tattoo that you will see. New School Brick wall tattoos, for instance, can look quite amazing.
The bold color and the cartoonish exaggeration of this style really make the brick wall almost a living thing.
As an interest contract, Japanese style still incorporates color, but also has a saturation of darks that take the ‘cartoon’ feel away completely, despite that it’s based on drawings – it’s somber, but colorful, somehow, which is part of its charm.
We highly recommend checking out various styles just to see for yourself. You might think that something like a brick wall is going to be inherently bland, but each tattoo style that you find, coupled with the individual artist’s abilities, will prove that wrong every time. It’s art and that wall will be AMAZING if you take your time.
Some closing comments on Brick Wall Tattoos
Pretty much everyone on the planet understands how a wall works – it keeps things in, it keeps things out, and so it’s a symbiotic function. Since the wall is defined by what’s around it (or even what is missing), then it’s an instantly recognizable symbol that you can really play with to your heart’s content.
With art, nothing is relegated to basic or boring, and a powerful symbol like a solid, brick wall can really make a profound statement. So, be sure to take some time creating your design and selecting your style. A Brick wall tattoo is something that will be understood by whoever sees it and that a rarity in the art-world, indeed!