Tattoos are generally known to be still pieces of art on your body. There has no technology been invented to make your tattoos move like ‘Maui’ from ‘Moana’, and it is unlikely to be invented in the near future, the need just doesn’t seem great enough. It would be insanely weird to make a screen a part of your body, but that’s not the only way artists are bringing tattoos to life today.
Recently, Hungarian tattoo artist, Balazs Bercsenyi came up with the concept of ‘The Life of a Rose’. This piece of art was to span over the bodies of 70 Hungarian individuals and, together, tell a story. Each piece was designed to depict a different part of the life cycle of a rose and put together, they would make a stop motion film of exactly what the title suggests, the life of a rose. This project was designed with the aim of bringing the people of Budapest closer together through artwork, and what better way to do that than putting it straight on their bodies. The art, once completed, created energy of oneness among seventy random people, something the world could do with much more of.
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Although this is the only artist of this kind who has been in the news of late, there have also been others who have worked on similar projects, bringing their tattoo projects to life. One such artist, the pioneer of this kind of work, is Phil Berge from Quebec City. A former animator, he has been creating tattoos like these for a few years now and has lots of compilations of his work on YouTube. Each of his stop motion pieces takes anywhere from 10-20 tattoos. The planning of which is crucial and is potentially the most important part of the process. Further, to keep things interesting he also is confined to topics that are familiar to tattoo enthusiasts, without which his work would remain incomplete.
Coming back to the technology required to create a truly dynamic tattoo, we all can agree that it still doesn’t exist. However, there have been other inventions that seem to be moving technology in a similar direction. Sound wave tattooing has been a big trend for a few years now. Yet, even though people remember what the wave is meant to say there was no way to capture the exact way it was said. Now there is an app, currently based out of Fort Collins, Colorado that fills in this gap called ‘Skin Motion’. Skin Motion scans sound waves through their app and play them back exactly how they’re meant to be heard. In my opinion, the next step to this technology is figuring out a way to scan a pictorial tattoo for it to play an associated video.
This trend seems to be picking up fast, but it’s still hard to understand how many people want to participate in a project where they don’t exactly know what they’re getting into. While in Hungary, Bercsenyi had over 600 respondents who hardly knew what they were in store for, how many do you think would get involved in a similar project in India? Indians are both more skeptical about what they’re getting and apprehensive of people around them. I think India needs to get over the mindset that their tattoo should be better than others to understand that art is unique to each and every person. The day this understanding comes in, stop motion tattooing would probably be welcome in India as well.
View the project alongside some of Bercsenyi’s other work here.