New York tattoo artist Scott Campbell was giving away free tattoos, but there was a catch. The catch being that to get one you had to stick your arm through a hole in a wall. But one you did, you get inked by Scott, although you didn't know what you got until you pulled your arm out and took a look.
If it all sounds a bit strange, don't worry, it was part of an art installation called Whole Glory which took place last week at Milk Gallery in Manhattan.
It involved a wall with a hole and Scott Campbell sat on one side. On the other side sat a willing volunteer—participants were selected using a lottery system each day, and once they stuck their arm through, that's it. Scott tattooed whatever he wanted.
Scott is a noted tattoo artist so people got inked for free from one of the best. It's just, well, they had no idea of just what that was.
Speaking with the New York Times he explained how he decided on what to tattoo:
I almost feel like there’s a bit of a palm-reading aspect to it. I don’t really know the person, but I’m physically touching them, reacting to them subliminally. I have a bunch of designs sketched out. Some of them I’ll pull from books of mine, other ones I’ll make up on the spot. The freedom is the most exciting thing to me, so I’m trying not to plan it out too much. I’m doing this large painting that has a bunch of drawings and sketches and things on it, so you’ll get a sense of the world that it’s coming from, but no, it could be anything.
People have been posting some of the creations he's done to Instagram under the hashtag #WholeGlory. You can check some out below.
Whole Glory Tattoo No. 19 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory
Holy shiiitt!! I wish I had the balls to get something like this. This kid is pretty lucky. #scottcampbell #wholeglory #tattoo #randomtattoo #freetattoo
Congrats to @scampbell333 on his amazing #WholeGlory event hosted by Smile NYC! Pictured here: 3 recipients of #ScottCampbell tattoos. Photo credit: @bfa #art #tattoo #savedwines
Last night @ #milkgallery , #milkstudios With Artist #scottcampbell doing his #wholeglory Gallery @ NYC...
And after!! #wholeglory @scampbell333
Closeup! #wholeglory #tattoonumberone #scottcampbell #milkgallery
Whole Glory Tattoo No. 18 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory
The finished result at #ScottCampbell's performance art tattoo installation #WholeGlory currently in progress at Milk Studios NYC. From now until Sunday, brave passersby can sit in the empty chair, stick their arm through the glory hole in a 50 foot long original painting by Scott, and receive a free tattoo of his choosing with no input or discussion by the victim. Only the brave need apply...
Whole Glory Tattoo No. 15 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory
Whole Glory Tattoo No. 10 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory
Whole Glory Tattoo #1 Thank you for your confidence. #wholeglory
This past Thursday through Sunday, the artist @scampbell333 gave 23 people mystery tattoos through a hole in a wall, without meeting or communicating with them, for his #wholeglory project. T's own @a_symonds was one of them; here he is working on her arm. Photo by @amylombard.