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Skin is Just a Canvas…
“Ink, Blood and Spirit – the life and work of Little Swastika” Review

Is 18 minutes enough to explain why anyone would remove their fingers or have completely black eyeballs? Yes. And no. All the time in the world won’t be enough if you even have to begin explaining. It’s something you must understand instantly, not with your mind and reasoning, but with your third eye. It’s organic knowledge if you have it; if you don’t – follow the rest of the sheep.

CVLT Nation sponsored short documentary, “Ink, Blood and Spirit – the life and work of Little Swastika”; a film about becoming, just like the life of the man portrayed is. German tattoo artist Little Swastika tells the viewers how everything falls into place in his own microcosm, somewhere on the edge of pan-European society. Divided into several sections, the film takes us through the concepts most important to Little Swastika, such as body modification, the symbol of the swastika, his daughter and art. It’s clear very early on that he’s not just one of those self-important “body mod enthusiasts” the European tattoo conventions are so full of – or, more simply put, a poser. According to the movie, not only is Little Swastika’s tattoo style in opposition to the established tattoo society, but so is pretty much everything about him.

Visually, the movie, directed byClaudio Marino, is quite striking, with color schemes and filters perfectly matching Little Swastika’s abstract, vivid works. Working together with the droneish, suspense-driven soundtrack by Den Röda Dörren, the presentation as a whole leaves a very strong impression that’s going to stay with you for a very long time. You could even argue that the film itself is part of the ultimate cross-media artwork – watch it to know what I mean here.

Body modification is one of those subjects that doesn’t really require any discussion, because one side of the arguments just gets it, and that’s that. The other side won’t be convinced either – just imagine the grey-haired old man in a dusty armchair going “ah these idiot kids with their tattoos now, when I was their age…” When I was your age, shut the fuck up. “Ink, Blood and Spirit” is a very powerful movie, and it shouldn’t surprise you, because the man pictured in it is of very powerful character. If you’re browsing this site on a regular basis, you should definitely watch this film. You might understand the philosophy of tattooing a little better. If you’re on the edge about something you want to have done on your own skin, but can’t quite make the final decision, this movie will help you.

Above all, the message that was clear to me after seeing this film is this: through our lives we are constantly becoming. We are becoming what we already are within ourselves, so we are manifesting our internal development on the outside. Some of us just can’t do it without changing something about our bodies. We might need black eyeballs, or horns on the forehead. Whatever it is, it’s true to the inner picture, and that’s awesome. Nobody said anything about being human, after all.

The film is available for $1.99 rental at Vimeo on Demand right here.


Written By

Magda Wintar were born and raised in the Central European country of Poland. Being a neutrois musician, novelist, and researcher, they chose to reject the society which constantly discriminated against them and bought their own forest, on the edge of which they now live. Magda spend their days writing, and composing music - the kind of music you need to put your hands in the earth to understand.

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