Unblacking the Blackest Man

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.

10 thoughts on “Unblacking the Blackest Man

  1. That’s unbelievable. I’d never thought it was possible to work colour into such a high degree of clarity over what was essentially solid blackwork. Fantastic! I particularly like the grey work on his inner arm.

  2. The last thing I want to be is pedantic

    The article misspells Rich’s name a few times which makes it a little confusing

    Great article! As always ;)

  3. Im happy to see this tattooing mentioned as I believe Brad Bako has pioneered this type of work which he started on Lucky a few years ago, early than the recent examples which were posted. The biomech tattooing on his arm is not new, having been completed some years ago. I will also mention that the white tattooing that Lucky has is quite a few years old now 7-8+ years and has not faded noticeably it has stood the test of time better than some of the other colours he has tattooed over the blackwork (eg the red script on his face). Further to Vinnies point Lucky Diamond Rich is usually referred to as Lucky. Great article and great tattooing by Brad Bako :)

  4. wow iv had the pleasur of licky as a frend now a good fue years and he loos great now i find the black a bit dated we need colour in this world thear is unuf black times well doune and thankyou xxxxx mad alan xxxx

  5. hello i was wondering if there is any very recent (2013) pictures of lucky rich as i would like to see how his coloured sleeve now looks and if it has held colour as i am thinking of doing the same idea over blackwork??

  6. He looks beautiful, now! I wasn’t sure on the earlier generation of tattooing he’d had prior–it looked so blurred and homogenized when seen from a distance, but THIS is looking AWESOME.

  7. Brad bobako is a dick head and luck is a fucking tool.. I know them both and phhhhht they suck and the ink is entenze inks

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