The phenomenon of tattooing in Poland is perceived more and more favorably. In the past, it was rather negative and was reserved for a “specific”, narrow audience, but now it has already become part of the mainstream. It appears more and more often in the media – commercials,, or on the skins of many television characters. Whether we like it or not, popularization of tattoos is favored above all by public figures representing various types of show business, sports etc. … Jurors of popular talent show programs in Poland, vocalists, breakfast program presenters are more and more often exposing paintings on their bodies. Those who work in their studies on a daily basis certainly feel the negative effects of this popularization. However, tattooing has already come out of the taboo zone and has become a frequent part of one’s image. It ceased to be an expression of rebellion, it does not deter, but above all, it adorns.
In the Polish media space – mainly on the Internet – there was a person who moved body modifications to a completely different level, the person who nobody would catch up with in the long term and whose “treatments” largely created his image. He’s covered with tattoos on a large part of his body, including eyeballs, the face “adorned” with scarification, and soon we will be able to admire him dancing cha-che in “Dancing with the Stars”.
We invite you to an interview with the most colorful character of the Polish show business, the self-proclaimed king of Albania, an artist signing the, how adequate, pseudonym “Popek Monster”. Whether you like this character or not – one thing can not be denied- he does not stop for a moment and anyone who comes across him at least once will remember him for a long time.
It came from the television program “Tabu”, in which I saw Kobra – my future executioner. After watching this episode, I knew I had to do it. It started with a smiley face, I saw him make a scarification and I knew I wanted one too. I made the first scar on my face. After talking to him, I learned that he was also doing a tattooing procedure for the eyes and I knew immediately what my next move would be. It was a very strange ride when it comes to the level of pain, it does not fit on any scale. After the surgery I was blind for a month … That’s why I turn to all my fans – to those who do not know what they will do in life – do not do it. In my opinion, you can decide on such things if you are financially secure for the rest of your life. If you do not have such a comfortable situation, I advise against. It can affect your future, especially when finding a job. But if you can afford it – the effect will not disappoint you. I had to do it to finally look like a man.
How did it all look, where was the procedure performed? How much did you have to wait for him?
In the UK. Kobra flew especially to me. I spent about 6000 pounds for the procedure. The procedure in my case lasted only a short time, about 40 minutes, although I know people who took up to 12 hours to build the courage to go through with it, mainly hitting their hands against the ground – it is very hard to break. You must be relaxed, have eyes wide open, and someone is touching you eyeball with a burning cigarette. At this point you must be relaxed and look at the point marked by the modifier on the ceiling without blinking …and this is where he puts the needle in the eye and the procedure begins.
I know a few Poles who have undergone such a procedure. One of them did theirself, and from her description I remember that for several months she tried to unlearn the blink reflex under the influence of an object approaching the eye. What did your preparations look like?
I knew immediately what to do, everything was impulsive with me. I did not wonder if it would hurt or if I’d end up blind. I was terribly horny for it, I did not blinked once. Once, during the procedure, Cobra coined me in the eyeball, instead of under it, but later gravity begins to run and mascara spills out for 24 hours. Then terrible pain and blindness for a month or so.
You wear glasses every day. Is this the effect of this venture?
Yes, by assessing as a percentage, my eyesight deteriorated by some 30%.
No, not at all, furthermore one “tattoo” was touched up. For the second time, at my home, we performed the procedure again for one eye, because I started to cry from the cornea and woke up every morning with the whole green face. So, he made one more “shot” of ink after a few months. After that I stopped bleeding green.
In the case of eyes, there is nothing to talk about composition, but scarification … – let’s get to it. Did you have a specific plan or was it another impulsive decision?
The project was drawn by my friend Kamil Mocet from London, he did something that I did, I call it “aggressive cut”. He drew it nicely through the whole face, the other I drew myself.
I found out that the mind can take over the body. I was so prepared for it that I did not feel any pain, I even knew how to cut my face. It lasted about 45 minutes, but the second time, at the second scar, I was not ready mentally. He called me and said, “Popek, go to the studio, I’ll make you a scar on the face for free.” Then I thought “ferrari for free” and I came, disappointed … The pain was so unbearable that I mentally prepared myself to the first scarification that I did not even feel one incision on the larger scar. You have to be prepared for this type of treatment, so those who think about it must be well prepared, because you can not stand this pain.
In the network you see a lot of people who are trying to imitate you. What is your official, specific position in this matter?
If they imitate, it is worse than stupidity. It is foolish to do what I do, but this is who I am, it is me, I’m real. These people pretend to be someone they are not, and that’s double stupidity.I do not regret anything, even one scar, even my slight blindness. One of the imitators, I wish you her a quick recovery. Such things. if you are not sure of this, your future and it is not really you, don’t do this.
I got my first tattoo at the age of 16 on my right shoulder. It was created in a studio in Świnoujście. I made a skull through which a colorful cobra came out. I quickly realized that color is not what interests me in the tattoo, so I covered it. Then most of the time I was tattooed by an acclaimed artist, Robson from Krakow, then a lot of work was done for me by Kamil Mocet in London, also by neck. 30% of my tattoos were made by Kamil and the rest by Robson. Tattoos on my palms did Davee.
Most of your work has been done by two artists. What is the plan for developing this remnant of clean skin?
A portrait of my daughter will appear on my side.
You do a lot of things impulsively. How is it like with the tattoo – first comes the idea of the pattern or do you go blind to a particular artist and give him total freedom?
It can be different it depends…I have various tattoos– portrait of Tupac, devil, tribal. I got along with Robson, he would design a large composition for me, go three times a week for several years to regularly tattoo to finish it. Later, when I finished in Poland, cooperation with Kamil in London was the same. I do not interfere, they know best what to do, some ideas were sent by me and that’s it.
The moment comes when there is not enough space for next tattoo, it applies to every tattoo collector. Are you sorry, any of them? Are you planning to cover up?
No, but I want to refresh a few things, overwhelm and recycle.
Are you planning to put something on your face, or is black eyes and scarification enough?
No, I leave it unchanged, I am a handsome Pole, I am one of the most handsome Poles in Poland and will not change anything for a long time. So change it?
At the end of one of the episodes of your “stodoła” (“barn”) you appear in a music edition that will appeal to Rammstein fans. This is a one-time prank, can your fans expect a whole album in a similar climate?
Yes, I recorded the entire CD with Denis. We have modeled ourselves on Rammstein, but we want to do it in Polish. This record is ready and will appear this year. Now I’m opening my publishing house and I’m going to release all things unrelated to rap. I want to promote young talents, I plan to release a CD in a funky, jazz and blues atmosphere. I have a lot of material and you will soon find out about it.
You’ve also made an autobiographical film. It ends with your return to Poland, you do not have the impression that this is just the beginning of your adventure and what is happening to you here is a good material for the screenplay?
The theme of “Popek za życia” was the return of the king, time and life will show if there will be another part. I do not want to rush, it seems to me that life alone will verify the need for the next film.
Finally, please tell me – what is your plan for the next 10 years? Who and where will Popek be?
I’d like to see myself in Hollywood, I suspect I’ll take the guitar and fly to space. I will be diverse, I will surprise you, puff up scars, and then I will show it to all on youtube haha.
On behalf of the entire editorial team, we thank Popek for the time devoted to us, while creating the Tattoo Fan magazine, we also wanted to educate on the plane of tattooing. We hope that the words that have fallen in this interview will discourage some people from undergoing such treatments. We keep our fingers crossed in “Dance with the Stars” – the crystal ball is yours!
The photographs used were made available by Paweł aka Popek