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Tattoo artiste in hiding? Or just another publicity stunt…

By Howaboutthat - 3 September 2012 31

Perusing the internet today, I read with interest that Canberra tattooist and artist Ex de Medici has been drawing moths. “Ex de Medici…is an Artist Fellow who drew extinct moths from the Australian National Insect Collection (at the CSIRO)”. Moths? Sweet little soft colourful moths?? What has happened to this tattoo artist who dwells on the ghoulish and the ghastly?

In the accompanying interview , Ex implies that she needed to be in protected premises, as if offered at the CSIRO offices, to keep in hiding from some outlaws. Bikies I presume. This sounds like yet another publicity stunt to keep her profile raised in the community.

Let me reflect. Ex started out as an artist by adopting the surname of the most famous Italian dynasty, the de Medicis. What stunning hubris! Madonna was at least part Italian before adopting her new name. (Alas you would want a name change if you are called Robin..). Ex called her tattoo parlour in North Lyneham ‘Deus ex Machina’. Ermm…that name comes from a motorbike company in Sydney. And in all her interviews that I’ve heard over the years, she never makes any mention of her partner of many years who introduced her to the world of tattoos and colourful subcultures in Canberra and Melbourne. Why not?? It seems to me that it is extremely important to Ex that her artistic ideas are seen as utterly her own.

Yes Ex is a good artist but there are many good artists out there. How does she distinguish herself? By painting images designed to shock and offend and polarise community opinion, with her skull art, militia icons, and images of graphic violence. Her website uses guns and bullet imagery in drop down menus (it’s a bit lame though..). Now she has applied to the National Gallery to display the preserved skin of a man to whom she has given a full body tattoo, when he karks it (he is 69 and has agreed to this). Yuk!!!

Many people admire Ex. They think she is ultra-contemporary and uber-cool. But can’t people see through her self promotion tactics? She is following in the footsteps of nude photographer Jim Henson, trying to gain notoriety through painting abhorrent images (including on stretches of preserved human skin) that agitate and offend. Then she does a major switch and draws her moth series and insists on not showing her face any more to add spice to the story that her life is under threat. (Now following in the steps of Salman Rushdie. So clever!!) What I see is a narcissist of epic proportions…

What’s Your opinion?


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31 Responses to
Tattoo artiste in hiding? Or just another publicity stunt…
DrKoresh 5:49 pm 03 Sep 12

poetix said :

Also, OP, you are confusing Jim Henson (Muppets) with, I think, Bill Henson. I don’t think Jim did many nude photos, unless there are some explicit ones of Miss Piggy and Kermit. (Whole new meaning to ‘It’s not easy being green.’)

Rule #34- though i don’t think it’s fair to blame Jim for that.

poetix 4:49 pm 03 Sep 12

Also, OP, you are confusing Jim Henson (Muppets) with, I think, Bill Henson. I don’t think Jim did many nude photos, unless there are some explicit ones of Miss Piggy and Kermit. (Whole new meaning to ‘It’s not easy being green.’)

YeahBuddy 4:33 pm 03 Sep 12

DrKoresh said :

Pitchka said :

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

Yeah, I want to get a tattoo but it’s nigh impossible to find a parlour in this town that is linked to the bloody rebels. In fact, can anyone suggest a place I can look into that isn’t?

I don’t think the one in the city is owned by them …. but they are all “affiliated” if you can pick up what I’m putting down

poetix 4:21 pm 03 Sep 12

If this was about poetry, I might think that someone got a grant and someone else missed out.

Monomyth said :

… Maybe next time, you could write about something you actually are familiar with, instead of this vitriolic PMS-fest.

Is it really necessary to use this sort of misogynistic language to make your point?

qbngeek 3:59 pm 03 Sep 12

Johnny_Moe said :

DrKoresh said :

Pitchka said :

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

Yeah, I want to get a tattoo but it’s nigh impossible to find a parlour in this town that is linked to the bloody rebels. In fact, can anyone suggest a place I can look into that isn’t?

All Canberran tattoo joints are bikie owned. Melbourne is relatively bikie free and you don’t have to pay cash.

Anyone know if Tattoo X-treme in Quangers is bikie owned or influenced?

Also, dopes anyone know a good tattooist who won’t copy my work and pump it out for the masses after I get it done. I have had this happen on two original pieces that i have taken in to get done.

Comic_and_Gamer_Nerd 3:54 pm 03 Sep 12

DrKoresh said :

Pitchka said :

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

Yeah, I want to get a tattoo but it’s nigh impossible to find a parlour in this town that is linked to the bloody rebels. In fact, can anyone suggest a place I can look into that isn’t?

Nope, they all are.

I heard of a few guys and girls doing it from home but you wont find about them online in public forums, becuase of the obvious.

Retard rebels seem tio have free reign to do whatever they like to anybody wanting to open a new tattoo shop with no intervention from police or taxation office. very weird, i thought it would be a simple case of running the rebels the4mselves out of town?

And OP seems somewhat resentful of this woman. What did she do to you? effing lol @ deus ex machina being invented by a motorcycle shop.

Johnny_Moe 3:50 pm 03 Sep 12

DrKoresh said :

Pitchka said :

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

Yeah, I want to get a tattoo but it’s nigh impossible to find a parlour in this town that is linked to the bloody rebels. In fact, can anyone suggest a place I can look into that isn’t?

All Canberran tattoo joints are bikie owned. Melbourne is relatively bikie free and you don’t have to pay cash.

DrKoresh 3:18 pm 03 Sep 12

Pitchka said :

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

Yeah, I want to get a tattoo but it’s nigh impossible to find a parlour in this town that is linked to the bloody rebels. In fact, can anyone suggest a place I can look into that isn’t?

Pitchka 3:11 pm 03 Sep 12

She is a great tattooist, who i heard was forced out of the tattoo trade by the local motorcycle organisation, who now, suprisingly, run one of their many tattoo parlours from her old location.

rosscoact 3:09 pm 03 Sep 12

I didn’t realise she was so well regarded

“Her work is held in many major public collections that include: National Gallery of Victoria, Melbourne; Mornington Peninsula Museum and Gallery, Victoria; National Gallery of Australia, Canberra; National Portrait Gallery, Canberra; Monash University Gallery, Victoria; Canberra Museum and Gallery, Canberra and Queensland Art Gallery, Brisbane.”

Masquara 3:04 pm 03 Sep 12

Ex has had a rough time over many years – OK, much damage self-inflicted through many years of heroin abuse – but I absolutely believe her fear: look at the spate of recent bikie shootings. She is a terrific artist; artists always have baggage. Give her a break! And if I’d been christened “Robyn Mc****” I would have changed my name. She’s a small-town Catholic girl from the backblocks. She has every right to call herself whatever she chooses.

Monomyth 2:54 pm 03 Sep 12

My mum went to school with Ex. Pretty horrific treatment and definitely accounts for some of Ex’s eccentricities. Maybe next time, you could write about something you actually are familiar with, instead of this vitriolic PMS-fest.

emperorminge 2:45 pm 03 Sep 12

Thumbs up for kooky, unfocused rage! This ticks all the boxes for a special on Today Tonight – bikies, the government paying for artists, unrequited love, website nav from the 90’s, abhorrent art that is likend to porn and pedos… Hey, did you just market test a new telemovie on us? Nice guerrilla marketing!

PBO 2:37 pm 03 Sep 12

Wow, jealous much? And pretty ill-informed I must add.

You are telling me that a motorcycle shop in Sydney wrote Ars Poetica? Sorry mate, there is no one called Horace in that shop and none of them speak latin. Dues Ex Machina means the God in the Machine and the term was coined many, many years before motorcycles existed.

Dammit kid, think before you write. Those Hipster-riceburners in Sydney have not been around that long.

I got a tattoo from her about 16 years ago and what struck me about her establishment and her style was the fact that she did not bow down to the masses and pump out shitty tattoos copied from flash posters on the wall, she only did one-off’s and had rather good artwork on the walls of her clean, nice establishment. She does come accross as guarded and standoffish when you first meet her, but when i got to know her a bit better and she opened up a bit.

I found her quite pleasant and I got along with her, but that is the nature of people. Not all people mix well with others.

Her art may not be to everyones taste, but everyones tastes are different and that is the nature of art.

I have to ask since you wrote such a rant, what is your issue with her. Your real issue……

Mordd 2:15 pm 03 Sep 12

Interesting article, don’t get what the drama is about, why criticise them for doing something more wholesome when you have such an issue with their normal work, or is that what gets to you, that the person painting moths conflicts with your carefully formulated image of them as a bad person?

You mad Howaboutthat? I think you’re mad….

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