Artist and designer, Stella Nanni, lives in Sao Paulo and is internationally awarded for her sustainable art.
She has held several exhibitions in Brazil and abroad, an her works are sought by collectors such as Roberto Marinho, Julio Bozano, Jorge Gerdau Johannpeter, André Lara Rezende, Ronaldinho, Doda and Athina Onassis.
Artworks by Stella Nanni hang on walls around the world. She has shipped her paintings to Chile, Argentina, Mexico, Portugal, Belgium, Luxembourg, Italy and China.
A few years ago Stella added a new branch to her artistic career and started tattooing together with her son, Gabriel.
Then, in 2017, a close friend of hers was diagnosed with breast cancer and needed to get a mastectomy.
Afterwards, she decided to get a tattoo that would recreate the natural shapes of her breast, which inspired Stella greatly, helping her find a new way of helping people.
Stella and Gabriel founded the Tattoo Truck Tour and traveled to several places in Latin America providing free tattoos for cancer survivors.
The covid-19 pandemic interrupted that project, but as borders reopened and new opportunities arose we wanted to help the Tattoo Truck Tour get off to a fresh start so we invited Stella and Gabriel to come to Awasi Iguazu to help “heal” the scars of a group of local women.
We invite you to watch this short film where Stella speaks to women who have suffered in various ways and have wounds they would like to cover up. Stella helps them find beauty again.
The Power of Art – Stella at Awasi Iguazu
How did you start tattooing? For how long have you been doing this?
I’ve always worked with painting and sculpture. Then, 8 years ago, I started tattooing together with my son Gabriel. It is a wonderful experience, because we exchange ideas, help each other and thus evolve together. He constantly brings me out of my comfort zone which I find very motivating.
And how did the tattooing evolve to helping people by covering their scars?
We are from a family of doctors, my father was a doctor, my mother was a doctor and my sister is a doctor, so you could say helping people has always been in our blood.
It was inevitable to always ask ourselves how we could help people with our art. And every time we finished a tattoo we realized: people leave different than they arrived.
Most tattoos, it doesn’t matter if you are covering a scar or not, are significant to people.
They are a way to honour somebody or something or reflect a part of their identity. And specifically when you are helping somebody improve a physical aspect, the change in people’s lives with the improvement in self-esteem is impressive.
Do you have a special connection to nature?
I love animals; I have a very strong connection with them and nature. I have a particularly strong connection to horses and ride them daily, so I know how sensible animals can be and how importat it is for my wellbeing to be in touch with them.
There is also something about nature that inspires me, and I seem to connect to healing, because I am naturally drawn to using florals and plants in our designs. Sometimes the person that is being tattooed does not have a specific design in mind, and we tend to gravitate towards those options every time we suggest a drawing.
The sheer kindness of animals and the understanding that we are all connected reinforces my desire to do something that can improve someone’s life.