February 27, 2018

“I will never be finished. It will take me the rest of my life to finish my studies but I am dedicating the rest of my life to body modification and perfecting my work."

Says Eli Ink, 27, who to my eye seems damned close to finished:

A post shared by Eli (@eliinkpiercer) on

Running out of space, it seems.

But isn't there a "blackface" problem he failed to take account of? [ADDED: He is white. See: here.]
“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... 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.”
Picasso? Doesn't he mean Ad Reinhardt?
In the last ten years of his life, Reinhardt focused solely on square, black paintings....In 1961, Reinhardt described them.... "A square (neutral, shapeless) canvas, five feet wide, five feet high, as high as a man, as wide as a man's outstretched arms (not large, not small, sizeless), trisected (no composition), one horizontal form negating one vertical form (formless, no top, no bottom, directionless), three (more or less) dark (lightless) no–contrasting (colorless) colors, brushwork brushed out to remove brushwork, a matte, flat, free–hand, painted surface (glossless, textureless, non–linear, no hard-edge, no soft edge) which does not reflect its surroundings—a pure, abstract, non–objective, timeless, spaceless, changeless, relationless, disinterested painting—an object that is self–conscious (no unconsciousness) ideal, transcendent, aware of no thing but art (absolutely no anti–art)."

76 comments:

Fernandistein said...

But isn't there a "blackface" problem he failed to take account of?

Face gets hot when sunbathing? That's less of an issue in Jolly Olde, where the sun don't shine a whole lot.

Expat(ish) said...

I live in Naples, FL, which has been called "God's waiting room" for good reason.

There are some really unfortunate body ink/modifications on view at the beach.

I have a feeling I ain't seen nothing yet.

-XC

Dave D said...

"“I wanted to look like an abstract character in one of Picasso’s paintings. I love the abstract look, no thought, just pure expression.”

I don't think he understands what "abstract" means......

Human skin is a TERRIBLE medium, IMO. Colors tend to look washed out and nondescript and the definition of the lines is lacking. I don't get it.

buwaya said...

I dont know what sort of psychological problem he's got, if he does. But if he is "normal", this thing seems to come from an unhealthy self-obsession.

mockturtle said...

At first I thought the headline was a quote from Michael Jackson.

buwaya said...

He is going to have problems being someones dad.
Or, unless I misjudge his self-created handicap, conversing.

Danno said...

Racial appropriation?

traditionalguy said...

Like a tattoo of girlfriend's name, this self mutilation is forever. But there is the hope he won't live for long.

The good part is that the Facial Recognition guys are going to lose this guy's records regularly.

MadisonMan said...

It is a striking look on him. I guess it would be on anyone.

Not sure what I'd do if my kid went down this road.

Bob Boyd said...

"But isn't there a "blackface" problem he failed to take account of?"

I thought it might be Cornflower Blue.

Bob Boyd said...

Psychologically he never recovered from that trip to the steakhouse when he was a baby.

AlbertAnonymous said...

Is there “blackface problem” if he’s black? I don’t know the current rules, but just recently I was told you can’t do or say anything racist if you’re black. Now, I can’t tell his race (on account of all the ink), but if he’s black I would think he has no problem.

Of course, if he’s white, there’s definitely a “blackface problem” ...the racist bastard!

chickelit said...

What if he developed an adverse chemical reaction to one of the dyes or pigments? Would he suffer for his art? Would the public reward his suffering?

Kevin said...

who to my eye seems damned close to finished:

When he finishes this part, he can go back over himself with white ink.

AJ Lynch said...

Is he employable? Please discuss.

Bay Area Guy said...

No doubt, a thoughtful Milton Friedman/Ronald Reagan type of fellow, right?

chickelit said...

Dave D said...I don't think he understands what "abstract" means......

Human skin is a TERRIBLE medium, IMO. Colors tend to look washed out and nondescript and the definition of the lines is lacking. I don't get it.


He gets off when you get on his case. That's the whole point; today's artistic mentality: provocation.

chickelit said...

buwaya said... is going to have problems being someones dad.
Or, unless I misjudge his self-created handicap, conversing


Dad, shmad. He's probably doing this to irk his dad -- if he even had one.

I can't help but notice that he has the same taste in art as Leni Riefenstahl did in later life. What's up with that? White guilt?

chickelit said...

Bob Boyd said...Psychologically he never recovered from that trip to the steakhouse when he was a baby.

lol

CJ said...

Here's a link (through the Althouse Amazon Portal) to a great book of very strange, unsettling short stories.

One of the stories is a future in which body modification has become mainstream fashion, leading people to undertake more and more extreme modifications in an effort to become more and more fashionable and to gain celebrity. This short story is told from the perspective of the ultimate celebrity in this bizarre world: A man who (among other modifications) has had his brain physically removed, and wheels it around on a table still attached to his body.

I can't do the story justice in a comment but I do recommend the entire book if you're looking for something mind-bending.

https://www.amazon.com/Extinction-Journals-Jeremy-Robert-Johnson/dp/1933929014/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519745187&sr=8-1&keywords=extinction+journals

Chuck said...

I know that there are a bunch of smart readers of the Althouse blog. I am looking for investment possibilities in the field of "tattoo removal." I see it as THE growth industry for cosmetic surgery in the 2030-2050 time frame.

Anybody got any ideas?

William said...

I like the gold nose ring. It lends an element of light and playfulness to an otherwise somber aspect. Also, the knit cap has a streak of gold that matches the gold nose plug. He has an intuitive fashion sense.......I wonder if he has tattooed the spaces between his toes. It's attention to the small details that makes an art work great. You don't even have to ask if he's tattooed the scrotal sack.

Levi Starks said...

No one can understand his transformation except him...
Yet his transformation only has a context given that it exists within a world of the normal.
His abnormality rests entirely uopon a foundation of the normal.
He lives only to be a visual repudiation of what God/evolution decided a human should look like.
I’m imagining a world in which he woke up some morning and discovered that he was the only human left on earth, and looking in the mirror, thinks this was a really stupid way to spend my life.
He genuinely believes he’s doing it only for himself, but in reality he’s doing it only to become the ultimate spectacle. Which makes him I think the ultimate slave to the normal.

Ann Althouse said...

He's white.

I put a link in the post to an Instagram picture of him from before he went all-black.

Ann Althouse said...

"Is he employable? Please discuss."

He's employed in the body-modification business.

What will happen to all these people if/when the tattoo trend ends? The conventional answer is: He'll have plenty of work in the tattoo removal business.

Anyway, he used to work in landscaping.

Clyde said...

W. T. F.?!

Crazy Jane said...

The only possible reaction is this: Go ahead, be that way.

Darkisland said...

How is this his art?

Isn't the one doing the tattooing the "artist"?

John Henry

Char Char Binks said...

He'll keep at it till he's blue in the face.

gspencer said...

I saw that lip sort of thing when I was young flipping through National Geographics. It looked weird then. It still does. Especially when done by this loon.

tcrosse said...

It's a good thing Justin Trudeau didn't see this before his trip to India.

PB said...

Nuts

Bill said...

"The outer dress hides the inner distress," goes an old Yiddish proverb (Dos oybershte kleyd fardekt di untershe leyd). But sometimes it reveals it.

Bill said...

Maybe he was referring to Picasso's blue period?

Lyssa said...

I clicked entirely because I wanted to know what the heck was going on with his lower-lip. Can he take that out? Isn't it incredibly uncomfortable? How does he eat, drink, or talk? (Or brush his teeth?)

But, alas, no answers.

Jay Elink said...

For the record:

Eli Ink is NO RELATION.

Sebastian said...

"What will happen to all these people if/when the tattoo trend ends?"

They'll come begging for money. "Insurance" will have to pay for addressing his "pre-existing conditions."

Known Unknown said...

At least he can easily hold a tea light and do other things with his hands at candlelight vigils.

Jay Elink said...

gspencer said...
I saw that lip sort of thing when I was young flipping through National Geographics. It looked weird then. It still does. Especially when done by this loon.

*****************

That "lip sort of thing" was practiced by the women of the Ubangi tribe in Africa.

Old cartoon of two Ubangi women sitting closely facing each other.

Caption:

"Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers. Peter Piper picked a peck of pickled peppers."

"OK, you fan me for a while."

FullMoon said...

Flashlight under his nose kinda handy for reading in the dark.

Professional lady said...

I've found tattoos kind of frightening since I was a little kid. Back then, they were a relatively rare sight. My mother's cousin was an Auschwitz survivor and I remember the tattooed number on his forearm. Now, I think most of them look like bruises. The big ones look like giant bruises. I take a water aerobics class with mostly other middle aged women and the tattoos seem to become more bruise-like as they become more indistinct with age. When I see a tattoo on a woman, I think bruise and for some reason I associate tattoo/bruise with domestic violence.

madAsHell said...

Why do I think the final act involves suicide?

LordSomber said...

"I love the abstract look, no thought, just pure expression.”

Expression without thought is for spastics, sufferers of Tourette's, and 2-year-olds playing with their Gerber strained peas.

Not something you could put on a resume.

Yancey Ward said...

People who do this sort of thing are mentally ill, but we can't say that any longer, can we?

Balfegor said...

But isn't there a "blackface" problem he failed to take account of?

I . . maybe? "Creepy Nightmare Face" isn't necessarily something I'd associate with Blackness even if dark skin is involved. You could make a strong case for "cultural appropriation" with the lip plate, though, if we're being PC.

Seeing Red said...

Anyway, he used to work in landscaping...


He still does from a certain POV.

When everyone is special, no one is.


Was that work tax deductible or free advertising?




FIDO said...

Some folks are just terminally dissatisfied with life. Very few on the Left seem to want to acknowledge that maybe some of this broken/attention whore/outrage monkey drive is a large part of the transgendered movement.


Being a fat ugly girl or a thin feminine looking man is just pathetic. Being 'trans' forgives all physical sins and lack of self discipline with the wave of a pen.

To be clear: I think some of these folks are 'real'. It is not the majority. 'Fashion Trans'.

This guy is just a different kind of weird but the same strokes.

Mike Sylwester said...

A lot of musical movies before about 1950 include musical performances in which the actors are in blackface. In particular, several movies starring Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney include such performances.

The people watching those movies at that time had a much different perspective on such performances than we have now.

In those performances the Caucasians respectfully honored Negro artistry that the Caucasians could imitate only indirectly and imperfectly.

The people making and watching those movies did not feel like they were insulting Negroes. Garland, Rooney and the other characters were putting on a show, and they included a black-face number to make the show extra-fun. They intended to imitate Negro singing, dancing, and joking -- because they admired such entertaining talent in Negroes.

JMW Turner said...

Definitely a case of beauty being in the eye of the beholder...

bagoh20 said...

Thank you, sir. It's seeing people in situations like yours that make my problem seem small and many small things of common life seem like gifts.

Eric said...

How dare you question his choice of physical expression. How dare he engage in such cultural appropriation. Outrage all around!

Lars Porsena said...

When are you rubes going to understand that this is art.

Bushman of the Kohlrabi said...

The whole business with the mouth looks very uncomfortable.

I guess this is what happens when you crave attention but have no special skills or abilities with which to obtain it.

whitney said...

Gross

mezzrow said...

Is it time for a Heinlein "crazy years" reference?

Here it is. Right now. Living in 'em.

mockturtle said...

Why do I think the final act involves suicide?

There you go! Suicide art! The logical outcome.

walter said...

To up the ante, he should try a lit votive candle in that lip space.

tcrosse said...

To up the ante, he should try a lit votive candle in that lip space.

Or a urinal cake.

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Caligula said...

"In my opinion, the only person who will only ever understand my transition properly is me."

This seems like one of those tree-in-the-forest questions, but, who would truly wish to create an art that no one other than the artist could understand?

And (since no one else can understand it) how can we even know if the artist has become a God-Artist, creating an art so incomprehensible that even the artist can't understand it?

Although as a matter of public policy, if he wants total freedom to do whatever he wishes to his body then surely the rest of us should not have to pick up the tab should that body need some costly repair work due to the modifications.

Quaestor said...


Reinhardt was making a sort of internally consistent (yet nevertheless mad) sense until he got here: ...an object that is self–conscious (no unconsciousness) ideal, transcendent, aware of no thing but art (absolutely no anti–art) That's as far as internal consistency will get you... from there it's a long plummet to the mucky bottom.

Regarding the blackface problem. To my eye, the self-designed freak is more bluish than black. However, the Norse of the Viking Age occasionally encountered Africans, whom they called the blรฅmenn, the blue men, so Ink's not off the hook by a long shot.

Clyde said...

I think even the Indonesian link guy is saying "WTF?!"

MayBee said...

I think of people like this when we talk about trans people.

I agree with Quaestor that he looks more blue than black, like the guy who took too much colloidal silver.

Ralph L said...

He should marry Amy Schumer and get a job in retail.

Quaestor said...

Cultural appropriation with malice aforethought in the first degree.

Mr. Ink better run for it.

Birkel said...

Body dysmorphia is a bad thing. We should not encourage it no matter how it manifests.

Rusty said...

I would enjoy meeting his parents.

The Cracker Emcee Classic said...

The current freak show couldn't exist without the Internet. Sure, some people would still be doing stuff like this but there wouldn't be all the phony "acceptance" to egg them on and it would be much less widespread. People are stupid enough without encouragement from the similarily retarded.

Bad Lieutenant said...


Bob Boyd said...
Psychologically he never recovered from that trip to the steakhouse when he was a baby.

2/27/18, 9:13 AM


1.pleaae explain this "steakhouse baby" thing.
2.shoot a few of these weirdos and the rest'll all straighten out overnight. Just sayin'.

mockturtle said...

BL, I didn't get the steakhouse reference, either.

Phil 3:14 said...

What's Tom and Lorenzo's take on this gentleman's fashion sense?

MathMom said...

Does he have a paying job?

Enlighten-NewJersey said...

His “before” picture with the facial and neck tattoos, along with various mutilations, made him look ridiculous. I think his all dark look may have been an attempt to get rid of that appearance. In any case, I feel sorry for him. Self mutilation is a very sad. I can’t imagine what inner demons a person must suffer to wind up like him. The person or group that actually did this to him (for him) must be totally uncaring and probably sick as well.

Aggie - said...

I'd give $100 to see him say "Susie sells seashells by the seashore" 5 times, quickly.

JAORE said...

So when a potential client says, "Can I see some examples of your work?", he can point to.......

JAORE said...

"What will happen to all these people if/when the tattoo trend ends?"

They'll come begging for money. "Insurance" will have to pay for addressing his "pre-existing conditions."

Actually the Feds (at least in the past) have given $ to locals for tattoo removal.

Seems the human canvas shtick cut back on employment success. I imagine the MS-13 tattoos were particularly difficult to overcome during the initial interviews.