Tattooed man pledges his skin to National Gallery

Geoff Ostling spent 15 years having the colourful artwork

An Australian man whose body is covered in tattoos has pledged to donate his skin to the National Gallery when he dies.
 
Geoff Ostling, 65, spent 15 years having the colourful artwork ‘All the flowers of a Sydney garden’ tattooed from his neck to his ankles.

‘I wanted something unique, so I thought about a garden of plants, of natives and imported flowers, what you would find in a Sydney garden with a distant view of the city from Heartbreak Hill,’ he told the Sydney Daily Telegraph.
 
‘To donate skin is not the most amazing thing in the world but the tattoos are revolutionary.’

Mr Ostling, a retired history teacher who did not get his first tattoo until he was in his forties, worked with artist eX de Merci on the design. The completed work now covers his back, chest, arms, legs and buttocks.

He also plans to donate his organs to medicine when he dies. The unusual step of donating his skin to the National Gallery in Canberra, was the subject of Australian documentary Anatomy.

‘It has never been done as a whole body before and not in a gallery,’ he told the paper. ‘People can be squeamish about it. Portraits painted on human skin hang in galleries around the world. They don’t tell you that, of course, and valuable books were also covered in human skin.’

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