Ferank (facebook.com/ferank.manseed), a handpoke tattooist who I’ve written about here before, points out that humanity has always had a close relationship with metal, not just as an object of wealth that never tarnishes or oxidizes, but also as a magical metal with healing properties — Ferank recalls his grandmother being given gold injections for her arthritis. Longterm readers may recall back in 2006 when I wrote about Islamic gold implants, and there are also Eastern monks who perform gold implants for a variety of spiritual reasons. Up until the early 1900s, Western doctors would sometimes implant a small piece of metal near an inflamed joint, and even today gold nanoparticles are being injected to fight prostate cancer!
Whether you believe this is placebo medicine, spiritual medicine, or hard science, it is undeniable that gold has an intimate and profound relationship with the human experience that few materials have, so he set out to tattoo himself with gold. This wasn’t easy because gold leaf is far thinner than paper and disintegrates easily — if he had tried to suspend it in a liquid solution like a traditional pigment solution, it would practically disappear, so he picked it up the gold leaf with a needle grouping and pushed it into the skin, which seemed to work.
He admits it sounds a little crazy, but he honestly feels that his consciousness has been altered through this ritual act. The first photo is fresh, and the second photo was taken about a week after the procedure, at which point you could still see a bit of sparkle. The last photo is well over a year old. Ferank plans on experimenting more with tattooing in gold.