“Between us, there always seemed to exist some deeper identification, born of a deep, unspoken bond; an underlying sense of kinship. It was as if loving Narcisa was like loving some wayward, feral strand of myself; a distorted funhouse mirror image of my own brutalised, mangled, forgotten inner child, restructured into rude juvenile delinquent female form, with a crooked, charismatic smile of mischief at the end of her fuzzy pink tongue.”
Jonathan Shaw’s Narcisa is a classic tale of addiction. Not of drug addiction, although there is plenty of that riddling its decrepit, cobble-stoned sub-tropical streets, but of the addiction of one person for another. What, in most other instances, would be called “love”, although you won’t find many referring to this book as a love story. That is, however, exactly what it is; as buried as it may be beneath a thousand grimy layers of depravity, dysfunction, violence and insanity, Narcisa is a far more realistic, accurate, and pure portrayal of love than whatever turgid shit Hollywood or Jodi Picoult is churning out these days. Shaw captures the side of love that sends Hollywood running for the hills, the tortuous, strung-out junkie experience of knowing that someone or something is pure poison and loving it, needing it anyway.
Russian prison tattoos are a dark world unto themselves, one that is really only understood by the people that exist within it. From an outsider’s perspective, the aesthetic of these tattoos have always intrigued me. The symbolism that this ink carries goes so deep into the underworld that it will never fully be understood. Knives, Women, Spider Webs, Guns, Churches and other Russian icons all mean something different when they are put onto the body of a Russian criminal. In no way am I glorifying any of their acts of violence, but I enjoy looking at the decorated skin of humans that exist on the fringe! Now check out this episode of MARKED that takes an in-depth look at the underworld of Russian prison tattoos culture.
This year we have an interesting collection of art posts for the Top 6 of 2013 in the Art category. We introduced the “tattoo” category, which has gotten a lot of love from our readers, and all in all, you can see what posts scored the highest with our readers – you bunch of dark motherfuckers…
This book isn’t even out yet, but we learned that just the hint of putting “metal” and “cats” together is enough to cause a huge stir. Our readers love cats. And metal. So By the time Alexandra Crockett gets her book of awesome portraits of metal dudes and their cats out, she won’t be able to print enough copies!
OK, so tattoos and piercings have become so mainstream at this point, staying tattoo-free is the new “alternative.” But what about when body modification becomes an obsession, and outdoing one’s fellow weirdos takes you to ever higher and weirder body modification practices? Arguably, many body modification practices that are seen as “weird” in the west have been around for millennia in other parts of the world, but what makes these people stand out is the fact that they transform themselves into alien creatures with body modification. Although I wouldn’t attempt many of these modifications, I am in no way judging those who do – I understand completely the drive to carve one’s own identity in a way that is far from what society dictates as “normal.” Many of these practices can be done in a way that’s beautiful, and like any other modification there are examples of where it just looks fucked up. But there are people who have made modification their identity – like Vampire Woman, La Negra, Lizard Man, Cat Man, Xronix, the Most Pierced Lady in the World and many others – and then there are just average Joes and Janes that want to look different. More and more body mod shops are finding new ways to innovate the human body; for example, grafting an extra nipple on your body, anywhere you want, like they’ve pioneered in South Africa. Seeing as I’m about to have another baby, this could come in handy for me. Or you can have your eyeballs or tongue tattooed, implants literally anywhere you want them, your skin carved out in nice patterns or split or sewn together. There is one body mod that irks the feminist in me – the corset piercings…corsets were once forced on women, altering their organs and bone structure in order to make them more “feminine” and “beautiful” to men, with the added bonus of making them unable to move around comfortably without risking fainting. Why on earth would you want to mimic this oppression permanently on your body? It’s not like you need to in order to get laid. Come on.
For a couple of months now, two of our favorite illustrators have been working on a special interview and illustration for us, and today we are so happy to unleash it on the world! Mark Riddick and Daniel “Desecrator” Corcuera are two of the world’s most notorious metal illustrators, and both of them know how to tap into the deep evils and fears of humanity. They teamed up on a brilliant piece of artwork (below) that we will be releasing as a limited edition, web-only tee in a couple of weeks. They also sat down for an in-depth and fascinating interview that explores them both as artists and people. So check out the full interview below and stay tuned for the tee announcement!
Check this out – 13 tattoo artists from around the world whose work is so sick it makes you want to book flights ASAP! These photos are just a small snapshot of how incredible these artist are at creating art on flesh!
Tokyo is one of my favorite places in the world – I always feel like I’m high on the energy of the city. Every step I take in that city feels like an adventure, where anything can happen at any moment. Many people think that it’s all bright lights and consumerism. Maybe this is what you’ll see on the surface, but when you venture off into certain neighborhoods you start to realize that this city has a dark side. So do not get it twisted and try to punk someone on some gangster shit, because you could be fucking with Yakuza. The thing is, you’ll never know who is a part of the Japanese underworld when the person is decked out in the sickest designer gear. It’s when that person exposes what’s under their clothes – their tattoos – that it becomes evident that this person is a part of Yakuza. Just like the country itself, filled with so much juxtaposition, these gangsters are a blend of beauty, honor & gangsterism. Today I put together a photo essay featuring Yakuza body art so you can see how outstanding their tattoos are. When in Japan, stay on the light side – don’t venture into a world that may eat you alive!
Carlos Alvarez Montero is a portrait photographer whose work focuses mainly on his native country of Mexico and its diverse human landscape. Going through his site, it was hard to choose from the many amazing collections of photos he has shot and curated. His portraits include small town militias and gangs, as well as dwellers of the huge metropolis that is Mexico City. Especially with his gang photos, concentrated in the state of Michoacán, the juxtaposition between the violent reality of their lives with the stunning beauty of the rural Mexican landscape is intense. Below I have included photos from three of his collections: The Warrior State, Scars and M (de Michoacán). Amazing stuff!
From: The Warrior State
Being a Friday, I felt the need to put together a post that would make me laugh hysterically as I was doing it. So of course I had to go for Bad Tattoos Part III. While I genuinely feel sad for some of the people who are permanently marked with this fuckery, I also can’t help but piss myself looking at these trainwrecks. Especially when the idea itself was bad in the first place, then it seems almost like, well what the fuck did you expect a butterfly penis to look like? Only a scratcher would do that to you in the first place. Today I pulled photos from my new favorite bad tattoo site, LOL Tattoos on Facebook. So prepare for an eye-bleeding, gut-busting photo essay below!
Check this dude out – Rolf Buchholz is the most pierced man in the world. He has 453 piercings, and that has gained him entry into the Guinness World Book of Records. Mr. Buchholz has covered almost every inch of his body, with 278 piercings in his genital region, 94 piercings in and around his lips, 25 in his eyebrows and 8 in his nose…plus he is covered in tattoos. I have to have respect for him because he found something he was passionate about and went for it. Rolf is a computer expert who has a love for metal! Check out this gallery of photos.