Jordan posted these photos of the Enigma’s facial cuttings back in May but the man himself has sent in a new set from a different perspective. His cuttings are by Jawn D at Laughing Buddha with some help from Serana.
Couple more after the jump.
Jonny and his bandmates had traveled from the UK to Chicago to record their debut album, after putting in a ton of work into getting a record and publishing deal, a good manager, and writing songs and touring them. On the third of March, the album was finished, which he describes as “the best five weeks of my life”. To record this landmark moment in his life and to remember all the people he met in Chicago, he got his first tattoo — the date of completion, and the Chicago flag. The tattoo was done by Josh Howard at The Chicago Tattoo and Piercing Company.
Jester Mayhone (facebook.com/Jestermayhone) is one of those very rare individuals who has chosen to undergo a concept transformation — where the majority of his modifications all work together push him toward a new total-body artistic vision. Other well known individuals on the short list of those who’ve done include The Lizardman, The Enigma, and the late Dennis Avner. If you’d like to learn more about Jester and his art, both his body and his paintings, you can here’s an earlier more extensive post, but the short version is that he’s using tattoos and other body modifications to evolve himself into his vision of a jester.
Jester jokes that yesterday he had the “best Valentines day ever” as he headed down to see his friends at Tomah Tattoo who, after sketching various ideas on his face freehand (based on designs Jester had spent weeks drawing on photos of himself), decided to go ahead and set it in ink. Only the start of the linework is done now, but when it’s finished it’ll be colored in with random patches — the mock-up I drew is there to illustrate what it might become and is just a quick “what if” Photoshop job. For me the design brings to mind many themes — I see everything from Jester’s main theme to horror movie masks, patched-together scarecrow and ragdolls, and even a bit of Frankenstein’s monster!
Zoom in for a larger view. Once his entire body is done like this, he will be one of the most striking and uniquely tattooed creatures walking the planet.
Kevin (who you last saw on ModBlog with Enigma) had this Tlingit (Pacific Northwest) art-inspired scarification done by Matt Vermillion of Artistic Skin Design in Indianapolis, Indiana, which is now quite well healed. The cutting looks nice and even — although there is intended variability in the line strength — but as you can see, parts of it keloided much, much more than others. Some of it, like the outside circle, is likely due to the initial cutting, but the majority of the variability appears to be from natural body motion and anatomy, and rubbing from clothes. His aftercare was mildly abrasive with sugar and vaseline.
Click on either half to see the scar in full, or click here for an animation that blends between the two (it’s not easy to line up a fresh scar with a healed one because of how much the skin distorts from the keloids, even with photos this similar), or if you’ve been missing NSFW posts, click here to check out the scar, completely overshadowed by Kevin’s transcrotal piercing and meatotomy.
I’ll also mention what I said to Kevin — who is considering adding more Tlingit scars to the sides of this piece — that I think this is a perfect canvas for tattooing over scarification… With the right application of black and red, and maybe white, it would really bring out the design and also give a nice nod to Tlingit art at the same time.
One of the most interesting group of people in the body modification world is the small group of at most one or two dozen people undertaking a “concept” transformation — the best known perhaps are those that are performers and exhibit themselves to the world, such as The Lizardman or The Enigma and Katzen. Other like Tom the Leopardman or Stalking Cat Dennis Avner live more reclusive lives, and there are a few inbetween like Eva Medusa. I want to introduce you to another character that’s setting out on this journey, Jester Mayhone, who you can follow on Facebook at facebook.com/JestertheJesterspage. As his name makes obvious, he has set about not just covering himself in clown and jester-themed artwork, but also tattooing himself permanently as a jester in full makeup and costume — I can’t help but be reminded of a “secret society” of street clowns, all tattooed with permanent clown makeup, that I came in contact with via a friend that was riding the rails. In any case, Jester has taken the big step of applying the permanent jester makeup to his face, so I think it’s time to introduce him to the public properly — here is his portrait, and below it you can learn much more about him.
Jester told me, “I think my love for jesters and clowns started when I was a child — I was always amazed by anything related to them. To me, being a jester and being that jack of all trades character has also had a very deep meaning, because I felt that they could express every emotion felt — or rather anything going on — more than anyone else could. It’s the main reason that when I started painting I used the jester as a subject, using the character to express my own, and everything I felt and thought. It seemed like the best way to convey the world around me. I have always been the one joking around, making people laugh, doing crazy things and speaking my mind, without any fear of what people did or thought. I have always been me and made no apologizes for it, regardless of if I was too “out there”, too loud, too goofy, or just too blunt for some people.”
“In old times with kings and the like, jesters were able express something to the king when no one else could. I always thought that was fantastic. So with that in mind, when I first started drawing and painting the Jester to express my thoughts or views, this became my Abstract Jester Series, a series of hand drawings, digital art, and paintings that I continue to paint even now. In fact. right now I am slowly working on re-creating many pieces of art from our history through this series, adding jesters to paintings like ‘The Scream’, and ‘The Last Supper’.”
“I have probably created a few thousand abstract jester images and so the idea of tattooing myself into a jester was something that happened naturally. I was already using them to express myself, what I saw around me, and the views I had. Not to mention my love of the character itself. In fact, my first tattoo was a simple jester, and than I got more and more jester-related tattoos until I decided that the jester should be my theme — to transform my whole body into a modified jester through tattoos. It was already part of me, so it made sense — to represent myself with the very character I love and was already communicating through in my art.”
“I try to put great thought into what I get and usually sit on a design for a while, like with my jester face make-up tattoo. I applied many rough drafts, with make-up, over and over again, to make sure it was perfect for me and my facial structure. As for where I get tattooed, I’ve been going to the same guys at Tomah Tattoo in Tomah, Wisconsin for the last thirteen years. The three tattooists, who all have pieces they work on for me, are Steve May, Dave Fox, and Clay Fox. They are three fantastic artists, which is why I don’t go anywhere else. I have the rest of my tattoos, except for maybe one or two, planned out with the three of them.”
I’ve been watching Jester online for some time, and I was struck how he’s always drawing on himself with marker, constantly fantasizing about who he will become and imagining it as real. To give you a better idea of where he’s going with his skin, I’d like to share a recent mock-up. One of the complications he has — as many people who start concept transformations after being interested in tattoos for some time — is that he’s already got a spotty assortment of miscellaneous tattoos complicating large-scale work. However, once the patchwork Jester’s suit is added, it pulls together successfully.
Finally, as he mentioned, Jester is also an outsider artist, creating bizarre paintings that suit his Jester persona perfectly — I wanted to finish up this post by sharing a small selection of his creations. Zoom in for a closer look, or, better yet, take a look at his galleries. Again, you can find him and follow him on Facebook at facebook.com/JestertheJesterspage.
When Didier Suarez (APP member and former staffer and owner of San Diego’s Enigma Professional Piercing Studio) titled this picture “Nipple removal – 21yr old nipple piercings”, I thought to myself that twenty-one was a little young to be cutting off your nipples — not that I haven’t seen it before — since you can’t have had the time to really have all that much fun with them yet. Then I realized that twenty-one didn’t refer to the age of the nipples, but to the age of the piercings!!!
Way back in 1991, Didier had Elayne Angel at The Gauntlet pierce his nipples, which he’s had ever since, for twenty-one years. Over time he stretched them up to 5/8″, but then after years of wearing smaller jewelry or none at all, he decided to make the transformation back to small nipples. Didier had a piercer friend cut them off for him — not a deep removal, just the piercings (although the jewelry was removed for the procedure) and enough flesh to sustain the jewelry, leaving a wonderfully grotesque artifact — and then a nurse/midwife friend sutured them for him. It was quite painful for the first night, but quite manageable after that.
Here’s a close-up of the sutured result.
You know, I’ve often been told by genital modification aficionados that the end result of piercing, bisection, and other forms of genital body mod is nullification — amputation. That you live first a life of excess, then you become a sort of physical monk, and remove it all. I’m not quite sure if that is true, and I’ve certainly heard as many people horrified by the idea as espousing it, but I do keep seeing evidence that for notable percentage people it has some truth to it.
Ok, one last bit of ear-chomp-chomp. Italian bodmod enthusiast Paolo Cambiaghi decided he wanted a new ear profile, and went to Bruno BMA (brunobma.com) to have it reshaped — you can see it nicely healed in these images. I always find these types of ear reshaping fascinating — The Enigma has a similar piece that I’ve featured on ModBlog, as does my friend James Keen, and this client of Muffe’s. The way the majority of the lip of the helix has been removed on Paolo’s gives it a very unique and unusual appearance.
I should mention that this picture first came to my attention because Morgan Dubois, who recently experienced his tattoo being copied by a Polish fan and was worried it might be happening again. Morgan got his tattoo in 2009 by Igor of Tattoo Station in Lyon, France, inspired (for very personal reasons, which is why it bothered him when it was copied exactly) by the music of Autechre — check out the video of Dropp to understand it a bit better. Paolo’s tattoo on the other hand is a case of completely different motivations and interests bringing one to a similar end design, and was done by Spider Tattoo in Italy. He tells me it is inspired by the art of Wassily Kandinsky, specifically the work he did in the later portion of his career after teaching at The Bauhaus.
I want to start off with a “guess what”… Click to see if you were right.
The mod you see in that picture is on Walker Bod Mod and was done by Oscar Kbza Santos. While I’m talking about Oscar, I wanted to show you his hand implants, because they’re a little unusual — unique would be a better word.
That reminds me that I’ve been meaning to show you Sandy from True Body Art, a beautiful looking studio in Zurich. Anyway, I spent some time looking at her hand implants, trying to figure out what they are — my first guess was some sort of I Ching symbol.
The truth more enigmatic and amusing — it’s actually a random shape devoid of specific meaning, and is there to confuse the viewer!!! This is especially funny because Sandy isn’t some strange troll that no one sees, or that when they do see, are afraid of them… She’s actually a very beautiful model in addition to being a body modification artist, so these unusual implants have been featured in the work of many photographers (the photo on the left is by Siete Ramirez, and the one on the right is by Dark-Style Fotografie), and I’m sure as a result a great deal of time has been spent pondering their meaning. She has an implant on her chest as well that is similarly strange. I always enjoy people who have a sense of humor.
Oh and you can click that picture for one last shot.
While the vast majority of people choose the classic “horn” style forehead implant first made popular by The Enigma, there are an infinite number of ways horns and ridges can be applied to the skull. Some are very natural, some are aesthetically challenging, some are aggressive and hostile, others are alien and serene. I am definitely partial to this nice high set of ridges, a pair of triple half-beads, that Moscow body artist and implant maker Max Yampolskiy (FB/max.yampolskiy) created for his first “demon” client, photographed here at 23 days. They almost remind me of Swirly Wanx Sinatra’s ridges, but pushed much further up on the forehead, which gives them an appearance that works perfectly with the shape of the client’s face. They really look remarkably natural, as if he was born with them, which I think is a sign of aesthetic success.
In this second photo you can get a clearer view of the exact shape they’ve used.