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The Brutal Tattoo Ritual Built on Pain



Tattoos hurt, but for most people, the pain is just a means to an end. Tattoo artists are usually mindful of their client’s pain threshold, catering for breaks and mitigating any unnecessary brutality. It’s abnormal for tattoo artists to restrain people while they’re getting tattooed, or for the tattooee to bolt upright in agony to escape the needle’s unrelenting penetrations. Nor is it very common to see sadistic mirth occupying the faces of multiple tattoo artists as they inflict the unnaturally long, thick, shallow lines seemingly without pause.

Enter Brutal Black. It’s the tattoo project where mandalas come to die and where pain is prioritized over aesthetics. Ritual and rebirth are at the forefront of this project helmed by Valerio Cancellier and Cammy Stewart. They take those brave enough to be tattooed by them on one of the most brutal experiences one can imagine; far beyond one’s threshold for pain to create an entirely new experience.

CORRECTION: This text was adapted from a VICE article on Brutal Black by Fareed Kaviani: Due to an oversight, he was not properly credited in an earlier version of this synopsis. We regret the error.

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24 Comments

  1. They are criminals. They should be put away, I s'ppose. Guantanamo might be right filthy place for them. There won't be a trial. P'haps too much pleasure for them, better put them in a coal mine, better for the economy, I guess. (Sarcasm included, no VAT)

  2. getting my first tattoo this week and wanted to see how crazy tattoo can be – I feel a bit disoriented watching this – The italian dude is incredibly scary in many ways.

  3. The longest session I had was 13 hours straight but I don't think I could hack even a few hours of this. And even the idea of getting inked in the eyeballs is causing me to hyperventilate..

  4. Having a tattoo drawn on you does hurt but it does feel amazing. I thoroughly enjoyed having my collar bone to sternum inked and my entire back and shoulders. Dig the Scotsman’s worldview all day long!

  5. Leviticus 19:28
    "Do not cut your bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourselves. I am the LORD."

    1 Corinthians 6:20
    "For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s."

  6. A true tattoo artist will tell you going at it the way Valerio does isn't good for the canvas. He's causing deep scarring and its what actual tattoo artist never strive to do. Ritual or not.

  7. This is sad. The need for extreme pain to feel some sort of achievement or fulfillment that even at that back down uncomplete and will never be complete.
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