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This Photo Series Explores Tattoos, Identity, and Sexuality

For photographer Serge Wesley Bloquert (@sergewesleybloquert), a space of acceptance without judgment is the ultimate paradise.

His latest series “Utopia” brings to life one possible configuration of such a splace: tattooed guys in a judgment-free environment sharing both their ink and their experiences as people who have modified their bodies.

Check out their stories, along with Bloquert’s portraits, below.

From the photographer:

“My intent in creating this series was to create a sort of space where men could come together as one beyond race and sexuality, but also to redefine the word masculinity in the meantime. A big part of my work is to empower people to be open and vulnerable; therefore it was crucial to represent this in the series.

Utopia is a space between realm and imagination, a space where love transcends race and sexuality, a space where masculinity only is, where it has no rules, no limitations or expectations, a space of acceptance without prejudgments.

In today’s society we have been formatted to be afraid of people’s differences. We feel secure around what we know. I believe there is strength, wisdom, and beauty in the unknown. There is power in unity.”


Drew Beckett | 33 | In accountancy | @drewjbeckett

Have you ever felt like you’ve lost out on an opportunity because of your skin?

No, if anything I believe my skin has opened doors to opportunities and risks I would never have taken without it.

Have you ever regretted getting tattooed?

Yes, in individual cases. But the regret becomes part of you, and I think it’s important to wear your mistakes and be open about them – in any context.

If you could remove tattoo, which would it be?

I would either remove all of my tattoos or none of them, because even the bad tattoos signify a memory or an experience.

Are attitudes towards people with tattoos changing? If so, how?

I think now tattoos are so prevalent in our culture that eventually the greatest act of outsider-ness will be to not have any. I’ve got a lot of heavy black work, which remains unusual, but I think there’s a greater level of tolerance these days, and a greater appreciation for modification as an art form.


Mike Shanti | 31 | Owner of EP Lifestyle tattoo and Exploit Potential Clothing | @mike.shanti & @eptattoolife

When was the last time you felt someone judged you because of your skin?

I honestly only noticed being judged recently when I got my head and hands done. I was actually accused of shoplifting because me and a friend stood out. There was no other reason for the staff to think otherwise

Have you ever felt like you have lost out on an opportunity because of your skin?

Before I decided to open my own tattoo shop I was looking for extra work. A coffee shop near my place was recruiting and I got on very well and felt competent in the interview. I believe I didn’t get the job at the end of the day because of my image. To be fair it was probably a blessing in disguise.

What’s the one thing you are sick of people asking you about your tattoos?

How much did it cost and how many do you have? Firstly because price isn’t an issue for ink in my opinion. The “how many?” question is just plain annoying as I honestly don’t know.


Nam | 29 | Personal Shopper & Stylist | @WILD.BOHO

Have you ever regretted getting tattooed?

Never, I’m actually really proud of my tattoos.

What’s your most personal tattoo, and what does it mean?

The one I have on my chest… “florebo quocumque ferar” which is Latin for “I will flower everywhere I am planted.” It sounds dead cheesy but I guess it ties in to my way of thinking.

Are attitudes towards people with tattoos changing? If so, how?

For sure, tattoos are definitely getting a lot more popular. I think people understand they are a sort of personal artwork and there’s a lot more positive publicity around them now with the rise of TV shows like Miami Ink and so on. I think it’s great to see models and actors being specifically hired because of their individual tattoos, whereas in the past there’s definitely been a tattoo stereotype of being associated with gangs and violence.

Nejhé Rÿutt | 27 | Lifeguard/Duty Manager & Entertainer | @NejheRyutt

Have you ever regretted getting tattooed?

Sometimes. But then I remembered why I got them and meanings behind them then I’m back to loving it.

What’s your most personal tattoo, and what does it mean?

My most personal tat would probably be my chest piece. It’s 3-in-1and I put a lot of effort into designing something very original and meaningful to me. Wings represent my free spirit and willingness to explore. Vine of eyes under the wings represent people watching and looking out for me and my ability to see things from different perspectives. And “only God can judge me” written in Japanese, which is pretty self explanatory.

What are you sick of people asking you about your tattoos?

“Why would you do that to yourself?” This is usually when I chuck up a middle finger and walk off.


Pavel Diaz | 24 | Business Administration & Model | @pav.de

When was the last time you felt someone judged you because of your skin?

It’s a regular thing. When wasn’t the last time I felt judged because of my skin?

Have you ever regretted getting tattooed?

Never. My tattoo has too much meaning and swag to ever regret it.

What’s your most personal tattoo, and what does it mean?

Mytattoo, which is located on the right side of my chest, is very artistic and meaningful to me. It’s a lion with wings, which represents my star sign (Leo) and the fact that I’m a free spirit. Nobody can or will stop me from achieving my goals in life.

Are attitudes towards people with tattoos changing? If so, how?

At the very least I’ve noticed that people with tattoos are finding it easier to get normal everyday jobs. Before it used to be taboo to hire people with visible tattoos in offices. Now it’s become much more acceptable.

Tags: Art
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