While all of the starry-eyed lovers out there exchange novelty gifts, like pink teddy bears with heart-shaped stomachs, over-priced heart-shaped balloons, and heart-shaped boxes of chocolate with nasty fillings, most single people would just as well run a dagger through every heart-shaped piece of shit out there.
Sean Williams, aka Sean from Texas, makes wry, hand-poked tattoos that perfectly capture this contempt for Valentine's Day, which we all know is really just a commercialistic ruse to get couples to buy useless crap made of potentially toxic materials for each other.
The affectation of Williams' body art is ideal for channeling the collective hatred that many of us share for the commodification of modern romance. His tattoos are deceptively simple, employing a purposely crude aesthetic to communicate a discontentment with society at large. With only fine lines, black-out shading, and a touch of dotwork, he creates body art that makes unabashed statements about what it is like to exist as a person who is alienated from the mainstream.
Williams’ designs use satire to communicate his messages about being a disaffected individual in the 21st century, not unlike the best political cartoons. His tattoos have a macabre sense of humor and many of them are accompanied by sarcastic or apathetic phrases scrawled out in chicken scratch.
The way that Williams’ work celebrates misanthropy and revels in nihilism is what makes it such an effective agent for calling out society’s bullshit. A sleeve that chronicles the futility of love in the face of impending death undermines the values that most hold dear, and in doing so, challenges the very essence of what makes a sham like Valentine’s Day possible. The brutal honesty of his work is refreshing in this way.
To commiserate on a loveless existence with more of Williams’ art, drag your lonely self on over to his Instagram or check out this other post. If you, too, want a tattoo that tells the rest of the honeymooning world to go fuck itself, he works privately in Los Angeles and can be reached firstname.lastname@example.org.