Cesar De Cesaro was born in Porto Alegre, Brazil. The year was 1978. He first became aware of tattooing in 1991, during the Rock in Rio festival, and since then he wanted to get tattooed. It was a few years later in 1994 that he got his first real tattoo, after quite a few lick and stick ones! In 1998 he met another aspiring tattoo artist, Caroli Dilli, and both decided to join forces and learn the trade the best way they could. One year later, a tattoo shop called Casa de Xiva was born. “We didn’t know exactly how to do things, and we were learning along the way. All we knew was that we had talent and that we could do it. It was a harder path as neither of us had had a proper tattoo apprenticeship, and apprenticeships were not common at the time.” In 2004, despite still having his shop up and running, Cesar travelled to Holland to see what the world of tattooing had to offer overseas, in search of tattooing knowledge and to visit a friend. This trip lasted 6 months, during which he had a chance to work as the main tattooist at Amsterdam Tattoo Center. During his stay, he improved his view of tattooing as a culture in one of the countries in the world that most loves tattoos. He also made friends and travelled around the country experiencing a different culture and meeting other artists. He also had a chance to visit Tattoo Peter. Opened in 1955, it is the oldest tattoo shop in Holland and one of the oldest in the world. Back in Brazil, after choosing different paths with his business partner and with nothing to hold him back, Cesar decided to travel and see what else he could learn about life, tattooing, and in search of its origins.
In 2007, soon after moving to Sardegna, Italy, he started working at Pix Tattoo Olbia, with an Italian tattoo artist and friend Luigi Picciani. It was a great experience but Cesar soon realised his journey wouldn’t end there. He then decided to move to one of the most tattooed countries in the world: England. His love for Black Sabbath’s music and his search for tattooing knowledge took him to Birmingham, where he was lucky to find a chair in one of the most reputable tattoo shops in town. “It was a busy shop, but I soon realised I didn’t quite fit in”, he remembers. This was when he was struck with the ultimate idea: to open his own shop. “I met people that helped, and without that help it would have been impossible for me at that time, but I pretty much had to do most of it on my own.” Spending 3 months building up the shop, Cesar had the time and ideas to create the ultimate tattoo shop. “It was all perfect. It had all you can imagine in a quality tattoo shop, and it was spacious enough to have a skate ramp inside and 3 tattooists and a piercer working without problems.” It turned out that the city council had other plans, and with relatively short notice and no compensation, the shop had to relocate. “I knew I wasn’t going to find another spacious place like that again, so once we relocated we lost the skate ramp space, money and some customers.” It was still good, he says, but the location wasn’t ideal. Body Garden Tattoo was open for 10 years, it became synonymous with quality tattoos and changed people’s expectations of what a tattoo shop should look like.
After all these years in the trade, Cesar is now an experienced tattoo artist with a wide understanding of the tattoo world, techniques and is someone that can help you to have a much better tattoo experience. A Birmingham-based artist, Cesar is also in contact with other shops for guest spots around the UK.