Amazing Guest Post: Alex Guest

While I’m still away, a great friend with a big heart has offered this guest post to go on the site. Fantastic stuff :) Alex Guest is one groovy dood, who is currently putting the finishing touches on new magazine Tattoo Revolution with Neil Dalleywater. Their magazine is going to be fantastic, so I hope you’ll all help me thank Alex by buying a copy of the magazine (digital issue Friday, printed issue the Friday after!). Anyway, on with the show…


“David Beckham’s tattoo of Jesus is just right – bad art and bad taste.”

It’s an evocative ol’ title for an opinion column, isn’t it? It comes courtesy of a piece from the Telegraph written back in January (here) by one Christopher Howse. I’ve tracked back to this article because it still riles and bemuses me in equal measure, and additionally, my sleep-deprived brain thought today was a good day to put forward a challenging piece of journalism.
I’d best pop the kettle on… Again.

I am well aware that tattoos and tattooed people are subject to comment from closed-minded and (dare I say slightly) bigoted individuals who feel it’s their birth right to share with anyone within range their disdain for body art, and unfortunately these diatribes have an outlet in mainstream media. The only thing worse than the initial onslaught from the column’s author is the slew of comments that inevitably follows such a post; snooty mockery and flagging attempts at humour…read them for yourself. Such remarks really get under my skin (pardon the pun) and seem completely unnecessary and moreover, unfair.

One of the biggest bugbears for me is when tattoo art is criticised so vehemently as it is in the article I’ve referenced. No matter what your thoughts are on Beckham’s work, it’s not poorly executed and is certainly a cut above a lot of the ‘day to day’ tattoos that you see. Mr. Howes argues that “…by the time they [tattoos] have been simplified by the tattooist’s needle, such pictures approximate to popular religious imagery – which in the eyes of the art establishment is poor stuff.”

In the quiet words of the Virgin Mary, “Come again?” A considered search through t’internet would yield many tattoos that demonstrate an unquestionable calibre as to be worthy of artistic acclaim. Anil Gupta, Nikko, Bez, Shige, Hernandez, Bjorn…undeniable talents scattered across Earth’s surface just waiting to be uncovered by an eager enthusiast or researching journalist.
My personal highlight? This little nugget of solid gold: “It is precisely such vulgar art that sailors and footballers ought to have incised on their bodies.” Of course it is. Because…? Perhaps I ask too much for justification of such an obtuse statement, but it just seems so ill-considered and baseless: stereotypes that were propagated during the middle of the last century surely merit further investigation? In my humble opinion, such disparaging remarks are akin to discrimination but because tattoos aren’t protected by law, there’s not a great deal we can do aside from try to show people that being tattooed doesn’t suddenly turn you into a deviant.

I’ll finish off with the original post I left amongst the comments…

“Just as well, then, that the tattooed portion of the populace aren’t quite as keen to voice their opinions on (…) readers and tar them with a vast and all-encompassing brush as snooty, vapid, and guilty of wielding prehistoric opinions that have no tangible basis other than their own inherited standards, passed down by their parents and maintained by their peers; heaven forbid that they might apply some minuscule effort and attempt to glean knowledge of a culture at odds with their own vacuous lifestyles…

Both the article and subsequent comments lack a discernable knowledge of the subject under scrutiny and smack of indolence, painting a rather xenophobic picture of the paper’s demographic and reminds me, once again, of why intolerance continues to bubble away in this country. “

3 Responses to “Amazing Guest Post: Alex Guest”
  1. Jemmy says:

    Great Alex Guest post. His intelligent response to the article is one in a few. I understand people are entitled to opinions about those with tattoos, but when they start getting stupid and rude about it then their comments just become prejudiced crap and I can’t take them seriously.

    I’m really looking forward to Tattoo Revolution; I hope there will still be copies left when I get home! I’m in Orlando for three weeks, surrounded by some of the most awesome tattoos I’ve ever seen :) I suppose the nice weather allows people to show them off more than in the UK.

    It’s nice to see posts appearing again, but I hope everything is ok with you Mel. All the best x

  2. Conor Newman says:

    Great blog post! Always great blog posts here Mel ;-) But Great to read Alex here! :)

    Viva la Revolution!!

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  1. […] red carpet shows off their new tattoo, there’s an article similar to this- remember the wonderful Alex Guest’s post on this site last year about David Beckham, for […]

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