I’m happy to release another installment in ModBlog’s series on the transformative journeys of individuals with significant facial modifications! As always, you can hit the “evolution” tag to see the whole series, and if you’d like to take part in a future post, please send me a small collection of headshot photos, starting with before you began modifying yourself, ending with where you’re at now, and a few steps inbetween (I’m easiest to reach at email@example.com or on my Facebook page). If you know someone you think should take part, send them a link to the series and encourage them. Thanks to everyone who has taken part so far. Click to zoom in, and enjoy!
I’ve posted on Mateo’s BME logo pubic scar previously, which has been getting augmented with a growing and glowing aura of dotwork ink geometry by Jodi Lyford of Chimera (chimeratattoo.com) in Santa Cruz. She’s recently done more work on it, and it’s absolutely stunning. And the best thing about it is that it has an extremely realistic beard! But seriously, along with Keff’s dotwork BME logo sleeve and Joeltron’s BME logo backpiece, Matteo’s easily earns a place in my shortlist of best BME-themed body art.
On a barely related note, speaking of Mateo, that reminds me I’ve been meaning to post a picture of the great nostril jewelry that Pauly Unstoppable was wearing in his latest pictures (the connection is that Mateo has done many of Pauly’s piercings). It almost looks like the coils that the Kayan people wear around their necks, and to my surprise is a look that I rarely see even though it’s quite beautiful.
Jason Rice and Dale Mathias were sitting around the shop one day at Pricked Tattoos in Lively, Ontario (near Sudbury), talking about how about the meaning behind different tattoos and also how not every tattoo needs a meaning (“Fuck You, That’s Why!”). They started tossing ideas around, Jason drew up this insane design, and not long afterwards Dale was tattooing “The Ball Sac Cat” on his shin. So now Jason can’t go outside in public with shorts on any more — luckily up in the frozen wasteland where he lives, unlike tropical Toronto, they only have four days of warm weather per year so it’s not a big loss.
I think most people know of the Maori tradition of facial tattooing or Moko, but I suspect most people see this tradition as being about tattooing (as in using needles to poke a design using ink into the skin). At its roots though it’s more likely an extension of their tradition of wood carving — similar patterns are chiseled into their homes, furniture, and boats. Mokos appear to have began by applying this wood art to the human body, literally chiseling or carving designs into the face, using similar tools for similar results. Some time after this practice began, ink was the added to the scars, making them more visible, and in time the tradition slowly moved away from scarification-based methods to tattooing-based ones. Some early photos show the three dimensional nature of Mokos created using the ink-rubbing scarification technique, although by the time Western anthropologists began documenting the practice it was already falling out of fashion.
Anyway, I was reminded of that history when I saw this skin peel done by John Durante (of Seattle-based jewelry company Evolve), which you can see here both fresh and well into healing. I really like the way he has used a sort of “reverse negative space” by cutting out a simple shape, but leaving a circle of skin in the middle untouched. As to why these facial scars inset rather than raising (as most scars do), it’s possible that it’s some evolution that makes facial injuries less likely to disfigure, it could be due to there being less subcutaneous fat, or it could be due to the vascular nature, but I don’t really have a good explanation as to why the majority of facial scars are “innies” rather than “outies”. If there are any medically aware readers that want to save me some googling, I’m like a Ferengi… all ears.
You don’t have to move far off the face for the scarred skin to start being more likely to raise than stay inset. Here’s another good example of a scar showing fresh versus healing, a throat piece done by Brendan Russell of Tribal Urge in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. The sharp-eyed will notice that this isn’t just a skin removal scar by the way — it’s also an ink rubbing done with white ink, which has the interesting side-effect of making the age of the scar difficult to eyeball.
I proudly present part three in a series of entries that at a glance shows individuals with significant facial mods from the beginning of (or before) their transformation to their current state. You can click the “evolution” tag to see the whole set. If you’d like to take part, please get in touch with me along with relevant images, via either email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Facebook. Enjoy, and click to zoom in!
Hand tattoos more than almost any other body part allow the artist to create a tattoo that has movement and life that a static piece could never have. For me, this means that simple yet fluid designs can easily beat out photo realistic mastery dumped flat on the back of a hand, and this tattoo of dots tracing the “mold line” of the hand by Christian Bedics (of Germany’s Time Travelling Tattoo) is a great example. Like all of his tattoos, this dotwork piece is hand poked. I should also mention that Christian is probably better for his scarification work — he’s one of the scarmasters appearing at the First International ScarCon, taking place May 4th and 5th in London.
Speaking of movement in hand tattoos, here’s another, much more whimsical tattoo also by Christian Bedics. Sure beats a finger mustache!
Earlier today I was asked for a referral in the UK for an artist capable of doing an anti-tragus removal, and not much later got an unrelated message from John Durante in Seattle (who you may know better these days for the incredible jewelry he makes at Evolve) showing me the anti-tragus removal he just did on Francesca. For years I’ve been wondering if anti-tragus removal would follow ear stretching and large labrets and be dredged out of humanity’s tribal history and injected into modern culture… maybe that is finally about to happen?
This entry continues in a series that shows the personal aesthetic evolution of people with facial modifications, tracking them from before they started (or as early as they can document) to where they are now, with a few steps in between. If you’d like to take part by the way, please drop me a line via email (email@example.com just for this project; please use the regular channels for normal BME submissions) or on my Facebook page, including at least three relevant photos. Enjoy!
Oh, and an interesting side comment — for a lot of heavily modified individuals, I’ve noticed it’s hard for them to track down unmodified photos (or even sometimes “less modified” photos), as if they’re making efforts to erase any record of who they were before so that their current state can be eternal.
Remember, you can click the “evolution” tag to see all entries of this type.
Pinhead in Florida (find him at Fat Mermaid in Fort Lauderdale) has done some more work on Dizzy’s white ink eyeball tattoo — something that I admit I didn’t initially think would work, but as you can see, wow, it works great and it makes him look like some sort of anime character. The look it produces is completely unreal — in Dizzy it looks cartoonish, especially with the other eye being bright blue, but I can imagine in someone else that it would make them look like an android, pushing them into the uncanny valley.
I’m starting a new series for ModBlog called “Evolution” (so in the future you’ll be able to see all of them by clicking the “evolution” tag). Here are the first eight — more will follow in future entries. The point — as if it’s not obvious — is to show people with prominent facial modifications transitioning from their unmodified form to where they are now, with a picture or two inbetween. Click to zoom them by the way. Without further ado, I bring you…