Dec 5th, 2017, 09:10 PM

Tattoos of AUP: Volume V

By Elizabeth Nguyen Son
Joachim Fernandez, World is One, Eye, Tattoos of AUP
Image Credit: Elizabeth Nguyen Son
"It can get you in trouble with the police here, so it was kind of stupid... but I don't regret it."

Name: Joachim Fernandez
Age: 20
Country: France/United States
Number of tattoos: 3

"The first tattoo I got was an eye on my left chest. The outline is text in different languages and the pupil is the Earth. I got it after I had been traveling for a while. I was 18 when I got it, I think - right after I left New York. I had a certain idea of how I saw the world in that moment and I got it because I wanted to remember it as I got older. It was like marking my own perception of the world at that point in time and figured it was the best way to remember. The text says 'one' in different languages. One of which is spelled wrong funnily enough - the one in Bengali. I didn't realize till after I got it but I've come to accept that."

"I then got a nautical compass on my right forearm, like one that you would see on ancient sailor maps. I had it in my head for five months. I just really wanted a compass. Regardless of where I'm going in life, that's where I want to go, so the compass is always leading me forward that way. I got the eye on the Lower East Side of Manhattan at a place called Daredevil Tattoos. The nautical compass at a random tattoo parlor in Budapest, Hungary. It doesn't matter where I get my tattoo but I have to like the artist and believe in the artist. Especially if it’s an intricate design. I’ll have to think this one the most. I drew all of my tattoos and the compass was perfected on a computer by the tattoo artist."

Image Credit: Elizabeth Nguyen Son

"And the last one... The three dots on my left wrist. I was really fucked up, actually. It represents 'Mort Aux Vaches', which pretty much means 'fuck the police'. I wrote an article on this earlier this year. I was at my friend's house a few months ago and he is a tattoo artist. I was very far from being sober - almost as far as I've been from sober before. We were drinking together, he was giving my other friend a free tattoo, and I figured, you don't get a free tattoo all the time. So, I started thinking about what I could get and the tattoo artist told me the story behind Mort Aux Vaches. It can get you in trouble with the police here, so it was kind of stupid... but I don't regret it."

"I intend to get many more tattoos once I have more money. I’m going to have a serpent revolving around my right arm. Half of it will be a skeleton, so it will be a decomposing serpent. And the head would be behind my elbow eating a dead rose. It was in a poem by Charles Bukowski and it was really fucking cool. The serpent wasn’t half-dead though. I think of myself as the serpent and as I’m dying I’m consuming the world’s beauty – a rose can signify a lot. All of my tattoos will be in black and white. I don’t really like colored tattoos. When it’s black and white it blends in better with your skin. But Lulu has one with blue eyes now and that’s pretty fucking cool. When used sparingly, color can be really nice."

Image Credit: Elizabeth Nguyen Son

Name: Judson Vandertoll
Age: 21
Country: United States
Number of tattoos: 1

"On my right thigh, I have a tattoo of a ship navigating rough waters. To me, this tattoo means a lot. I spent over 3 years thinking and deciding whether or not this was the tattoo I wanted. The banner on the bottom says 'fluctuat nec mergitur', which translates from Latin to 'tossed by the waves but does not sink' and has been a motto of Paris since at least 1358. During the Paris attacks two years ago, I had just moved away from home for the first time and had never been through a national tragedy. Everywhere I went, I saw this phrase and I connected with it."

Image Credit: Judson Vandertoll

"Being from Southern California, I grew up on boats my whole life and learned how to sail before I learned how to ride a bike. Basically, I consider myself more connected to the ocean than to the land. And this phrase directly relates to perseverance and getting over life obstacles that get in your way. I found it very fitting to put the banner in the waves of my tattoo since it is literally related. Above the waves, there's 'The Salty Dog', the name of my boat in California. My boat is where I feel most free to do what I wish without fear of being judged or getting in trouble. Just me, my friends, and the open ocean."

"I got this tattoo in Paris near Bastille at the shop 23 Keller by Eddie Czaicki. He is by far my favorite and probably one of the best color and traditional style tattoo artists in Paris and probably in all of Europe (at least in my opinion). Check out his Instagram! He’s also usually fully-booked a month or two in advance so be sure to make reservations. I would definitely love to get more tattoos and keep the color and traditional style but for the moment mama is on the hunt and said I cannot tattoo myself anymore! At least not for a few years. So, for now, I’ll stick with one. The tattoo is also a cover-up if you look closely... I guess 40z and 14-year-olds don't generate intelligence."

Image Credit: Judson Vandertoll

Name: Marly Phillips Nicol
Age: 20
Country: United Kingdom
Number of tattoos: 1

"I have a small tattoo that holds a lot of sentiment in my life. I was part of a student-run organization called NY2NO, which was originally comprised of students from New York who would go down and live on an urban farm in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina hit to aid the community of the Lower Ninth Ward in any way they could while learning about different social justice movements and how we could be better social justice acts within our communities, globally."

Image Credit: Elizabeth Nguyen Son

"By the time I was one of the organizers of these events, we were going to a place in North Philly and working on an urban farm out there called "Life Do Grow". One of the people that I met there was from North Philly and his father lived across the street. His name was Chuck, and Chuck and I became very good friends - he was, like, my mentor while I was in that community. So, one night when my friends and I were playing a game of King's Cup (a drinking game) after the trip was over, someone put in place a rule when you pick up the jack or the joker card: if you said someone else's name you had to get a stick and poke tattoo. At the end of the game, I had said someone's name as had other people. I think a couple that was there got a matching moon and sun tattoo, and other people got other things."

"Chuck and I decided to get a dot on our index fingers so that when we pounded [fists] they connected and it was like a form of brotherhood or something of the sort... but because we were both fairly drunk, we got it on the same finger and if you try to pound someone with the same hand and make the same finger connect, you will know that it doesn't work. We came to that conclusion after we'd gotten the tattoos. So, now we both have a dot on our right index finger that was originally supposed to act as a semblance of brotherhood and connectors but ended up just looking pretty silly. But I definitely don't regret it."

Image Credit: Elizabeth Nguyen Son

If you haven't already read the antecedent articles from this series. You can find them linked below:
Volume I - Written by Savannah Hunter, featuring Elizabeth Amiotte, Anna Kressbach, and Emily Frigon
Volume II - Written by Elizabeth Nguyen Son, featuring Camila Villegas, Savannah Hunter, and Rebecca Simor
Volume III - Written by Elizabeth Nguyen Son, featuring Shalise Barnes, Joan Jessiman, and Amelia Harvey
Volume IV - Written by Elizabeth Nguyen Son, featuring Anabel Bachour, Quentin Palasti, and Lucas Yammine