When Gato Piercer down in Bogota, Colombia first did this heavy “FUCK YOU” graffiti skin peeling, I had some doubt about how it would heal — and I’m told he got a lot of the inter-studio crap that’s way too common in this industry, where people accuse each other of being scratcher-monsters and fighting when they really should be working together since we’re all on the same team, even when we’re competing for the same customer dollars. Back to the point, I’m very happy to be able to post an update of this scar two months later and show you that the healing has been remarkably even, and more importantly, kept its detail. My worry was that the interior negative space might not survive, so I was pleased to see everything turned out great.
Zoom in for a closer look.
I’ve featured the remarkable work coming out of Friedrichshain, Germany’s Scratcher’s Paradise Tattoo (scratchers-paradise.de) before, both with a full gallery post and a stunning half-sock tattoo. Today though I want to show a very unique forearm tattoo, a series of broad black ink brushstrokes, with fine detail scribbles mixed in. The tattoo is especially interesting conceptually when you realize that it is both effectively masking and covering up while simultaneously echoing and enhancing a series of scars on the wearer’s arm that appear to be the random slashes of self-harm.
Speaking of unusual ears, Sophie Lacroix just had this beautiful unalome cut on her cheek by Efix Roy (efixroy.com), but while the skin removal scar is very nice, what really caught my eye was the wonderful notch she has cut into the rim of her helix. This was also done by Efix, first four years ago and then again last winter to fine-tune the shape, using a scalpel cut-and-suture technique, with the sutures being removed a week later and the healing going quickly after that. Only the one ear was done, with the main reason being a love for unique aesthetics and unusual procedures. Most people she knows aren’t that into it, or assume it’s an injury or the result of an infection from a piercing gone wrong, but it’s for her not for them. She says, “all my modifications make me feel better, and I’m not a crazy girl who doesn’t like herself — I just love the way modifications make you different and beautiful. People don’t like what they can’t understand and I deal with that. My ear was pretty normal, then I cut it, and I love it — it’s that simple.”
Click to zoom in for a closer look.
Ash Bagwell, piercer at The Machine Shop Tattoo Studio in Conroe, TX just got the rare opportunity to do what is I think best described as a daith piercing, but it took really taking a hard look at the anatomy to be certain of that. It’s not 100% clear from the photo so I’ll clarify that this is an actual piercing through an unusual fold of cartilage, not a ring wrapped around a free-floating bridge of tissue. Ash did the piercing using a 16ga needle which she slightly curved, into a receiving tube. It’s always a treat when people don’t try and hide their unique anatomy, but instead glorify it with a piercing or other modification!
I’m sure everyone knows what halftoning is, if not by name — it’s creating a photographic image by using a pattern of dots, with the dots being different sizes to represent different levels of darkness. Like how newspapers print photos. What you may not know is that you don’t have to use dots — lines are commonly used (and in fact are a built in feature in most photo editing software), but this is the first time I’ve ever seen a tattoo take a common geometric swastika pattern and mix it up with halftoning techniques to represent a photographic image through variance in the line weight of a geometric tattoo. I suspect though it’s no surprise that this Buddha comes from London’s Divine Canvas (divine-canvas.com), tattooed by Delphine Noiztoy as a design collaboration with Myoshka. If you’re thinking the skin of the tattoo looks a little annoyed, that may be because it was done over a single brutally long eleven hour sit. I’m thrilled though to see people finding new ways to express geometric tattooing, because after a while it starts to all look the same — no one is going to say that about this one though!!! Click the cropped photo to see an uncropped version.
Over five years since tattooing a small part of my eye blue in the very first set of eye tattoo procedures — the day that opened Pandora’s Box and launched perhaps the riskiest but most exciting body mod procedure to date — Howie (LunaCobra.net) has done the next and perhaps final stage of my eye tattoos. As you may know, my blue eyes are at least in part inspired by the Eyes of Ibad that the Fremen of Arrakis (ie. Dune) get due to their constant exposure to the powerful drug melange. Normally when Howie does an eye tattoo, the wearer is looking for a solid color — although there are obvious exceptions like Pauly Unstoppable’s unbelievable “cosmic eyes” which involve complex gradients. In my eyes we went with the “less is more” theory, using the fact that ink injected in the eye spreads dramatically to create a hazy, cloudy effect that looks different from every angle, mostly quite subtle, but almost blue-black in a few deeply saturated spots. The eye is both subtle and extreme, in an effect that’s completely alien, yet maintains its humanity and is almost even normal — I’ve noticed in public that people seem unsure what they’re seeing, whether it’s natural, or a trick of the light, or something induced.
The effect will probably continue to change somewhat over the next several months. These pictures in this entry were taken on day three, about 48 hours after the procedure, and at that point all swelling and irritation was already long gone — in fact it was gone 12 hours later, or when I woke up the next morning. I believe this is in part Howie’s experience, and in part how light we went with the procedure. I truly believe that with eye tattoos, it’s important to err on the side of going light — you can always add more in a few months (or in five years) if you went light, but if you go heavy, well, you’re going to have to live with it.
Remember, if you are interested in eye tattoos, these are a high-risk procedure that should only be attempted by those with significant experience and training. Please begin by reading BME’s Eye Tattoo FAQ.
When I first posted about “Rob” and his lower urethral incision performed by Mac “Doctor-Evil” Mccarthy, I mentioned that he now wears jewellery through it, which stirred a lot of curiosity. He has allowed me to share a few shots as well as letting me in on how it affects daily activities. Keep reading to see more (NSFW warning!)
Speaking of Yann Brënyàk of Body Temple (londonbodytemple.com), another in his growing arsenal of modifications is this scar on his leg, totally self performed, which is always very impressive to me even though there’s no shortage of self-blading in this world. The core swastika heart design is great, and I like the way that he’s mixed heavy bands of skin peeling with find detail scarwork with the swastika geometry background pattern. Another nice touch is the random slashing around the border, which if you know Yann’s facial tattooing, is a motif that is echoed across his identity.
Those with long memories may recall way, way, way back in 2007 Hugh Mattay, now modifying people at 119 Tattoo (oneonenine.com.au) in Sydney, had his batwing eyebrow tattoos posted here. Since then he’s had a lot of tattooing added to his forehead, with the stripes exploding out over his temples being perhaps my favorite of the bunch. But he’s also been piercing himself this week, adding first the medusa piercing, and now a pair of cheek piercings. I’m always impressed when people do their own labrets or medusas because it’s so hard to judge one’s own facial symmetry, and it only takes being off my a millimeter to look wrong.
Yann Brënyàk of Body Temple in London (londonbodytemple.com), already heavily modified with abstract and artistic blackwork tattooing, has undertaken a project to complete and transform his body, with a great deal of work planned. One of the most recent additions is tattooing on his ears by shopmate Made Max, who has decorated them with a combination of black lines and dotwork, as well as text in white. Follow his transformation at facebook.com/BodyIllusion.
PS. For a full shot of Yann, don’t miss the suspension wallpaper posted in August.