Many people already view getting a tattoo as a sort of extreme action in and of itself. But as with any endeavor, there are bound to be those who push the envelope just a little bit further. Some enthusiasts have made a name for themselves in the world of tattooing by dedicating their time – and their bodies – to body art projects that would be considered extreme even by those who have already been initiated into the world of tattoos.
From body parts to designs to sheer volume of skin covered, these tattoo pioneers are sure to turn heads one way or another.
The walking canvas
Those who opt to take a seat in the tattoo chair are no stranger to the idea that their body is a canvas for the tattoo artist to create on, but some take this idea more seriously than others. Certain tattoo devotees have apparently dedicated their existence solely to accumulating as much ink as possible, and the results are extreme to say the least. One of the most visible examples of this is the man born Mathew Whelan. The 34-year-old man from Birmingham, U.K., has spent countless hours and even more money turning himself into a walking tattoo exhibit.
In fact, the stalwart tattoo enthusiast even shelled out £350 in 2008 to have his name legally changed to The King of Ink Land. The King, who goes by the slightly more palatable nickname Bart, has completely covered his body from head to toe, adorning his face, hands and even his left eyeball with ink. Even more alarming than the £30,000 he has spent – just over $50,000 here in the U.S. – on getting the full-body tattoo treatment is the fact that he's not done yet.
According to the Daily Mail, Bart has plunked down an additional £6,000 – the equivalent of $10,000 U.S. – to have some of his countless tattoos removed. But don't get confused – this isn't tattoo regret motivating Bart's decision to go from being under the needle to being under the laser. He's actually hoping that zapping some of his ink will free up space to get more tattoos later.
"I think of myself like an art gallery. After a while the art gets old and people want to see something new and that's how I feel about my tattoos," The King of Ink Land told the Daily Mail.
Too real for reality
It's not just those who opt for full-body coverage who are experimenting with extreme tattooing. A recent eye-popping trend in the industry has shaken up some observers – 3-D tattoos. As Right Side News reported, more and more serious tattoo buffs are opting for more extensive, complex and photorealistic pieces. While not actually three-dimensional in the true sense of the term, these 3-D tattoos are administered in such a way as to create the illusion of a solid body rather than a flat image. Certain of the subculture's more macabre adherents have taken this opportunity to tattoo themselves with all-too-real looking creepy crawlers, such as spiders and scorpions that can fool the casual onlookers into thinking they're really there. Others have experimented with the optical illusion potential of the form, tattooing mock-carvings into their legs or extra eyes onto their faces.
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