By Rebecca Drew
THIS FORMER model looks completely different after spending over SEVENTY-FIVE-THOUSAND-POUNDS on tattoos that cover his entire body – including his PENIS.
Custom car painter and artist, Richard Grossman (41) from Bucks County, Pennsylvania, USA, is tattooed from head to toe in various designs including tribal designs, text and blackwork.
From the age of 12 Richard was fascinated by tattoos after seeing members of a local biker gang with ink on their necks and it was from this point onwards that he knew he wanted to tattoo his body.
Richard got his first tattoo, a sun and moon yin and yang design, on his back when he was 20. Since then, Richard estimates that he has spent more than 1,000 hours under the needle and approximately £75,981 ($100,000) on getting his body tattooed.
Richard has struggled with drug and alcohol addiction since he was 12 years old but since discovering spirituality in February 2006, he has been clean and sober of all substances including tobacco. Many of Richard’s tattoos reflect his straight edge lifestyle and he has the letter ‘x’ tattooed across his body as a reminder of this.
When he was younger Richard used to model in magazines and on runways but since getting inked, he has never had trouble getting work in his current profession due to his look. The reaction to his look is largely positive and he is always inundated with people wanting to touch his skin and ask him questions about what his tattoos represent – which he loves as it gives him the opportunity to educate people.
Richard has tattoos covering most of his face and body and even has his genitals and inner bottom lip inked. Despite having his more intimate areas tattooed, Richard says the most painful places he’s been tattooed are the ball of his ankle and his chest – because this took the longest to complete.
Next on Richard’s wish list of tattoos is to have the roof of his mouth, back and eyeball blacked out.
“When I was around twelve-years-old there was a man named Gene in a well-known biker gang and he had ‘misery’ tattooed across his neck and this fascinated me and I knew I wanted tattoos,” said Richard.
“My first tattoo was on my back when I was twenty. It’s a sun/moon yin and yang combination with kanji writing that supposedly says ‘family,’ ‘strength,’ ‘heaven’ and ‘change’ in a clockwise direction because these are the elements that I keep sacred to me.
“A lot of my tattoos were tribal and bio organic like skin tears and heavy black work designs. Some others are what we call ‘yard sale’ or impulse tattoos, some are straight edge and SHARP (Skinheads Against Racial Prejudice) tattoos and some are my logo designs for my clothing company I had.
“I have ‘never give up’ on my neck for the Dalai Lama’s poem and my family members’ names in Hebrew on my stomach.
“I was addicted to drugs from age twelve to twenty then clean for seven years until I relapsed but I heard a voice in February 2016 and now have over fourteen years where I have been clean from all vices including cigarettes
“I have a lot of ‘X’s for straight edge, no drugs, no alcohol, no cigarettes on me and numbers on my fingers, ‘251’ which is the area code for Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. I have a tyrannosaurus rex in my left ear and a noose in my right, Recently I have made a very good friend in tattoo artist, @hoode215 and he has been blacking me out.
“My d*** is tattooed as well as my inner bottom lip.
“When people tattoo themselves like I do, I believe they are not individual tattoos anymore, they’re more like hemispheres but my d*** tattoo and pretty much anything @hoode215 has done on me like all the blackwork are probably my favourites.
“I’m really good at what I do for a living so I have always had a good job/career and my paintings sell for no less than £759 ($1,000). I’ve been all over the world and people react to me in every way you could imagine.
“For the most part they want to touch me or ask questions and this was my path so I perceive it as the more you educate people the more they will accept it, it’s mind blowing when people realise I’m smart and educated as well as having tattoos.”
Richard shares his artwork and pictures of his incredible tattoos on Instagram, under the handle, @keystonecrossbones.
Finally he shared his words of advice to anyone else thinking of getting permanent body art.
“I will always maintain that I can’t stop anyone from doing what they want to but I would say make sure you map it out and that you can because you might want to add to it,” he said.
“Appreciate the things you do and experience in this existence because we are only conscious of it now.
“Remember who you are before you place judgement on people you have never looked in the eye because they may be the person who saves you or changes your perception.”