Who Cleo Wattenström? Meet Joel Kinnaman's tattoo artist ex-wife

Max Seeley January 19, 2021
Who Cleo Wattenström? Meet Joel Kinnaman's tattoo artist ex-wife
Photo by JB Lacroix/ Getty Images

Who is Cleo Wattenström? The Swedish-American tattoo artist is currently capturing the public’s imagination following news that her ex-husband, actor Joel Kinnaman, just got engaged to model Kelly Gale.

Who is Cleo Wattenström?

Cleo Wattenström, aka Cleo Kinnaman, was born on 20 June, 1992 in Belgium. She is famous as a Swedish-American tattoo artist and for being the ex-wife of Swedish actor Joel Kinnaman.

Cleo started dating Kinnaman in 2014, but they kept their marriage secret until 2016, when Joel referred to Cleo as “my wife” while promoting the movie Suicide Squad.

Joel revealed on The Late Late Show with James Corden that his wedding to Cleo was a low-key event. Apparently, they were married on San Vicente Boulevard, California with a “same day marriage”.

Cleo and Joel announced they were splitting after two years of marriage and it has been reported that the pair have remained friends since, even being spotted together with groups of friends.

Earlier today, Joel announced his engagement to Victoria’s secret model, Kelly Gale.

Cleo Wattenström’s tattoo artist career

When Cleo was living in Stockholm, Sweden, she dropped out of school at the age of 14 to pursue her dream of becoming a tattoo artist.

After taking an apprenticeship with a local artist, Cleo began to craft her own style and now uses exclusively black and white ink as a homage to her love of black and white cinema.

Cleo has described her favourite style of tattooing as “something with a realistic element in it”. She says that the style she has become best known for is “realistic ladies, pictures of girls. Portrait-like but not necessarily of someone particular.”

Cleo Wattenström currently owns her private studio, Shanti Tattoo, located in Venice, California, while occasionally working out of a southern-based studio, too.

Cleo has also worked as a model, posing for several glamour magazines in a variety of genres, including goth, pin-up, horror and retro. She has also featured on the front covers of Inked Magazine and Tattoo Life.

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Max is currently studying Multimedia Journalism at Bournemouth University. Having played guitar for around ten years with different bands, he's always got a keen eyes on what’s happening in the music scene. Likewise, literature has also always played a large role in Max's life since reading On The Road as a teenager.