I assume everyone knows who Lucky Diamond Rich is, but if not, let me pop up a picture from one of his very first appearances on ModBlog, back in 2006, when he was already widely recognized as the world’s most tattooed man — and easily history’s most tattooed man as well.
Not only is Rick tattooed black-head-to-toe, but he’s been fully tattooed something like seven or eight times over. The white lines in the picture above are not untattooed areas. They are white ink tattoos done over top of the field of black. As these would fade slightly over time and Rick set his sights on new a body, changes would be made, sometimes with piercing or scarification, but usually with tattoos. I have made some recent posts about tattooing white ink over black and even tattooing full color over solid blackwork, and I think the time has come to update Rick’s latest stage of evolution.
Tattooist Brad Bako has been covering up Rich’s many layers of blackwork (and more) with a new field of biomech, starting with his arm. The progress has been quite remarkable, to such an extent that many people would think it wasn’t even possible. I really want to emphasize that this is not just being done over black, but over a mottled skin filled with many layers of black, some colour, some white, and probably some residual scarring as well. What Brad Bako has achieved is quite remarkable.
In addition to the bright sleeve work, they are also working on his head, transforming his full-black zen demon sort of appearance into a more traditional biomechanical tattoo icon.
So when people ask you the question, “what will you do when you run out of skin”, now you know that you’ll never run out of skin because you can recycle your tattoos. On a side note, I have to admit that it’s rather amazing that 10,000+ years into tattooing that we’re still figuring new stuff out every year.