Cesar SantosFirst Tattoo (201X)

This is an ingenious riff on Caravaggio’s The Incredulity of Saint Thomas–the guy in the background and the seeking finger of the girlfriend are pretty much directly quoted.

Then you’ve got what I’m pretty sure is supposed to be Rembrandt looking all unimpressed face emojicon.

The sum is a rather acerbic comment on the watering down of art–Caravaggio’s gloom as the foundation for the Rembrandt’s tenebrism as a foundation for the ever present and aching sexual longing of modernity on towards the diminution of craft and concept implied by the glaringly absent titular tattoo.

It’s not all bleak, though. There’s an undisguised wonder in the pointing friend running counter to the bored too-cool-for-school, world-weariness and resignation of the tattoo bearer.

(The Hello Kitty underpants are likely supposed to be far more cynical than I’m reading them. But I have to admit a particular bias, I find the way late teens and early twenty somethings try to reclaim some of the audacity that defined their first efforts at self-determination–to be unspeakably sexy.)

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