Viral tattoo FAIL star no more!

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”.

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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.

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Poe by Ondrash

I wanted to share the Czech Republic’s master tattooist Ondrash‘s latest stunner, a stunning bright multi-hue watercolor-style tattoo portrait of Poe. The portrait itself is beautiful of course, but the parts that really jump out at me are the little color blends where the hues flow into each other as if they were actually wet paint on paper. Be sure to check out Ondrash’s website if you like this, as well as the previous ModBlog posts — Eye of the Tiger and The Amazing Ondrash

Inverse Tattoos

Dave Temby, AKA Bleach Methane (bleachmethane.com), is a Minneapolis, Minnesota-based tattoo artist that did this pair of negative/inverse-level tattoos on Joe Galkin, garnering him constant compliments on their uniqueness. I’m sure if you stare long enough at them and let the image work its way into your rods and cones, and then stare at a blank wall, you’ll see the real image floating in front of you, but I’ve made it easier by animating the process for you. Click the picture to see it bigger (but un-animated).

Tattoo healing failure, fixed

David Newman-Stump, owner and artist at Skeleton Crew Tattoo (skeletoncrewtattoo.com) in Columbus, IN, sent me in some photos to help out in my mission to show people what they should expect from tattoo healing (mostly brought on by this entry). The previous post I made showed color tattoo healing, but this one is black and grey shading.

The picture on the left is how the tattoo healed after being done by a generally talented and respected artist with a solid clientele. Fresh it probably looked great — I imagine quite similar to how it appears in the middle photo. Unfortunately tit didn’t heal well, and the client was left with an undefined, faded ghostly tattoo. Thankfully there was nothing wrong with the fundamental shape of the tattoo so it wasn’t terribly challenging for David to go over the tattoo and put the ink in properly. However, if I left you with just his fresh tattoo, not only would I be misleading you about what a tattoo looks like, but you’d also have no way of knowing that the same thing didn’t happen again. So four months later — completely healed — the picture on the right was taken. Now, it is true that a tattoo will continue to degrade from sun damage and skin aging over the lifetime of the wearer, 90% of the change happens in the first month, so this client can be secure in the joy that their tattoo has been successfully repaired.

You should definitely click and zoom to take a better look at the details.

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Juggalo Jesse in Ink

I can’t imagine there’s a single BME regular who doesn’t know Jesse Star, and many of us have known him throughout his remarkable body modification journey (which I’m sure is still ongoing). I was both amused and pleased to see the tattoo that Josh Taylor got in the middle of his back. Yes, it’s true, it’s getting covered up as he blackens himself, but still, I think Jesse can say he’s reached a certain level of bodmod success if people are tattooing his visage on themselves, even temporarily. But my favorite part of the story is that they haven’t just tattooed over him in a single step. As they’re getting close to finished, they’ve “updated” Josh’s Jesse into Juggalo mode!

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Click to zoom that picture for a close-up view of the tattoos. The inset picture is how it started of course. For those that haven’t seen Jesse Star lately, I have to share a recent picture showing a small part of his wonderful collection of body modifications.

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Allen Falkner’s Falkner Suspension Tattoo

A case can be made that the most important person in the creation of the modern suspension is Allen Falkner (see his earlier 2008 interview here or download the MP3 of his audio interview from the BME/radio archives), now of suspension.org (and fadefast.com, his tattoo removal company). Ego-popping arguments aside, it is completely without debate that he has dedicated a significant percentage of his life to the art and science of skin, flesh hook, rope, and air, and he already wears a number of suspension-themed tattoos, and has for as long as I’ve known him. Most recently he’s added a beautiful realistic portrait of a woman doing a knee suspension — knee suspensions being a style that is generally credited to Allen’s invention, and some people go so far as to deservedly call this style of suspension a “Falkner suspension”. The tattoo isn’t complete yet, and is still having a background added, so I hope he doesn’t mind me jumping the gun and sharing it now. The work is being done by Jamie Mahood of Suffer City in Dallas.

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You say you want a revolution

I’m sure some of you have heard of the recent legal troubles artist Shepard Fairey (Obeygiant.com) has been going through.  Regardless of that his art is still some of the most recognizable of this generation, including this piece of a revolutionary woman with a brush.  IAM: AStarOnFire had tattoo artist Ryan Hewell of The Big Easy Tattoo in Broomfield, CO tattoo this recreation of Fairey’s art on her arm.

Check out the twins

Here’s a pair of portraits by Victor Policheri that was sent in by Marteforsberg.  Both tattoos are based on artwork by Lani Imre, and were done at separate tattoo conventions.  The left one was done at the 2011 Oslo Tattoo Convention and the right at the Gothenburg Ink Festival 2012.  Bonus points to Marteforsberg for getting a shirt that matches the colours perfectly.

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