Tandem instructor Niko Vorster hails us all they way from Durban Skydive Centre in South Africa, with this custom designed upper-arm tattoo in black and gray. In there you can clearly see some staples of the skydiving trade, such as the 3-rings, a closing pin and altimeter – and even the eye sockets are oddly reminiscent of jumper-style sunglasses.
A few tidbits from Nico, on the “making of” of this piece of art:
Got the tattoo finished in October 2012 in two sittings of around 1.5 hours each.
I have many other tattoos but wanted something skydiving related because I love skydiving so much, had roughly 950 jumps at the time finished TI evaluation 6 months prior.
Deciding on art work/subject/symbols for skydiving is not an easy task and it took a few months. I settled on “hardware” because of its significance during a skydive: the closure pin for initial deployment (to which we often nonchalantly say “of course it will work”), and the three-ring system for the part they play when things go wrong. Also, I like shiny things. Then thirdly the altimeter, in which we trust (You will notice it is melting in a sort of Salvador Dali style).
The skull, with the hardware, is a reminder that life is short and that you should spend it doing what you like and love and that one should keep the important parts of life in a good condition by paying attention to it, then again I also just freaking love skulls! Putting all of the above together in an arm piece or art work was, and is, beyond my artistic capabilities. I called on a buddy of mine who is an awesome artist and tattoo artist, Dominic Hill. The completed design and placing of the symbols was his creative idea, I only told him what I wanted and he decided where to put it. I was well aware of the inking, but compared to other tattoo locations on my body it was a walk in the park. I have no regrets and will definitely get more tattoos!
We did get an email asking about the qualifications of the art expert, and in the letter the writer subtly alluded to our art experts being less than genuine. Well, SkyGod is SkyGod, and that is all I can say about that – but Le Charme is properly educated and comes highly decorated with a master’s degree in art. Interpreting art on humans is an interesting topic, especially knowing that each tattooed body part belongs to a skydiver that is usually just as interesting as the ink itself.
Le charme discret de la Bourgeoisie: Skydiving tattoos, mortality, and surrealism.
The vice named skydiving and the immoderate and impassioned use of the stupefacient image or rather of the uncontrolled provocation of the image for its own sake shown here with an element of unpredictable perturbation and of metamorphosis which it introduces into the domain of consciousness a representation of ephemerality; for each image on each occasion forces you to revise the (sur)reality of their meaning.
Life can only ever exist with in the construct of mortality.
Angry skull with pyramids on the brain clutching a 3-Ring with melted Dali altimeter oozing down… what’s not to like. That’s a Man’s tattoo and SkyGod approves. Ancient Alien watching minion, good to see you stayed away from that YOLO shit and manned up with icons of death to show your love of life. Death and life and living it up is what made SkyGod the glorious being he is. Keep it up Nico and you too, one day, can refer to yourself in the 3rd Person like SkyGod does.
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