Life, liberty, and the pursuit of modification

The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots & tyrants. It is it’s natural manure.

–Thomas Jefferson

Now, when it comes to quotes from the founding fathers, there’s always room for interpretation.  Context is always key, which is something that tends to be forgotten in today’s political climate.  One thing is definite, the line about “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness”, was a notion that at its core is a positive one.  Now people can debate until they’re blue in the face about how those ideals should be met, and what the original intentions behind them were, but if you were to just take the statement on its own, it certainly is applicable to the modified community.  For the most part, all any of us want is to be able to express ourselves in any way we see fit.  It just so happens that it involves modifying the physical body, as opposed to making a statement in a letter or painting a picture.

Recently Brian performed this blended scarification and branding piece on one of his clients.  With the choice of the word liberty as the focus of the piece, the owner is showing off just how she is able to exercise her free will, and take control of her own body in a way she sees fit.


As to whether the owner got this scar/brand with the famous words in mind, only she will ever know.  As observers we can just sit back and interpret it however we see fit, which is exactly what the philosophy of liberty allows us to do.

You can get a closer look at this piece in the Brian Decker gallery, and if you’re so inclined, feel free to leave a comment on the photo.  If you’re logged into your BME account you can add a comment to any image in the galleries.

6 thoughts on “Life, liberty, and the pursuit of modification

  1. i really like it that even though the piece is intended to look like kind of “messy,” that you can still see the precision with which it was done. great piece, great artist.

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