It takes a certain type of person to cover their body in tattoos, but Eli Ink takes his ink addiction to entirely different level.
The 27-year-old has spent the last decade tattooing his entire body black, and that includes the insides of his lips and the whites of his eyes.
He also has implanted huge stretchers in his nose and under his bottom lip as part of his body-modification process. According to the Daily Mail, Ink, a tattoo artist from Brighton, England, sees his body as a walking exhibition of his finest work.
Ink’s fascination with tattoos was apparently sparked when he was a child and saw his uncle return from Spain sporting a large tribal tattoo.
“In my opinion, the only person who will only ever understand my transition properly is me. I don’t attempt to describe it to anyone,” Ink told the Daily Mail. “I’ve always been blown away by art itself. Picasso is a huge childhood inspiration to me, especially abstract art, but I do like all forms of art. Body art was just the next local step for me growing up.”
His fascination with abstract art is what has apparently driven him to make himself a living, breathing canvas.
“I wanted to look like an abstract character in one of Picasso’s paintings. I love the abstract look, no thought, just pure expression,” Ink said.
How did Ink turn his eyeballs black?
According to the Daily Mail, eyeball tattooing involves injecting the ink in-between two layers of the eye’s sclera — the white part — and letting it permeate across the eye. He admits that the process is quote dangerous, and it can cause terrible damage to the eye if not done properly.
“That’s the risk you take letting anyone near your eyes, even trained surgeons can make mistakes,” Ink said. “Body modification is a risk-taker’s lifestyle.”
Ink has a girlfriend named Holly, who is also heavily into the body modification scene. They say they are quite in love.
Ink belongs to a subculture within the broader modification movement known as Modern Primitives, whose modifications are inspired by tribal rituals and rites of passage, according to the Daily Mail.
While he’s already deep into his transformation, Ink says he isn’t finished with modifications yet, and in fact, he doubts he’ll ever reach the point where he feels he’s done enough.
“I will never be finished. It will take me the rest of my life to finish my studies, but I am dedicating the rest of my life to body modification and perfecting my work.”