Revealing Portraits of Heavily Tattooed People Who Normally Cover Their Whole Bodies

For many people, their skin is a canvas on which to display beautiful body art. Some folks are satisfied with one or two tattoos, but others keep going until entire areas of their body are camouflaged in colorful ink. British photographer Alan Powdrill documents these brazen bodies in COVERED, an homage to those willing to go to the tattooing extreme. His series features two images per person: one where they’re bundled head-to-toe, and another where they’re showing off their complex tapestry of tattoos.

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Photo © by Alan Powdrill

“My tattoos are part of who I am and I’ll always love my bodysuit now and when I’m 80. The love I get for what I look like is what it’s all about.” (Victoria, 37)

The revealing photographs demonstrate the complexity of human identity. To these people, clothes symbolize just one part of their lives. Powdrill’s subjects wear suits, tailored jeans, and pressed shirts—they are business professionals, hardworking laborers, and responsible parents. Wearing these garments make us view them in a certain way, one that reflects a “civilized” demeanor. But when they’re undressed, if offers a different aspect of their lifestyle, and begs the question: do we change our attitude towards a person once we discover they’ve got a giant tiger across their back? Also, can any one image truly reflect the complexity of a human’s character? Continue reading »