Sunday, June 7, 2009

Vince and a Word from John Keats

I'm a sucker for words.

Scrabble, crossword puzzles and, when I find them, words inscribed in flesh.

I recently spotted Vince, walking down 32nd Street in Manhattan. I caught up with him after he crossed Broadway, heading east.

He has eight tattoos, but I snapped a picture of this one:

And why does he have the word Beauty inked on the outside of his right forearm?

Vince is an artist and illustrator (see some of his work here) and he finds inspiration from the poem "Ode on a Grecian Urn" by John Keats. The lines

When old age shall this generation waste,
Thou shalt remain, in midst of other woe
Than ours, a friend to man, to whom thou sayst,
"Beauty is truth, truth beauty," -that is all
Ye know on earth, and all ye need to know.

resonate deeply with him. They are central concepts to him as an artist and a human being. The word "Truth" is inscribed on his left side to accompany the Beauty on his arm.

"I live for them," he told me, and I thank him for taking the time to talk with me.

The tattoo was inked by Kari Hamilton, a friend of his, in her basement in Michigan.

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