Tattoo Blog

Art that adorns the flesh…

Tattoo World Weirdness

November 19th, 2008 by

Swiss tattoo enthusiast Tim Steiner has literally sold the tattoo off his back to a wealthy German collector. The deal, which has been made for Steiner’s Virgin Mary tattoo, designed by Belgian artist Wim Delvoye, fetched €150,000 ($219,000) and will see Steiner sharing the cash with Delvoye as well as a Zurich gallery. 

Steiner is now contractually obligated to showcase his back tattoo three times a year at various galleries around the world.  The first showings were back in September in Shanghai and Singapore.  The kicker is that when Steiner dies, the skin on which the tattoo is inked will be removed from his body and either continue to be exhibited or put into the private collection of one weird-ass German. 

I guess it’s an interesting concept, to know that your tattoo is indeed a piece of art that will go on being exhibited long after you’re dead and gone…but the whole thing still manages to give me the heebie-jeebies.

In Indonesia, two men identified as Bampang, 40 and Nanang, 30, were told by their village chief Sawiyono that he’d received a text message from a Jakarta government official informing him of job openings. The only apparent stipulation to this job was that Bampang and Nanang needed to have dragon tattoos done on their faces.

Only after the men had undergone the tattoo work did chief Sawiyono check in with the real government organization about the somewhat odd job requirements.  What did he find out?  Surprise!  Of course government agents don’t need full-face dragon tattoos, because that is insane.

Here’s a little tip for chief Sawiyono: the next time you get a text message telling you to encourage life altering body work, maybe check the legitimacy of the request before dudes go out and get this done:

A hoax led Bambang [left] and Nanang to tattoo their faces.


Lastly, Belgian artist Wim Delvoye (same chap whose art adorns the aforementioned Tim Steiner’s back) was refused the right to showcase his tattooed pigs at this past September’s Shanghai Contemporary Art Fair.

Delvoye had tattooed pigs with the Louis Vuitton logo, but was banned from showcasing them after organizers found tattooed pigs to be in poor taste. 

While the potential statement that Delvoye is making by tattooing an overpriced, over rated fashion icon’s logo on some pigs is arguably a decent one, the fact remains that no living person or thing should be tattooed against their will or under false pretences.

Am I right, Bampang and Nanang?  Damn.

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