Wim Delvoye began tattooing live pigs(whilst anesthetized) in 1997 in the US, before doing it in China from 2004 to 2008, where animal welfare laws are more lax. The unusual mixture of tattoos includes Disney princesses, patterns found on Russian prison inmates and even a Louis Vuitton logo. But animal rights campaigners complained that the pigs were suffering unnecessarily and being abused for improper commercial profit. The animals' skins were sold for up to £55,000 a piece, with one canvas featuring Disney characters sold to Chanel and made into two bags. Since these photographs were taken, Mr Delvoye, 49, has worked on other projects including marble replicas of twisted Gothic-style towers. And he even tattooed a man’s back before selling it as art - with the collector bizarrely able to keep the person’s skin when he dies.
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
From the author of 'Heavenly Bodies' and 'The Empire of Death comes Memento Mori. 'From bone-filled burial caves in Indonesia to smoking skulls in Bolivia, photographer Paul Koudounaris’s macabre images of decorative human remains and ossuaries reveal that, in many parts of the world, the dead remain among us. Memento Mori by Paul Koudounaris is published by Thames & Hudson on 16 March.
Koudounaris is a gifted narrator, vividly recounting the stories and traditions that lie behind his ghoulish but beautiful photographs, which reveal that in many places, the realms of the living and the dead are nowhere near so distinct as Western society would have us believe.
|Sedlec ossuary in Sedlec, Czech Republic|
|One of many skulls - or Ñatitas - found in homes in La Paz, Bolivia. They are used as good luck charms|
|Santa Maria della Concezione, Rome|
|St Pancratius, Church of St Nicholas, Wil, Switzerland|
|A smoking skull in a home in La Paz, Bolivia|
|A decorative skull in the Ruamkatanyu Foundation, Bangkok, Thailand|
|Capuchin monastery, Burgio, Sicily|
|Sicilian mummy from Burgio, Gangi|
|Oppenheim ossuary, Oppenheim, Germany|
|Konrad II, Basilica Minor of St Michael, Mondsee, Austria|
|Mummified Buddhist monk Luang Por Ruam, Wat Kiriwongkaram, Koh Samui, Thailand|
ALL photos credit to Paul Koudounaris
Monday, March 16, 2015
Families in Toraja in South Sulawesi dig up the bodies of their dead relatives before washing, grooming and dressing them in fancy new clothes. Even dead children are exhumed - one of these photos show the skeleton of a baby wrapped in a print dress with a doll laid next to it. Damaged coffins are fixed or replaced, and the mummies are then walked around the province by following a path of straight lines. The ritual is called Ma'nene, or The Ceremony of Cleaning Corpses. According to the ancient Torajan belief system, the spirit of a dead person must return to his village of origin. So if a person died on a journey, the family would go to the place of death and accompany the deceased back home by walking them back to the village.