Art That Lasts

All my life I’ve admired forms of art that last. You’ve got the pyramids, yes…they’re kind of the gold standard for building something that people are still going to be poring over thousands of years from now. The Sistine Chapel is alright, I suppose, but they had to spend an absolute fortune restoring the painting work after only a few hundred years, so, you know…six out of ten. 

In terms of humans, tattoos are about as good as it gets, so I’m quite interested in them. 

I was visiting a tattoo parlour in New Delhi to get my usual souvenir (a small image of a local landmark) and I noticed a guy lying on the table having the entirety of the Delhi skyline tattooed up the inside of his leg. It was nearly done, and I do remember briefly admiring his artistic choices until I saw that his eyelids were half closed and he looked ready to drop off. So, pretty sure he wasn’t ‘all there’, but still, it’s a trip that he’ll remember for the rest of his life. Every time he catches a glimpse of his inner leg (or any time anyone else does), it’ll bring back all these warm memories of riding rickshaws and visiting grand palaces and probably other stuff…I hope. Unless he was one of those tourists that just comes to a country, goes to the beach, drinks a lot and goes home, much like you could do pretty much anywhere in Australia.

Look, on some level, I like to think this person wanted to immortalise a trip to India in the biggest and boldest way possible. And short of taking this marvellous architecture home, which is a logistical impossibility, he went for a grand artistic gesture. Here’s me getting a tiny version of the Lotus Temple at the base of my neck, and there’s this guy going for absolute gold.

I hope he appreciated it, once he woke up, because now I see that I’ve been holding out on myself. A New Delhi tattoo artist has shown me the way. 

…I need to go home and start building tiny replicas of all the places I’ve visited, using all the original materials so they stand as long as the originals. Nothing can go wrong with this plan!

-Tess