I promised myself that I wouldn’t post anything regarding the young women, Maria Louise Del Rosario, whose latest tattoo has subsequently gone viral on the internet. It seems that the twenty-two-year-old gave an exclusive interview to Florida’s Broward-Palm Beach New Times (entitled “Now My Ass Is famous Overnight”) regarding her recently done anus tattoo. The YouTube video, in fact, shows Ms. Del Rosario not only undergoing the process but clearly ecstatic about it. I know that tattooers are often asked to undertake some rather strange requests, but this one merits a place at the top of the list. Although this isn’t the first time I’ve heard of anal tattoos (sometimes encircled with a daisy), this particular procedure has vaulted this young woman into the mainstream, and I just couldn’t remain silent. Following is a commentary I posted on one of the news services:
Once again, the weird, sensational aspects of tattooing make the limelight, while the more meaningful stories from artists and collectors get passed by. The majority of the international tattoo community works hard to lift the level of tattooing to “fine art,” and, thanks to several old school (Sailor Jerry Collins, Bert Grimm) and contemporary artists (Filip Leu and Jeff Gogue), that goal has, little by little, become a reality. It always disappoints me that, instead of stories about men and women whose lives have been changed by their tattoos (the covering of mastectomy scars or honoring deceased loved ones by mixing their funeral ashes with tattoo ink, for example), major news organizations tend to illustrate the story (as was the case with Huffington’s coverage) with photos of the fringes of the tattoo world (my friend Enigma, with his puzzle-piece bodysuit and horn implants). But I guess, as they say, “that sells newspapers.” I understand Maria Louise Del Rosario’s comments and her decision to get the tattoo she did, but the adding of extra photos of sideshow personalities only demeans an form that has become the biggest art movement since the Renaissance. It reminds me of the television news crews that go to a tattoo convention and end up videotaping a fellow with fifty face piercings, a purple Mohawk and a bone in his nose, rather than showcasing the more heartfelt, inspiring aspects of this 5,000-year-old tradition.
—Bob Baxter, Editor-in-Chief