People can be very passionate about their body adornment, with a tattoo you strengthen your identity and feel yourself master of your own body. One gets a tattoo for various reasons and purposes, it is a painful process choosing to put an image on your body forever. More than an image on the skin, it is often laden with emotions and stories. When you look at a tattoo from this aspect, it is not hard to imagine that there are people who like to keep the tattoo after death. This is possible through the service of tattoo shop Walls and Skin by owner Peter van der Helm in Amsterdam.
You might ask yourself why a photo of the tattoo is not sufficient. Often people want to keep the tattoo in its originality, so no photo of this. The authenticity of the skin with tattoo weighs more heavily in the perception than a photograph of it. One has a sense of still being in touch with the deceased. In addition, a work of art is also kept, as a tattoo on the skin is a kind of artwork by the tattoo artist. Many artists put a lot of time into designing and setting the tattoo, it would be a shame if it then goes to waste. Third is a historical reason. When the skin with tattoo is preserved, it can be studied later, so that in the future one can learn more about the different techniques and ink that were involved in this process.
Often, tufts of hair, teeth, nails or ashes are kept from a deceased person. So preserving a piece of skin with artwork is neither more nor less, although it may be a little more confrontational than a piece of hair. One leaves behind something of oneself that one has always been very proud of; it would be a shame to throw it away. Relatives can find much comfort in seeing this piece of skin, for example, they probably have many memories and feelings about the tattoo of the deceased person.
Walls and Skin has started a foundation called “The foundation for the Art and Science of Tattooing. Here they also draw the stories behind the tattoos, display the story of the artist who did the tattoo and provide more information about the tattoo. If the deceased wishes, the tattoo can also be displayed. It can also be given on loan to relatives who can keep it in the home. The possibilities are endless. Through this service, people’s last wishes are fulfilled.