Meet the tattoo obsessive who has covered 90 per cent of his body – including his eyeballs – with black ink, and he’s not finished yet.
Adam Curlykale, originally from Kaliningrad, Russia, was 20-years-old when he got his first tattoo. It was a small message on his arm which read “I am”.
Like many others he has had inked over the years, this tattoo no longer exists after it was covered up by another layer of jet-black ink.
Now aged 32, the vast majority of Adam’s body including his eyeballs is tattooed, with just 10 percent left to fill – and he has plans for that.
Once he’s finished doing his arm pits and bottom, he hopes to complete the project by tattooing mandalas – circular figures representing Hindu or Buddhism – on his palms and soles of his feet.
“I always knew that I was different from the rest of society,” says Adam. “My favourite colour has always have been grey, in different tones, and that’s why my current skin colour is graphite.
“I design my tattoos because it’s my body. I have a specific vision for myself and I do it step by step. Life is so short that I stopped wondering what will happen tomorrow. Life is here and now.”
And what is Adam’s motivation to “live in the moment”?
When he was just 22 he was diagnosed with cancer of the large intestine.
After months of radiotherapy, chemotherapy, molecular therapy and stem cell therapy he was left with a very weak immune system.
Although he successfully fought the disease, his immune system left him with several skin conditions and a partial disappearance of the pigment in the skin, otherwise known as albinism.
He became very depressed, suffered from eating disorders and even attempted suicide.
“I did not accept myself and others did not accept me,” Adam said, “Tattoos allowed me to discover myself again. I became beautiful to myself.”
In September last year, he decided to tattoo his eyeballs and completely covered his face, documenting it all on Instagram.
As well as working as a tattoo artist, he also practices as a psychologist, cosmetologist, artist, barber and singer. Due to his striking look Adam also has found success as an alternative model.
“People like me are not represented well in mass media,” says Adam. “People are afraid to risk and promote body modifications.
“I am not treated seriously because how can you take seriously a person who looks like this?
“Sometimes I think my look is my enemy. I never wanted to be a doctor, a lawyer, priest. People very often refuse me the right to live, let alone offer me real employment.
“I don’t want to work for anyone. I don’t want to have anyone above me, or below me. I want to be self sufficient. I value independence and the creativity of being yourself.
“I’ll die fulfilled, as a someone who wasn’t afraid to take chances, someone who lived regardless of other’s opinion but in harmony with himself.
“I’m not that different than everyone else. I eat, sleep, cry and laugh with everyone else. I’m no better or worse. I’m just myself and myself is enough.”
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