Sunday, February 05, 2006

Avatar robado.

Beware of identity theft!

Not wishing to plaster my gorgeous self over the web, risk becoming a viral image, or be identified as this person writing (due to extreme shyness and fear of avengers and evangelists), I found what I thought would suit me for a persona in this engraving of a dashing mustachioed man. I especially liked the tattoo on his chest, which reads: 'FORGET ME NOT'.

However, I've now discovered that he's not anonymous. He's Mr Frank Burgh: he and his wife were famous for their tattoos.

Here they are in The Picture Magazine of June 1893:

(Click image to enlarge)

The text reads:
Mr. and Mrs. Frank Burgh are Americans, and have been showing the public how tattooing has been brought to a fine art. The tattooing is done in the ordinary way, and the tints are also beautifully assorted - the finish being perfect. The chest of Mr. Frank Burgh shows a pattern of beautifully designed flowers, among which reclines the figure of Mrs. Burgh. The lady's shoulders are adorned with representations of well-known Biblical incidents.
(I think I liked her hair better in the tattoo.)

Sadly, it seems that we did forget: a search on Google for - "frank burgh" tattoo - returns absolutely nothing. Well, he's here now.

According to Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, not only do we desire immortality, but the immortality of our friends and family, of our homes and nations, and of all aspects of life.
(El Sentimiento Trágico de la Vida)
Added Februrary 9th:
I was so pleased for Frank, look:

But there's a somewhat dull ending to this story of the creation of immortality for a man who did not wish to be forgotten. The Picture Magazine of 1893 got his name wrong; there's a Frank and Emma deBurgh listed at the Tattoo Archive. (And Emma's had her hair cut yet again!)


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