Getting your first piercing or tattoo is a rite of passage for many young people. Whether you do it because of the aesthetics or because the design holds a special meaning to you, tattooing is an art form most people want to experience during their lives. For some people, getting one, two, or ten tattoos isn’t quite enough and they feel the need to decorate their whole bodies to the maximum with tattoos, piercings or implants. The following people have dedicated their lives to looking and being as different as possible from us with the art of body modification.. some, in the most extreme way possible.
#10. The Enigma
Whether Paul Lawrence is a fan of jigsaw puzzles is unknown, but one look at him and you would probably hazard a guess that he is.
Enigma’s tats are the work of over 200 tattoo artists. At one point he had 23 working on him at the same time.
#9. Kala Kaiwi
Kaiwi has 75 percent of his body covered in tattoos, a split tongue, 70-odd piercings, numerous silicon implants in his face, and stretched ear-lobes and nostrils.
Kaiwi was inspired to look the way he does by his strong connection with his indigenous Hawaiian culture and the piercing are all made by himself.
#8. Etienne Dumont
Dumont, from Geneva, is completely covered in tattoos, has silicon implants like horns on his forehead, big rings in each earlobe, and Plexiglas piercings through his lips and nose.
To justify his reputation as “Living Art,” the 60-year-old Dumont had his own photography exhibition in 2009 in the Krisal gallery in Geneva. He had his first tattoo in 1974.
#7. The Zebra Man
Before his death in 1969, Ridler explained, “underneath it all, I’m just an ordinary man,” although his past as a World War I hero (he was decorated for outstanding conduct and gallantry in Mesopotamia) would suggest he was always destined to stand out from the crowd.
#6. Julia Gnuse: The Illustrated Lady
Julia Gnuse was born different. She suffers from a rare condition called porphyria, which basically means that her skin easily blisters in sunlight, leading to scarring. Believe it or not, it was actually Gnuse’s doctor whorecommended that she look into getting some body art done—particularly with ink which matched the color of her scars.
#5. Tom Leppard: The Leopard Man
Formerly considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world’s most tattooed man, Tom Leppard, now 73 years old, fled society years ago after spending £5,500 to have his body covered in leopard-like spots. He lived in a small cabin on the Isle of Skye, Scotland. Once every week, the ex-soldier travelled by canoe to buy supplies and pick up his pension. However, in 2008 he moved into a small house on Skye after a friend offered to move him by boat. “I’m getting too old for that kind of life,” he said.
#4. The Lizardman
Born Eric Sprague in 1972, the Lizardman was one of the first people to have a split tongue and in some circles is seen to be wholly responsible for the recent popularity of this particular modification. This 37 year old man has transformed himself into a reptile via 700 hours of tattooing, five Teflon horns implanted beneath the skin of his eyebrows, filing down of his teeth into sharp fangs, bifurcation of his tongue, and stretching of his septum and earlobes.
#3. Dennis Avner: Catman
Are you a cat or a dog person? Dennis Avner was most certainly the former. The Native American, also known as Stalking Cat, took his allegiance to his totem animal, the tiger, to the extreme. Avner had extensive tattooing, numerous piercings, implants which allowed him to “wear” whiskers, more implants to change the shape of the face, his ears surgically pointed, and his teeth sharpened—all for the love of cats.
#2. Matt Gone
Matt Gone, the human checkerboard, who’s not letting a little thing like advanced kidney disease get in the way of finishing his bodysuit tattoo.
You can see Matt Gone coming from a mile off. With a 98 per cent coverage bodysuit – including a striking black-and-white chequerboard pattern cascading over his face, neck, chest and shoulders – it’s hard to blend into the crowd.
#1. Rick: The Zombie Boy
Text: Patricia Pitner
October 31, 2014