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Dublin: 12 °C Tuesday 15 October, 2019
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People stuck their arms through a hole and let an artist give them 'mystery tattoos'

They weren’t allowed to see them until he was finished. GULP.

Day at the office with @themarcjacobs Source: Instagram/scampbell333

SOME PEOPLE MULL over a tattoo idea for years. Others get spur-of-the-moment ink. But would you let someone else decide what’s going on your body forever, without consulting you?

Artist Scott Campell usually tattoos high-profile clients like Mark Jacobs and Courtney Love – last week, he announced that he wanted to tattoo some members of the public for free.

But there was a catch.

Whole Glory Now open. All set up and starting first one soon.... Tattooing for four days. Dealer's choice. Milk Gallery today through Sunday. Source: Instagram/scampbell333

Campbell set up a screen in the middle of an art gallery with a hole in the middle, as part of an installation called Whole Glory (geddit).

Anyone who wanted a free tattoo had to put their arm through the hole and let Campbell tattoo anything he was “inspired” to do – and they weren’t allowed to see it until he was finished.

#WholeGlory Source: Instagram/sprout_dog

You might think it’s crazy, but people came in their dozens, and were eventually selected to be tattooed by a lottery.

Campbell did around 25 ‘mystery tattoos’ – each one was just a little bit different. Some were wacky:

Whole Glory Tattoo No. 17 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory Source: Instagram/scampbell333

Some were intricate:

Whole Glory Tattoo No. 23 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory #lastone Source: Instagram/scampbell333

Whole Glory Tattoo No. 18 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory Source: Instagram/scampbell333

Others were more delicate affairs:

Whole Glory Tattoo No. 12 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory Source: Instagram/scampbell333

In an interview with the New York Times, Campbell said he had a few designs sketched out, but made up others on the spot:

I think there’s a sort of magic there in the exchange, the drawing-a-card-out-of-the-deck dynamic… If I put a rose on every girl’s arm and a skull on every guy’s arm, it’s not going to be an interesting project. The risk is what makes it interesting.

Well, you have to respect their pluck.

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