— Blood Prints —

Keith Alexander's 23- Keith Alexander.

I found Scarwars while writing an essay about Tribal Appropriation of Body Modification in the West for my Visual Cultures class.

This community focuses on uniting scarification artists throughout the Body Modification scene. Scarwars posts lots of photos on cuttings, brandings and scars done by numerous renown artist word-wide.

Kieth Alexander [’98] was one of the first people in the scene to do “Blood Prints” of clients for his portfolio.

What he did was press paper towels to the open wounds after the scar-art was finished so as to make a print from the blood that was still flowing from the newly cut wounds.

I agree with Keith that a blood print is much more personal than a photograph and think this is a beautiful way to remember the very first stages of a scar piece on the body.

I think the next time I cut myself [accidentally] I will definitely do a blood print…  I’ve made pictures with my own blood many times before… I just can’t stand wasting things!

What do you think about scarification? Does the idea of Blood Prints gross you out? Let me know below!

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11 comments

    1. I have Sacred Debris on my tabs list and will be reading it later, I already saw a few wicked articles that I am interested in checking out. :]

      I’m currently working on a Zine, but I can’t think of a good title for it. I seem to have stuck a piece of paper on the front that says “What’s Wrong?”

      I feel like that pretty much sum’s up everything. It’s decided, that’s my title. I can’t believe I sat on it for so many months.

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  1. When I hosted the first event, I was working at a Fortune500, so going into work the following day with a large cutting on my face was a bit shocking to that crowd. (I made up some story of an accident)

    One of my co-workers was an Igbo man from Nigeria who had tribal facial cuttings and he instantly recognized my story as fabrication; it was too deliberate he said, too clean. We ended up talking all afternoon about why I got it, etc and became friends over a few little scars.

    He introduced me to some of our Igbo co-workers and I got to see some really amazing aged cuttings (the men ranged from early 20s to late 50s) and they all thought that a Westerner getting ritual face cutting was ‘a good step’. Towards what, they never said!

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    1. Its interesting when people from two different cultural worlds meet, but are able to share something that is so unique in common. It must have been refreshing having a conversation an Igbo man whose experience of facial cutting is very different than your own! I’m sure you both learned a lot from one another. What a cool story :]

      I often find it really hard to respond properly when people who do not know much about piercings and tattoos ask me why I did what I did or if it hurt me… or even how to respond to statements such as “but you were so pretty”. I used to get frustrated and tired of repeating myself, but the scene is getting bigger everyday and it’s becoming a more socially accepted thing.

      Educating others about body modifications, their history and the effect they can have on an individual will just make things easier in the future. I mean, c’mon! There’s been so much progress in the way things are being done now, too. Surface piercings have changed so much just in the past decade. Although I doubt cuttings will become as popular as tattoos and piercings.

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      1. It gets kinda confusing; SacredDebris.com is the bodymod site; sacreddebris.wordpress.com is my personal boring blog. I had brought the name over from an old zine I did in the 1990s.

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