Tattoos fascinate me because they, like any other decision, stay with you for life, they modify and redefine who you are, who you become, who you want to be, how do you perceive yourself, and thus how you perceive others and how others perceive you.
They are a very direct and primitive link in between your inner self and the out side. An exploration of identity, how much can you control it? Who are the real authors?
During my apprenticeship as a tattoo artist, I found the most difficult side of tattooing was to deal with this responsibility. And although it was not as difficult to find people who would let me practice and my left leg was always available, I found myself very often just wishing I could take that potential negative impact away.
At the time I was doing my Foundation so for the work in progress exhibition I designed a chair for a tattoo artist apprentice, it was the typical leader design, you know the ones with buttons, but made out with fresh pigs skin.. the idea was to be able to tattoo on it.. so at the gallery, next to the chair's model I would place the fresh skin, a box of latex gloves and my tattoo equipment set up and ready for the viewers to have a go.
When I went to the studio to make some samplers of how the skin would look like so people in the gallery will feel encouraged to give it a go, the guys who were working in the tattoo studio were just very curious, they did not need the practice, they were professional artists, I was also with another 2 friends who had never tattooed before and we just ended up tattooing all together, 7 people at the same time, 6 of them vegetarians... it was very nice experience.. especially because it was not the initial intention.. I was not expecting such an immediate response and participation.
In the end I could not keep all of the skin.. it was too much... but I managed to keep a bit of it, I treated it with salt, and now I have this sort of massive tattooed bacon in my closet, hahaha.