Ramon Maiden Tattoos the Virgin Mary

by Roxanne GoldbergPosted on

Based in Barcelona, artist Ramon Maiden embellishes pin up girls and religious figures with some serious ink. Using ball point pen, the self-designated “Dandy Delinquent” adds a mix of tribal patterns and old-school Americana to his subjects otherwise revered for their innocence.

Tattoos are typically viewed as expressions of individual character. Maiden however, usurps the agency of the body markings, laying his own projections quite literally into the skin of his blonde beauties and holy virgins. On the thighs and breasts of his sex icons, Maiden draws Christian crosses and hands in prayer positions, while the flesh of Baby Jesus is adorned with snakes and skulls. The chosen imagery therefore complicates notions of the sacred and profane.

While Maiden has a range of influences including the Victorian Era, World Wars, and 1920s America, his interest in gestures of power is consistent throughout his ouvre. A poster with the title “Beauty Parade: The World’s Loveliest Girls” shows a women whose delicate fingers hold the strings to her corset, just moments away from unraveling, while another pin up girl cheekily holds a fan to her face while her other hand fingers a string of pearls at her chest. Similarly, the religious images feature pointed fingers and bound wrists. In a series of painted wooden hands, Maiden further abstracts this study to show the hand is a blank canvases with which one enacts a host of actions, from waging war to proposing marriage.

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