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.
Adding onto his already epic chrome mohawk, chrome sideburns, full fire-and-water headpiece, and Wutang beard, Whitey Black just had Justin Mccroy of Under the Needle Tattoo in Seattle create this permanent oldschool handlebar mustache tattoo. He explained it to me saying, “the comical aspect is that ‘nothing says classy like a gentleman with a well groomed mustache’… and believe me I am not classy and far from being a gentleman!”
The tattoo is fresh in this photo, which is why there’s some fluid beading up on it (either that or Whitey just sneezed) — click the picture for a closer look.
While I’m talking about Whitey’s work, let me show you his scalp tattoo, also by Justin, because it’s so bold I don’t think I could live with myself without including it in this post!
I wanted to show three separate dotwork designs this afternoon, each of them showing a slightly different approach to the medium. The first piece I want to show is by Kenji Alucky (blackinkpower.com), an incredibly complex strobing pattern with the bands flashing on and off in a series of overlaid reversals, all orbiting around a central sun.
Next, a gorgeous chestpiece by Argentina’s Nazareno Tubaro (nazareno-tubaro.com), heartshaped field of dotwork stripes with a pair of mirrored Maori curls in negative space, creating a simple, powerful design. This was done while doing a guest spot at Denmark’s amazing Skin & Bone (skinandbone.dk).
This last one doesn’t have remotely the technical precision or complexity of the first two, but I still like it a lot (and you know I’ve never felt that complexity is needed for a great tattoo). This spiral was created by Wayne Fredrickson of Zodiac Tattoo Studio in Moreno Valley, CA, machine-poked on the palm of his spiral. Wayne tells me that his apprentice couldn’t stay still, with his fingers curling and his arm lifting in reflex action beyond his control — I think the exact quote was “it was like tattooing on a rollercoaster”. It’s lucky this was a dotwork design, because if it had been anything else, it would have likely been scribble city, an impersonation of a John Callahan cartoon.
Speaking of small implants, another one I saw recently that really struck me was this little tiny martini-glass implant put into his fiancé’s ear by Brendan Russel of Tribal Urge in Newcastle, NSW, Australia. When I first saw it, I actually thought that it was a white ink tattoo, because that’s how it comes off in photos (I’m sure there’s a subtlety to the design that you can only see in person). The implant was hand-carved by Brendan, and is incredibly thin, just 1.5mm (a little smaller than the diameter of a 14ga ring), with the edges all carefully rounded to ensure it doesn’t irritate the sensitive skin of the ear — the only part of the body that you could put something this small into and still have it show.
And speaking of hand-carved martini implants, you may remember this piece which was featured in the ModCon book (so this is from the “early days” of implants). Because this was going in a much fleshier location than the ear, it’s much, much larger, and even at this size it barely shows in its healed state.
I really like this heart-shaped implant at the apex of Anka’s forehead, done by Chai at CALM Body Modification (calmbodymod.com) in Stockholm. Unlike most forehead implants — horns, ridges, and so on — which create alien or fantasy morphology, this implant is much more unique, creating more of an accent or character mark, the sort of thing one would more commonly see from a tattoo. The piece is a few years old in this photo, and was hand-carved out of silicone.
In terms of his body, the singular thing that should separate Adam (as in the myth of “Adam and Eve”) from all other humans is that he doesn’t have a navel, seeing as he was sculpted out of mud rather than being birthed of a woman. A navel of course is the scar that remains from the severed umbilical cord, proof of mammalian birth, something that every human other than the first man, created by the hand of god in his own image, bears. This makes the navel removal procedure interesting to me — metaphorically it disconnects a person from their “long chain of biological reproduction”, turns them into a being sculpted not by biology, but by “the hand of god”. In this case, the hand of god could be the body modification practitioner, or even the person themselves, so I really appreciate what the procedure says — that we are our own gods, dictating our own fates and morphology.
Of course, some people just like the way it looks, and I don’t want to attach meaning to other people’s mods — I just really enjoy the musing one can do about this rare piece of body art. There are of course many other tales and motivations one could attach to it (for example, “f* you mom!”), like any other procedure.
Above is a navel removal — click to enlarge — done by Samppa Von Cyborg (voncyb.org), one of the only people I’d trust to do this advanced procedure. The left photo shows it at two months into healing, and on the right side it’s at eleven months. Down the middle you can see photos from a navel removal procedure (on a different person, but the procedure is the same). As you can see, the basic steps are skinning the navel down to its base and then closing it with a combination of internal and external sutures. I think it’s very important to note that as “easy” as that may seen, this is an extremely difficult procedure. On an aesthetic level, it takes a profound knowledge of the way the body heals and the anatomy — an understanding of the navel’s structure and a detailed knowledge of the way the collagen fibers run so they can be appropriately bonded, plus the ability to apply that understanding the the significant difference from person to person — to do this procedure inside an acceptable margin of safety.
Without that knowledge the procedure will almost certainly simply replace the original “navel scar” with a different sort of scar, to say nothing of the health risk. The APP has in the past warned that “outie” navels should not be done because an infection could travel inward along the old scar to the liver (which the umbilical cord once attached to). I don’t share that analysis, but I do agree that an infection trapped inside a navel removal, perhaps due to incomplete excision of tissue (for example a hair follicle) or any number of potential mistakes, could easily become life threatening.
I’ve posted lots and lots of tattoos that move with the body, be it simple fluidity, tattoos that change their form or meaning with the body’s position, or even “animated” tattoos like the pussy finger gag tattoo from earlier today. This example though is done in skin removal scarification, by Natalia Carrascosa or Blue Tattoo Gava in Barcelona. The client, an exotic animal enthusiast, designed the piece (with a little fine-tuning by Natalia) to echo the eyes of a puma. The first photo is fresh (as if you can’t tell), and the second photo shows it on the left at just over a month into the healing, and on the right at just under a year.
Jester Mayhone (facebook.com/Jestermayhone) is one of those very rare individuals who has chosen to undergo a concept transformation — where the majority of his modifications all work together push him toward a new total-body artistic vision. Other well known individuals on the short list of those who’ve done include The Lizardman, The Enigma, and the late Dennis Avner. If you’d like to learn more about Jester and his art, both his body and his paintings, you can here’s an earlier more extensive post, but the short version is that he’s using tattoos and other body modifications to evolve himself into his vision of a jester.
Jester jokes that yesterday he had the “best Valentines day ever” as he headed down to see his friends at Tomah Tattoo who, after sketching various ideas on his face freehand (based on designs Jester had spent weeks drawing on photos of himself), decided to go ahead and set it in ink. Only the start of the linework is done now, but when it’s finished it’ll be colored in with random patches — the mock-up I drew is there to illustrate what it might become and is just a quick “what if” Photoshop job. For me the design brings to mind many themes — I see everything from Jester’s main theme to horror movie masks, patched-together scarecrow and ragdolls, and even a bit of Frankenstein’s monster!
Zoom in for a larger view. Once his entire body is done like this, he will be one of the most striking and uniquely tattooed creatures walking the planet.
These sorts of bulky, visually striking implants seemed more common about ten years ago, so when I first saw these awesome megaridges done at Adiccion Corporal in Zapopan, Jalisco, Mexico, at first I thought they were old pictures. This impressive forearm ridges are custom carved teflon bars (a harder material than silicone, but much easier to hand-carve), with the large one being 12.5cm long and the smaller one 9.5cm, in 14mm and 12mm diameters respectively. Even though they’re quite large, these are first-generation implants. In the first photo you can see what the bars looked like prior to implanting.
It’s fresh in the large photo, but Dustin’s tail-wagging black cat finger tattoo was done for him by Sean Holmes at Altered Image in Indianapolis about a year ago. The animated version is how it looks now and in motion. Admittedly, it doesn’t make a very convincing mustache, but I’m sure the pose leads to many vaguely inappropriate jokes about sniffing the pussy on his finger.