Eli Ink all black tattoo artist: Mental illness or freedom of expression? How a UK tattoo artist turned his body in a working piece of art- or so he reckons.
In one of the starkest cases of body dysmorphia, 27 year old UK man, Eli Ink has fulfilled a life ambition after having inked his entire body (including the inside of his mouth and eyeballs) in black tattoo. Which is to ponder, why?
In an interview with the UK’s dailymail, the tattoo artist from Brighton talks about having undergone a 10-year transformation to turn himself into a walking exhibition of his tattoos.
During his ‘tell all’, Ink tells of having used several coats of black coloring to permanently blacken his skin.
He also implanted huge stretchers in his nose and under his bottom lip as part of his body-modification process.
The self described artist (who has used his body as the canvas) even went as far as dying his eyes to complete the striking look.
Eli’s obsession with body modification started from a young age after his uncle came back from Spain with a huge tribal tattoo.
But in case you are still wondering why someone would go to any great lengths to drastically change their appearances, especially in a way that many would consider anti social and counter-intuitive, Ink had the following to offer:
‘In my opinion, the only person who will only ever understand my transition properly is me. I don’t attempt to describe it to anyone’.
Adding, ‘I’ve always been blown away by art itself. Picasso is a huge childhood inspiration to me, especially abstract art, but I do like all forms of art. Body art was just the next local step for me growing up.’
‘I wanted to look like an abstract character in one of Picasso’s paintings. I love the abstract look, no thought , just pure expression’.
Eli Ink all black tattoo artist: An extreme instance of body dysmorphia?
While Ink may insist that his transformation is the result of being a working piece of self embodied art (can one live life artistically as opposed to becoming their own art
ghastly art piece), some ponder if the transformation has more to do with the notion of body dysmorphia?
Notes wikipedia, ‘Body dysmorphic disorder (BDD), occasionally still called dysmorphophobia, is a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one’s own appearance is severely flawed and warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it. In BDD’s delusional variant, the flaw is imagined. If the flaw is actual, its importance is severely exaggerated. Either way, thoughts about it are pervasive and intrusive, occupying up to several hours a day.’
In the event you’re contemplating following suit, Ink admits that the process, like a lot of body modification, can have disastrous results if it goes wrong.
Explained Ink, ‘That’s the risk you take letting anyone near your eyes, even trained surgeons can make mistake. Body modification is a risk taker’s lifestyle.’
And how does Eli react to those who are not particularly enthralled by his body transformation?
Explained the tattoo artist, ‘The best is always nice compliments, that’s always nice to hear, either from tattoo collectors or just passers-by, the worst is always older generation looking down on you and making you feel worthless.’
‘But this is all a state of mind. I don’t take much notice anymore,’
Not that you and I can’t help but notice either way, which might be part of the appeal of self transformation along with the sense of discord in all our own being….expressed by some of us in the starkest terms.