Anything painted directly, on the spot, always has a strength, a power, a lively touch that is lost in the studio. Your first impression is the right one. Stick to it and refuse to budge.
- Eugene Boudin
Nothing makes me so happy as to observe nature and to paint what I see.
- Henri Rousseau


Sunday, June 29, 2008

Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium

Posted by Charley Parker at 11:34 am

Carl Zimmer's Science Tattoo Emporium, Jeremiah Drewel's Dienonychus tattoo
Quick, think of a subject for a tattoo!

Did an image of a skull come to mind?

I mean, skulls can be cool, and I’ve seen some rather amazing skulls in the course of looking at tattoo art, but if you see enough tattoos, you begin to get a feeling of “C’mon now, how many &@$%#! skulls can we look at?”.

Well, what if the skull was a scientifically accurate Australopithecus skull, or a triceratops skull? Now we’re getting into interestingly different territory.

Carl Zimmer is a science writer, a contributor to the New York Times, National Geographic, Science and Scientific American; as well as the author of six books on scientific subjects.

In addition to his blog, The Loom, “a blog about life, past and future”, Zimmer has developed a fascination with scientists who have tattoos related to scientific subjects, and writes another blog, Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium in which he posts about this novel topic.

Didn’t think of geeky scientists as likely to offer up their bodies as canvasses for tattoo art? Think again.

The choice of a tattoo, an image to be permanently (in essence) inscribed on the wearer’s body, is undeniably a reflection of that person’s self image, or ideas of what is important, enjoyable or of primary interest. Scientists, it seems, often choose subjects that attempt to distill the essence of some concept or idea that they feel is central to their take on the natural world and its varied phenomena.

In Zimmer’s posts you will find tattoos of diatoms, galaxies, prehistoric cave paintings, microscopes, fossils, geometric solids, logarithmic spirals, scientific laws and maxims, chemical formulas for lysergic acid diethylamide and valium, maps of the solar system, carbon atoms, dna structures, partial and complete renderings of the periodic table of the elements, mathematical formulas for quantum physics, fluid dynamics and the golden ratio, Dawrin’s ship, the ascent of man, apes, lizards, fish, squid (with anatomical labeling), jellyfish, trilobites (always a favorite of mine), all manner of other animals; and, of course, dinosaurs.

The above image is a tattoo of Dienonychus sported by University of Alaska geology student Jeremiah Drewel.

Skulls, you say?

[Link via The Ink Nerd}

Posted in: Outsider Art   |   25 Comments »

25 comments for Carl Zimmer’s Science Tattoo Emporium »

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  1. Comment by Tanja
    Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 7:16 pm

    Wow! That’s so cool! It almost makes me want to finally get a tattoo…or two. Hmm, the ideas are churning… :)

  2. Comment by Liz
    Sunday, June 29, 2008 @ 8:31 pm

    That tattoo is amazing! The dinosaurs almost look 3-D. I imagine the novelty would wear off quick for the person who has to have in on their skin forever, though.

  3. Comment by Mark
    Thursday, September 11, 2008 @ 10:27 am

    OMG is So Nicee Good Workk !

  4. Comment by casey
    Wednesday, September 24, 2008 @ 4:16 pm

    how much did this cost??!

  5. Comment by Awesome! Great Job
    Wednesday, October 29, 2008 @ 12:06 am

    Terrific! Great Job!

  6. Comment by Clay
    Monday, December 8, 2008 @ 10:04 am

    “I imagine the novelty would wear off quick for the person who has to have in on their skin forever, though.”

    Someone has always wanted one but is too scared to commit, huh? A good tattoo won’t be regretted…key word = “good”

    That tattoo is A+ quality

  7. Comment by Rob
    Sunday, December 28, 2008 @ 12:15 am

    Who’s the artist of the that tattoo?

  8. Comment by Charley Parker
    Sunday, December 28, 2008 @ 8:05 am

    Unfortunately, neither the tattoo artist, nor the paleo artist he was copying, were named in the post.

  9. Comment by Stone barker
    Sunday, January 18, 2009 @ 5:01 pm

    It’s Reed Leslie.

  10. Comment by Charley Parker
    Monday, January 19, 2009 @ 7:54 am

    Thanks, Stone.

    I also found out the name of the paleo artist he was copying: Raul Martin.

  11. Comment by Ghetto Tatoos
    Friday, July 3, 2009 @ 10:30 pm

    Great post i really like it
    why i cant subscribe to your feed ? i keep getting an error?


  12. Comment by Ghetto Tatoos
    Saturday, July 4, 2009 @ 11:07 am

    Great Picture

    Saturday, July 18, 2009 @ 12:01 pm

    very nice tattoo

  14. Comment by stephane tattoo studio jarnac
    Tuesday, December 1, 2009 @ 4:31 pm

    slt beau boulot

  15. Comment by X
    Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 8:18 pm

    Please answer me by mail and tell me who did this awsome tattoo. I want to go there too. Please. Take care.

  16. Comment by Charley Parker
    Sunday, December 20, 2009 @ 10:36 pm

    Reed Leslie

  17. Comment by jesper
    Wednesday, December 23, 2009 @ 3:36 pm

    pow, i’m a little bit jealous :P

  18. Comment by Tattoo Spiryt
    Thursday, January 21, 2010 @ 5:40 am

    that tattoo is absolutely breathtaking. i visited the artists site, I think out of all if his great work that is the best. I need to make a trip to alaska.

  19. Comment by Patrick Raymond
    Wednesday, February 17, 2010 @ 1:54 am

    Reed Leslie at the Hole Look in Anchorage, Alaska did this piece.

  20. Comment by Artur
    Sunday, March 21, 2010 @ 3:22 pm

    I loved it!
    That’s a very good job!

  21. Comment by bigevil
    Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 11:31 am

    Who cares about this zimmer geek…..where and who did that tattoo, amazing work.

  22. Comment by Charley Parker
    Friday, May 14, 2010 @ 1:22 pm

    See previous comments in this post for attribution on the tattoo artist and the original source of the image.

  23. Comment by Sarah E
    Tuesday, June 8, 2010 @ 12:56 am

    this is seriously the most beautiful thing I have ever seen in my life

  24. Comment by pedro santibanez
    Monday, September 20, 2010 @ 9:43 am

    hey my name is from hoston and i wuz wonderin if u can give me da addresss of wer u u got ur looks perfect..hit me bak up i would really appriciate it..thanks

  25. Comment by Ælle
    Thursday, March 6, 2014 @ 4:27 am

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