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Change Of Art: Stories About Tattoo Coverups

TOONMAN_blchin / Wikipedia
Lucky Diamond Rich is best known for holding the Guinness World Record as "the world's most tattooed person".

The art of tattooing has been traced back 7,000 years. While the significance or reason behind the oldest-known tattoos are total speculation, we do know that often, they were applied as sacred rites, and awarded as a signifier of adulthood. In Ancient Egypt, it’s likely they were used as a means of safeguarding women during pregnancy and birth. And in the ancient Greco-Roman world, they were applied on enslaved people who got caught trying to escape.

But today, the reasons for getting a tattoo are as distinct as the person getting them. Sometimes, it’s a memorial to a person or an experience or an idea. Sometimes, it’s nothing more than something that just looks really cool!

Now and then, though, the meaning changes, and the artwork needs to be covered up. So today, you’ll hear stories about how people have used tattoos to allow their skin to, shall we say, evolve.

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  • Chris Gladis is a high school teacher living in Osaka, Japan. He has yet to be tattooed
  • Jim Bonaldo is a father, husband, improv comic, storyteller, and tattoo canvas, living in Wethersfield
  • Tracy Wu Fastenberg is a fundraiser for a nonprofit, and babywearing enthusiast of her two children in West Hartford
  • Addy Irizarry was a professional boxer, and is now a school safety officer and boxing trainer living in Tolland
  • Michael Kalinowski is a 37 year-old from Baltic, with a wife and 3 daughters
  • Jessica Pain lives in Bristol with her wife, 3 children, 4 cats, 2 dogs, and a ball python named Ozzy. After working as an Emergency Room Nurse for over a decade she now has a career in the life-saving world of organ donation
  • Mikaela is a firefighter and EMT living in Vermont
  • Alex Lawrence is the owner of Mountainside Tattoo in Bellows Falls, Vermont
  • Dickie Marcum is a 34 year-old husband and father of three, living in Cincinnati, Ohio. He’s the founder of the “Erase The Hate Project”, a non-profit helping people remove or cover up racist tattoos

Catie Talarski & Jessica Severin de Martinez contributed to this show which originally aired on August 28, 2020.

Chion Wolf is the host of the radio show and podcast 'Audacious' on Connecticut Public.
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