The 2016 election cycle hasn’t been for the faint of heart. With the unfavorable ratings for both candidates at an all time high, some Americans have been coming up with creative ways to express their disgust for the choices this November. To better understand the motivation behind these types of statements, I sat down with tattoo artist Dave Bryson, (aka Salty Dave) to have a conversation about the inflammatory artwork he recently placed on a disgruntled American voter.
Hypeoxia: This has been a bizarre election cycle, have you inked up any other political tattoos?
Salty Dave: It has been bizarre. I was supposed to do a Bernie tattoo but another artist ended up snagging it. As far as I know, those are the only two politically oriented tattoos I’ve seen come out of our shop. Strange that nobody got a Hillary tattoo. I guess it’s a lot like in real life, where nobody can really give a reason why they’re voting for her other than not wanting Trump. I suppose nobody is committed enough to HRC to commit her to skin permanently.
Hypeoxia: The drawing of Trump reminds me of the artwork from Mad Magazine. How would you describe this style of drawing of Donald Trump?
Salty Dave: Well, the drawing was based on an image from the internet. I changed it up a bit, but it was a walk-in so I didn’t really have time to put too much personal flair into it. I’d say it’s pretty minimalist but with the trademark yellow/orange hair added in as an extra touch. Overall though, it’s pretty bland, without much depth, much like the subject matter.
Hypeoxia: Can you clarify the intent of putting the tattoo on the bum? And do you anticipate any follow up work/additions to this tattoo?
Salty Dave: When the client came in and requested it, I said “What, did you lose a bet?” He sorta laughed and said yes. When it came time to do the deed, I asked what the bet was. Suddenly it changed from losing a bet to being dared. His friend said he’d pay for it, if he would get it on his ass. So now we’re in a situation where I don’t know if the kid really wanted it or not. I didn’t get the impression that he was an actual Trump supporter, but more so just a guy who likes to pull his pants down at parties. But, nobody was twisting his arm either.
We did make a brief joke about putting Hillary on the other cheek but he said “hell no.” Again, nobody seems to want a Hillary tattoo. As far as placement, besides being on the cheek, we made the conscious decision to have him facing inward. “Staring into the abyss” is how a lot of Americans undoubtedly feel about the very real possibility of a Trump presidency.
Hypeoxia: What’s the most unusual tattoo you have ever given?
Salty Dave: Barring unmentionable parts of the body, this may be one of the strangest. I am curious about the future. Will this kid tire of showing it to people upon request once his college days are over? Will he cover it up down the road when he realizes his egregious error? Or will he wear it like a badge of pride when Dictator Trump’s gestapo comes knocking and escape the internment camps? I suppose only time will tell.