Here at PaperFlame, I try to keep everything related to the Art, Graphics, Design and blah blah blah world. I try, I really do. We all know that tattooing has to be one of the oldest forms of purposeful art around (art for the sake of art), thus I am including the following story.

At an art show called ShContemporary which is Shanghai’s biggest art show. One of the exhibits was supposed to be of 8 pigs tattooed with logos of Louis Vuitton and Walt Disney characters. The tattooed art is by a Belgian artist named Wim Delvoye so the story goes.

Wim Delvoye

Well it ends up that the swine exhibition was banned by the Chinese authorities. Something to do with animal rights (in china? Don’t they eat dogs?). Go figure. So in the place of all the graffitied pigs, the artist – Delvoye has decided to display a living man instead – named Tim Steiner. Tim has tattooed artwork on his back by Delvoye. The tattoo in question took 35 hours to create and the “tattooee” had no say in what was to be tattooed on his own back.

Now I hear ya… you say, SO WHAT!? Hold on, hold on.. it doesn’t end there. What is completely over the top here is that the tattoo itself (including skin) has been sold for the sum of $215,000 to some collector… get this, the collector has the right to remove the tattooed skin from his back when the man dies. Steiner is also under contract to display the tattooed art on his back at certain events.

The whole thing makes me think of the line “It puts the lotion in the basket” from the movie Silence of the Lambs. It all seems kinda sick. I have to add though, I think it’s kinda neat that there are people in this world that will pay exhorbinent amounts of money for art… of any kind.

Louisa Lim/NPR