Trash polka is a style of tattoo that originated in Germany, and aims to tell a story, where the designs are usually a chaotic collage style. The tell-tale trademark of a traditional trash polka tattoo is red and black ink, often with splatters and smudges in and around the design. Sometimes words and phrases are overlaid, but not always. The designs are most often abstract with elements of realism, so there’s a lot of juxtaposition going on with these tattoos. They’re confusing and beautiful.
These are some of our favorite trash polka tattoos. They have incredible detailing, and are genuine works of art.
Photo: Ink Done Right
It looks like there could be a dark meaning behind this gorgeous trash polka tattoo. There are elements of death (skull) and beauty (woman and rose), which is a popular theme with trash polka designs. Is it about inner evil? Impending death? Only the artist and the tattooed person know for sure.
Planes At War
Photo: Kick Ass Things
A love letter to the world wars, and it’s eerily beautiful to look at. There’s a ton of detailing and shading here, and you can plainly see the abstract meets realistic nature of the designs.
Photo: Kick Ass Things
We aren’t sure what the words on this tattoo mean, but the skull and roses send messages on their own in this tat. We get a sense of rebellion from looking at this trash polka tattoo. Whatever the specific meaning is, it’s an awesome tattoo done in trash polka style.
Everybody Has His Own Death Angel
Photo: Hive Miner
There’s heavy surrealism, with hints of realism in this trash polka tattoo; you can see it in details like the eye. This is a tattoo that you could stare at for a while, and continue to notice new details.
Photo: Black Poison Tattoos
One of the best designs we’ve come across, in terms of the amount of detail and work that went into this piece. It’s a super realistic eye, showing the reflection of what’s happening in front of this man. The skull at the bottom hints that this might not be a positive image, but it’s definitely in incredible one.
It almost looks like this tattoo features a horror or gaming character. It also looks like she’s being tortured. Notice the spear-like object stabbing through her heart, which is dangling on the tip. She also appears to have had her limbs removed as well. This makes for a beautiful, but very creepy trash polka tattoo.
Photo: World Tattoo Gallery
A very well done, scary joker tattoo done in trash polka style. It’s more refined than other trash polka tattoos, but no less intricate. It’s creepy, it’s detailed, and it has all the expected colours that you get in a trash polka tattoo. There’s no question that the guy in this tat is a villain.
Photo: Berlin Roots
There’s a lot going on in this trash polka tattoo. There’s a clear mix of collage, abstract, and realism, and it makes for a pretty creepy image. You’ve got Mickey Mouse ears on an abstract body with realistic eyes, another realistic eye on the forehead of a doll, and what looks like a dead woman’s face in mourning. We can only guess at what the story behind this tat is!
The Never-Ending Story
Photo: Next Luxury
An incredible amount of work went into this trash polka tattoo – there’s so much intricate detailing and elements to look at that you don’t know where to start! There’s a heart, symbolizing love, and skulls, symbolizing death, but we can really only guess at what story is being told with this amazing tattoo.
There’s no confusing the meaning behind this trash polka tattoo, the circled ‘A’ on the face’s helmet is a dead giveaway that this collage is all about anarchy. What kind of specific anarchy we can’t say, but the backdrop of the symbol is an uber-realistic London, with what looks like splattered blood on the streets. It’s an extremely detailed and skillfully inked tattoo.
Trash polka designs are always unique, and they’re a very recognizable style of tattoo. They’re a great way to tell a story about something that’s meaningful to you, and become a walking canvas for these incredible works of art.
Are you a fan of trash polka tattoos? Let us know in the comments!