People are always pushing the envelope when it comes to self-expression through body modification. Sometimes the things they come up with seem shocking to mainstream culture, but it’s interesting to point out that many body modifications have historical precedents, and were being done long before body modification got a pop culture following. Eyeball tattooing is no exception.
The first references to eyeball tattooing date back to the Roman Empire, when doctors first began attempting to correct discolorations in the iris using dyes and stains. The practice wasn’t mentioned much between Roman times and the 19th century, when doctors again looked to eyeball tattooing to correct abnormalities in the appearance of the eye using needles and ink. Essentially, they were giving a tattoo, though they would not have called it that.
Adding pigment to the eye by filling individual needle holes with ink, as is done in a regular tattoo, has proven problematic. The more holes that get poked in the surface of the eye, the more likely it is that damage will occur.
A much better method was pioneered in 2007. Known as the injection method, this method allows for color to be applied to the sclera, or white of the eye, using a single injection point. Of course, there is no way to control exactly where the ink goes, so precise designs are not possible. But, interesting fade effects can be achieved, and what is lost in precision is made up for in the fact that the injection method is much less dangerous for the eye.
Tattoos have gone a long way over the past few decades, just like online casinos. On the online casino side of things, casinos start to become more professional and design are stating to become creative (just check out the chinese-inspired banners here). However, tattoos are now well established as a form of art – such art that often explores and expands its existing boundaries. Within this whirl of never-ending change, some tattooed individuals have taken a step in one interesting direction. Oscar Wilde once said that life imitates art, but here, we could say that art imitates art.
Tattoos inspired by famous artists or their specific masterworks create something of an ouroboros effect – in a way, they form a closed cycle. Tattoos become a new form of art that celebrates older art. This is nothing new, but it feels great to remember once again just how versatile this artistic medium is – and of course, it never hurts to admire a newly discovered piece of body art.
Various photographs show us an interesting assortment of such tattoos, with a lot of variety. From Van Gogh and Salvador Dali (here possibly my favourite), to modern artists such as Banksy… the sky is the limit! Another such selection can be found here.
In a sense, we could say that original tattoos are more interesting than those which often imitate another artist’s work. However, there is something beautiful in the fact that today people can choose not only to carry the imprint of their favourite painting in their hearts, but on their bodies as well.
In the days when museums are not the most popular of destinations, new generations of people who walk the streets with these art-inspired tattoos are somehow sending us a wonderful message: art lives.
Can’t get enough of those pictures? Check out this article as well.
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