Sunday, October 12, 2008

**This post was updated for clarification of facts on October 13, 2008.

As Autumn advances on New York, tattoos have been less frequently spotted by yours truly, but a recent streak of warmer temperatures have extended the season just a bit.

I spotted the above piece on David's right bicep last Saturday at a green market in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.

The tattoo was inked as a result of David taking care of a neighbor's dogs for a spell up in Bar Harbor, Maine, in 1992. The neighbor had grown up in Syracuse, New York. and attended St. Lucy's Church there. The original Syracuse, in the province of Syracuse, in the region of Sicily, in Southern Italy, was where Saint Lucy was born and martyred. She is also known as the Patroness of Syracuse.

David and his neighbor had a mutual friend who was a tattoo artist and the neighbor arranged for the artist to do the tattoo for David as a form of payment for the favor.

The basis for the artwork, which is a portrait of Saint Lucy, was a Jane's Addiction concert t-shirt, circa 1991 and the Ritual de la Habitual tour. The tattooist had a close affinity for Saint Lucy, as he had gone to a church named for her, and she is the patron saint for the blind.

I was unable to find art on the shirt, but I did find the following poster art:


and this additional image, credited to a prayer card, which bears a striking resemblance, and may in fact be the basis for the concert poster and shirt art:

David indicates that the shirt looked more like the prayer card than the poster.

According to her story, her eyes were gouged out prior to her execution, and as a result, when depicted in art, two eyes appear on a plate in the portrait. In the case of this tattoo, they appear to the left of the piece:


Her eyes are often regarded as holy relics.

David also admires her as she is seen as one of the earliest feminist figures in Christianity. He also notes that he gave his friend/neighbor the concert t-shirt which inspired the tattoo, due to his relationship with St. Lucy's Church in Syracuse, NY.

Thanks to David for sharing his tattoo with us here on Tattoosday!

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