When I was a young man, it was routine to ink a naval squadron on a shoulder, or perhaps twin bombers bearing incendiary deathloads on a pair of sinewy biceps. Remember, the tattoo is historically a morose art, celebrating bands of men set to tear apart the brains of fellows in inferior gunships.
While times inevitably change, some things mercifully remain the same. And Joanne Calderwood has done right by the decades old barracks room needle hustlers, portraying a tattooed woman exploding her head with a pistol, brain matter and oxygen-depleted blood trailing off into an ironic cloud of butterflies. The woman, of unknown age because her face has dematerialized, hearkens us to the meal-rationed roots of a thin nation that embraced virtual self-harm, marching into almost certain death on the road to freedom.
Badmofo_jojo reminds us, during an otherwise lighthearted Christmas season, that “#butterflysuicide” will happen the moment she rolls up her sleeves. Perhaps in the middle of gift opening, causing Aunt Martha to retire prematurely, deep in nihilistic thoughts.