This has got to be some of the most bizarre things! These tattooed skin rugs modelled by LA gang members are pretty messed up.
But if you easily got over the creep factor just as quickly as I have, then you might want to read more. It's one gold macabre find, especially for tattoo enthusiasts. And yes kids, it's as gruesome as it sounds but stick around for that.
In artist Renato Garza Cervera's “Of Genuine Contemporary Beast”, Los Angeles represent criminal gang Mara Salvatrucha members were turned into skin rugs, sprawled in a way that's similar to that of taxidermied tiger or bears.
The hyper-realistic sculptures were meant to have the effects that are expected from such a creation: to shock, to offend, and to disturb.
“Societies always invent new beasts in order to make others responsible for their problems, to express their fears and to invent them a new cover. Mass media play a very important role on this world-wide scapegoating process, by presenting some minorities as uncapable [sic] of thinking or feeling, delayed and dispensable people.”
Aside from the ink that stretched on each model, one will notice the hostile expressions on each face. They were all part of the idea to dehumanize the subject and compare it to the snarls taxidermied animals' faces were molded to. In a world where the definition of beast is often limited to wild animals, we fail to see the reality where minorities even the ones as looked down upon as gang members, are regarded the same way.
“Of Genuine Contemporary Beast” is truly a thought-provoking work meant to, in Cesar A. Cruz's words, “comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable.”