It used to be that when you thought of insane over-the-top implementations of body modification and ritual, South Americans couldn’t be beat. But lately when it comes to bringing the crazy, it’s been impossible to the Russians, what with things like freefall suspension and now this four hundred hook suspension, facilitated in part by Modblog regular Maxim Yampolskiy, who is perhaps best known for his creative and innovative silicone implant work.
The idea was born in mid-December 2012 in the mind of Artem Kovalenko (of Krasnodar’s ArtMod Team) who went on to do the suspension. After reading about a 220-hook world record suspension (which I haven’t seen, but you may recall the 178-hook suspension I posted back in 2006, and the 296-hook suspension from later that year), he decided not just to break it, but to completely shatter it. He contacted Max (of Moscow’s Brutal Forms Group) and Renat Khalitov (of Astrakhan’s Blood Brothers Team) and since Max already had a hundred small hooks ready to go that he’d been hoping to use on something like this, he bought three hundred more and a plane ticket. They all got together in Krasnodar on February 13th, 2013, and because of time limitations on when they could use the space, Max and Renat began throwing hooks about two hours after their flights landed!
Tongue tattoos are one of the holy grails of body modification, and while there has been success in permanently staining tongues to a new color by injecting ink into the muscle (which may or may not be safe), few people have achieved consistent success in tattooing actual designs that last. It certainly can be done, but it’s rare, and I can’t tell you that anyone has it figured out — for all I know the cases in which it was successful had more to do with the individual’s anatomy than the technique used by the artist. The main problem is that the lingual epithelium, mucosa, and taste buds “wear out” quickly with the entire surface of the tongue regenerating roughly every ten days.
Darrin had such an over-the-top WIN with his incredible leg tattoos by Leo Zulueta (click here to see them, and if you don’t know what they represent, think of his old “wlfdrgn” screenname), that he can’t be too upset that his tongue tattoo fell in the FAIL file. In 2011 he had Eric Clark experimentally tattoo his tongue using a machine, and as you can see it fell out almost immediately. An unsuccessful tattoo on normal skin usually lasts a week, but Darrin’s tongue tattoo was already well on it’s way out by the day after, and by day three, the majority was gone. The final picture below is how his tongue appears now. There are still particles of ink — which shows it’s possible — but the vast majority fell out.
Click for zoom in, as always.
Anyone have better success with a tongue tattoo? Send them in, I’d love to see them. BME’s small gallery of tongue tattoo photos as well as the tongue tattoo posts on ModBlog seem to show only fresh examples, with no healed pieces, suggesting to me that they likely all fell out. I’d love to know the answer — is it as simple as tattooing super deep and planting the pigment in the permanent muscle tissue? Or does it just require a dozen touch ups? Or…?
By now, either from ModBlog or from viral media, you know the romantic story of Lesya and Rouslan Toumaniantz (click that link if you live under a rock) and all the fuss that her facial tattoo of his name across her face generated, a tattoo they did not long after their love-at-first-sight meeting. I wanted to share these recent photos of the healed tattoo — say what you want about the story behind the tattoo, but wow, Lesya really makes this tattoo work! It looks great on her — of course it helps that she’s beautiful and photogenic to start — and you can click any of these photos to see them at a large size.
One of my favorite thing about eye tattoos is that in many cases, they look different from day to day and from photo to photo. This is in part because of the way the ink is suspended over a nearly white backing and under a transparent “laminate” (unlike a “normal” tattoo, which is mixed into almost opaque tissue underneath a later of genetics-tinted translucent skin), and in part because the pigment particles are floating between these two layers, not locked in place, and slowly move around due to a variety of factors (for example, gravity, pressure from eyelids, or rubbing from fingers). For example, click this photo of Rattoo’s over-the-top blue eyeballs (done by Brazil’s Rafael Leão Dias of Dhar-Shan Body Art Tattoo & Piercing) to see a collage of fifteen different photos of his eyes over the last month or two. I should also mention that the tongue split he’s showing off was done not long ago (I think a few weeks in this photo) by Rafael.
Rafael by the way is arguably the most prolific eyeball tattoo artist in Brazil, if not in South America as a whole, and has done quite a few interesting people and well-known body modification microstars — for example, Rodrigo Musquito (first line of photos below, with the full-face skull tattoo), pro MMA fighter Danver Santos (second line of photos below), and mega-modded-couple Victor Peralta and Ana Diabolick (who you may notice flanking Danver in the final photo). Danver fights with Team Nogueira, under heavyweight Minotauro Nogueira, and when I chatted with him about the eye tattoos about a month ago, he told me that his black eyeball tattoos were driving crowds completely crazy and had fans clamoring for photos! They do look amazing, but my only worry is that eye tattoos can be damaged by pressure and I’m not sure eye tattoos are entirely compatible with MMA — time will tell. Click the photos below to see them at full size.
I promise I won’t make a habit of reposting viral images, but I thought this one was worth it. Scott Versago, tattoo artist at Akron’s Empire Ink (empire-ink.com), got to “tackle the official #1 worst portrait tattoo in the world”.
I don’t know if I’d agree that it’s the #1 worst — I’ve seen some scary portraits — but there’s no denying that this tattoo was terrible enough to make nearly every blog post cataloging portrait tattoo calamities, to the point where it’s one of the world’s most famous tattoos. As Scott says, “I’m sure you’ve all seen it a million times online, as had I.” He continues,
“I couldn’t believe my eyes when this guy walked in and showed me this project. I think my jaw literally hit the floor. He went on to tell me the story behind the portrait; He had just married his beautiful wife and not even three months afterwards she was killed in a horrible house fire accident leaving him to raise their three children alone. Shortly after he went to a local tattoo studio to memorialize his wife and was left with this abomination. He later returned to that studio for one more session, thinking that perhaps “he had done something wrong in the healing of the tattoo” and they butchered it even more the second time. Touched by his story, I gifted the entire project to him for free. Now he has closure and I have an amazing story to add to my portfolio!”
The story really puts a guilt-trip on all the posts torturing this guy, don’t they? But it is wonderful to hear the story, and it’s made even more wonderful when you see the salvation that Scott Versago provided. Click for a larger look at this absolutely beautiful proof that even hilariously bad tattoos can be saved with a rework by a talented artist.
Cut in half and thus first believed to be a store mannequin when discovered, the body of Elizabeth Short, better known as The Black Dahlia, was found in a truly horrific state. Quoting from Wikipedia,
Short’s severely mutilated body was severed at the waist and completely drained of blood. Her face had been slashed from the corners of her mouth toward her ears, creating an effect called the Glasgow smile. Short also had multiple cuts on her thigh and breasts, where entire portions of flesh had been removed.
I mention this before posting a picture of Kenny Wagner’s new brands, done by Jeremy Pauley of Modern Relic Modifications, so you don’t jump to the conclusion that he’s a Joker (as in Batman‘s nemesis) superfan. Kenny tells me that he’s been long fascinated by the look of an expanded smile with “a darker twist to it” and after coming across images of the Dahlia cuts in horror movies the idea became set in his mind. The horror twist works especially well due to his black eyeball tattoos (the left done by Jeremy who did the brands, and the right by Chance Davis) — although he does admit it gets a little annoying having to constantly hear about Heath Ledger (“…but I’m quite polite most of the time, or sometimes even act like I’ve never even seen the movie!”).
Loran Shumway, piercer and body modification artist at Eclectic Body Art in Olean, NY got a tattoo of one of the many variations on the classic Dr. BME logo on his nape, done this past Monday by Robbie Mills of Something Beautiful in Jamestown, NY. I asked him why this particular version and he explained that he bumped into this one while searching for the original artwork*. Since as a practitioner he enjoys doing lots of implants, “I figured the one with more implants was a better fit for me!” After the picture of his new tattoo is a recent implant he performed, a silicone infinity symbol (from Steve Haworth’s collection), both fresh and a week into the healing.
* Note to other searchers, you can find most of the basic logos by looking up “BME Logo” in the BME wiki, although there are many variations missing… The page is desperately out of date.
I love this Madballs tattoo that Nicky B had done by BobbyT — an old BME friend that some of you may remember from back yard BBQs at the old Queen/Bathurst Toronto BME HQ — at Sleepy Hollow Tattoo in Welland, Ontario. Nicky got this done because he was a big fan of the toys as a kid — each of the Madballs toys came with an official painting (that reminds me a lot of Ed Roth “Rat Fink” hotrod art), and this is one of them.
On February 1st, 2008, Gabriele of Maxart Bodypiercing in Rome, Italy did a scalpelled nape procedure, and a year later it had healed nicely (as you can see in the left image below). A little redness and scarring around the edges (zoom in for a closer look), but almost none of the rejection or migration as is common with surface piercings done without surface-specific jewelry. By using a scalpel rather than a needle to create a large, non-destructive hole, big enough to form a “flap” that could sit comfortably over the jewelry without the jewelry putting pressure on the tissue above it, Gabriele avoided using something like a surface bar specifically designed to mitigate the pressures that lead to tissue dying off. Surface bars are great of course, but many people prefer the look of a ring to a pair of beads, especially in this age of microdermals. As you can see in the right two pictures, taken at five years after the piercing was done, it’s remained very solid long-term — and as the late Erl proved, piercings like this (his nape was almost identical) can last for decades.
Third Eye Perception Suspension (ThirdEyePerception.com) just hosted a touching tandem suspension for their good friend Joey, who has been with the team since their “very rocky start”, and who recently become father to a bouncing baby boy… “Bouncing”, literally, loving bobbing up and down in his jumper, so they wanted to set up a suspension for Joey and his son, combining their overlapping loves of suspension. Third Eye tells me,
“We rigged Joey into a modified face down suspension so that he could see his child and hold him while suspending, and everything went as amazing as could be. It was very emotional, and we all enjoyed seeing Joey lecture his little toddler as to not rushing into getting any tattoos or piercings until he was good and ready. Little Ward smiled the entire time and seemed to thoroughly enjoy himself, as you can see from the other photos, he was smiling the entire time and seemed to really enjoy getting some air while attached to his father.”
“The adorable climax was when after detaching Ward from Joey, he fell right asleep with the most adorable smile on his face.”
Joey (and Ward’s mother as well) both have “straight-world jobs” and are completely dedicated parents who “have given the entirety of themselves into making sure Ward is loved and cared for from the moment he wakes up”, but unsurprisingly they still got feedback on this suspension telling them that it was “child abuse” (among other criticisms). The unfortunate reality is that there have been multiple cases where suspension and body modification interests have played a role in causing people to lose their children, usually in the case of things like this being used as ammunition in bitter divorces by one parent against another. It’s sad for there to be any criticism of something like this suspension, beautiful from the conception, to the realization, to the epilogue.
There are more pictures after the break (and I should add that Joey’s scars on his shoulder blades were done by Pineapple of Shaman Modifications in Austin, Texas). If you have the bandwidth, enjoy the video in fullscreen, as it’s been posted at HD quality.