Sunday, October 2, 2011

Matt Gone Tattoos

Tattoo enthusiast Matt Gone estimated that 98 percent of his skin is covered in ink. "I never really knew how far I would ever go," he said. "And this is about as far as you can go." Now Gone has injected blue and green ink into both of his eyes by himself, a move that few have tried and doctors said went too far. "The risk of putting a needle near your eye is grave," said Dr. Douglas Meier, an ophthalmologist with the Portland Clinic. The doctor added that Gone is at risk for infection, which could lead to blindness or even cause him to lose his eyes. Gone said that he was well aware of the risks before performing the operation. "I patch tested it and was successful," he recalled. "I had to take the risk. I've done that a lot of times before. I'm not crazy. I'm trained. I have a lot of experience." Meier disagreed, saying that a nonprofessional could not safely pull of the inking. "Someone at home does not have access to the equipment, nor the expertise," Meier said. But Gone said the procedure turned out just fine, and he's glad that he did it. "I got lucky," he said. "But it's your risk, and I'm not going to help you. I did this for me. This is my project, my body." All of Gone's ink will be on full display this weekend in Portland, where he's attending a tattoo expo. Gone said that he's a very visual person. He said he picked a checkerboard pattern to be tattooed to his head, because it was something that he'd never seen done before. For his eyes, though, he wanted something more colorful. "I picked different colors," he explained. "Because I like mutations, because I have birth defects." Gone said those birth defects prevented some of the muscles in his body from developing properly and inspired him to get his first tattoo nearly 22 years ago. "The tattoos make me not hate my body, even though my body seems to be hating me," he said.

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