One of my favorite thing about eye tattoos is that in many cases, they look different from day to day and from photo to photo. This is in part because of the way the ink is suspended over a nearly white backing and under a transparent “laminate” (unlike a “normal” tattoo, which is mixed into almost opaque tissue underneath a later of genetics-tinted translucent skin), and in part because the pigment particles are floating between these two layers, not locked in place, and slowly move around due to a variety of factors (for example, gravity, pressure from eyelids, or rubbing from fingers). For example, click this photo of Rattoo’s over-the-top blue eyeballs (done by Brazil’s Rafael Leão Dias of Dhar-Shan Body Art Tattoo & Piercing) to see a collage of fifteen different photos of his eyes over the last month or two. I should also mention that the tongue split he’s showing off was done not long ago (I think a few weeks in this photo) by Rafael.
Rafael by the way is arguably the most prolific eyeball tattoo artist in Brazil, if not in South America as a whole, and has done quite a few interesting people and well-known body modification microstars — for example, Rodrigo Musquito (first line of photos below, with the full-face skull tattoo), pro MMA fighter Danver Santos (second line of photos below), and mega-modded-couple Victor Peralta and Ana Diabolick (who you may notice flanking Danver in the final photo). Danver fights with Team Nogueira, under heavyweight Minotauro Nogueira, and when I chatted with him about the eye tattoos about a month ago, he told me that his black eyeball tattoos were driving crowds completely crazy and had fans clamoring for photos! They do look amazing, but my only worry is that eye tattoos can be damaged by pressure and I’m not sure eye tattoos are entirely compatible with MMA — time will tell. Click the photos below to see them at full size.
*Not that I’m one to talk – A few years ago the police knocked at our place in Norwich, England, because the next door neighbour’s young daughter had been watching me suspend (the inaugural suspension on the Body Evolution tower we built) in my birthday suit, suffice to say she burst into tears and ran to her mother, who called the cops. They were very good about it though and suggested that next time we put up higher screens to block the view.
So this is what happens when you go to your local Sao Paulo cutter and ask him for an ear pointing and he doesn’t notice that you’re standing on your head, right? Gawd, I feel like this picture is a caption joke goldmine and I’m letting you down by only writing one. Anyway, what you’re looking at is an earlobe repair/reconstruction, where the first artist built it all pointy-like. The resultant upside-down elf was not too happy with that, so they went down the street to see Rafael Leão Dias at Dhar Shan Body Art in Jundai, who repaired it for them. It still looks a little wonky in the second picture, but it’s likely that the curve of the lobe will smooth slightly as it heals (and it’s certainly not going to be giving boners to gelflings with vertigo any more).
I proudly present part three in a series of entries that at a glance shows individuals with significant facial mods from the beginning of (or before) their transformation to their current state. You can click the “evolution” tag to see the whole set. If you’d like to take part, please get in touch with me along with relevant images, via either email ([email protected]) or Facebook. Enjoy, and click to zoom in!
As you know, I like seeing pieces that combine multiple body art disciplines, and I thought this was an elegant example of scarification used alongside tattooing, each artform contributing to the part of the design they’re best able to execute. Unlike many tattoo/scar combos, where the tattoos (or sometimes the scars) are added as an afterthought or “upgrade” long after the initial mod is well healed, this example was designed as such from the beginning. The scarification portion was performed by Binho Barduzzi of Familia Amorim Tattoo Shop in Lisbon, and the tattoo by was done by his friend Rafa. The piece is well healed now as it was cut back in 2009, so I wish I could show you a healed picture of it but unfortunately their client lives in Brazil, practically on the other side of the planet from them in Portugal.
Mary Jo just had Brazil’s Rafael Leão Dias finish her other eye, injecting both of them with red… It’s an interesting color, because unlike tattooing your eyes black or green or just about any other color, no one is ever going to look at you and think you tattooed your eyes — in some ways it reminds me of the guy that got hyper-realistic road-rash tattooed on his face (one of the craziest things I’ve ever seen by the way) because she will forever be freaking out people on a whole different level than everyone else with tattooed eyeballs! I’m sure it’s both very fun and very tiresome dealing with the questions.
Red is perhaps the most volatile color of tattoo ink, so I’ll be keeping watch on how her eyes progress. One important thing to understand as well is that the majority of tattoo pigments — red especially — are not completely long-term stable in the body, so even when they appear safe in the short term, as they break down over time significant problems can occur since there’s no way to remove either the ink or any chemical compounds it breaks down into. If you get your eyes tattooed in your teens, that ink has to stay there for a long, long time still. I do think it looks stunning, but it’s not a gamble I’m comfortable with personally. Of course, it’s not as if my blue ink is considered safe for use in eyes according to the MSDS data either so my worry is a little hypocritical!
When tattooing with red ink, especially in the eye, it’s extremely important to be aware of what’s in the ink, because there are a variety of compounds that can create a red ink — iron oxide (rust basically), naphthol (arguably the safest option), pyrazolone (an organic compound), cadmium red (a toxic compound common to paint), and cinnabar (which is mercury based, and also toxic). Unfortunately sometimes because the more toxic compounds give a stronger color and sometimes because they’re cheaper, it’s not uncommon to find them in tattoo inks, although it’s becoming more rare. If you want to do some research for yourself, most higher quality red inks are a mix of Pigment Red 210 C.I.# 12477 (naphthol), Pigment Yellow 65 C.I. #11740 (2-[(4-methoxy-2-nitrophenyl)azo]-N-(2-methoxyphenyl)-3-oxo-Butanamide), Pigment Orange 13 C.I. #21110 (pyrazolone), and Titanium Oxide C.I. #77891, depending on the specific tone — as well as glycerine, witch hazel, various alcohols or even just listerine, various acrylic resins, and water. None of these compounds (with the exception of water) are considered safe in the eye — although they are generally stable compounds. The only ink which has been validated as truly “safe” in the eye is — and this may come as a surprise — classic India Ink.
This brass knuckles hand implant is one of my all-time-favorite hand implants I think, mostly because it’s absolutely perfectly sized and placed. Unlike many brass knuckle designs on the hand, which are just sort of slapped across the back of the hand like a logo, this one actually integrates with the anatomy (no offense intended to other placements, but compare it for example to this earlier implant posted last year). This was done by Rafael Leão Dias of Dhar-Shan Body Art in Jundiaí, Brazil.