Roses are a complex flower, and a popular tattoo. Obvious symbolism may be delicate beauty or love, but there is a wealth of culture behind rose symbolism that can be different based on different elements, including color and whether or not the rose is “open.”
This awesome abstract rose tattoo was done by Jay-Cee Rademeyer, of Zen Ink Professional Tattoo Studio in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The rose originated in Persia where it was seen as a masculine symbol. Over the years, it has become associated with femininity, however, the flower is popular with both men and women. Although the rose tattoo carries a plethora of meanings today, it used to only represent love.

In fact, the rose tattoo gained popularity in the 1930s because sailors often got them inked on their bodies as reminders of their wives, girlfriends, and mothers. The general public later followed this trend, and it was common for men to get roses tattooed on their chests with their lover’s name incorporated into the design.

In mythology, Aphrodite (the Greek goddess of love) was often depicted with roses adorning her head, feet, and neck. This can be interpreted many ways, but the association comes from a rose bush that grew within a pool of blood spilled by her slain lover (Adonis), and so a common interpretation is that the rose symbolizes an immortal love that withstands time and even death. In tarot, the rose is considered a symbol of balance. The beauty of this flower expresses promise, hope, and new beginnings. It is contrasted by thorns symbolizing defense, loss, and thoughtlessness.

The abstract style of tattooing is growing on a daily basis and has allowed both artists as clients to combine elements and ideas that traditionally would not be accepted within the main stream market. The ideas and possibilities are endless, with unique and meaningful tattoos being produced at top class studios like Zen Ink in Johannesburg.

Jay-Cee Rademeyer completed this abstract rose tattoo in a single session using a professional Coil Tattoo Machine, Dynamic Tattoo Ink, Fusion Tattoo Ink, Eternal Tattoo Ink, Green Soap and Stencil Stuff.

To see more of Jay-Cee Rademeyers work, please visit or for any additional information regrading the studio feel free to come and visit us at our studio in Boskburg.

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