Think Before You Ink: Guernica (Picasso)

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Welcome back to Think Before You Ink, a series where we show the worst of the worst when it comes to tattoos based off of famous works of art. We’re here to remind you that art is to be created, not replicated – especially if it will forever be on your body.

This week we have Guernica by Pablo Picasso, housed at the Queen Sofia Arts Center in Madrid.

Guernica makes the crowds go wild. It’s one of those paintings that make some part of your brain click and think, “Yes, I was always going to see this.” Picasso was tasked – as an artist, as a Spaniard, and as a damn human – with finding a way to commemorate the Nazi target practice on the innocent city of Guernica, Spain. Sadly, the painting’s perfect. Every section speaks to the whole’s message of the fruitlessness of destruction in war. It’s one of the master’s most enduring masterpieces, and certainly his most gruesome. And, for some reason, there’s a too large segment of the population out there that (if unconsciously) knows all the above and decides this is the right thing to adorn their body.



Yes, that’s Kristen Stewart. Queen of the Twihards, rocking the ceiling fixture portion of Guernica on her right forearm because movies. She got the tattoo in 2015 after filming Clouds of Sils Maria, a film no one will ever describe as their favorite. Her character had the tattoo, so she got it after the film wrapped because blah blah blah oh God, I’m so bored and don’t care.

Just the thought of her pointing at the tattoo and saying, “This is part of Guernica,” makes my spine contort and pop out of place. Guaranteed she never finishes that sentence with a meaningful path to peace in the Middle East, nary a thoughtful insight into how the impact of our world’s colonial history impacts the prospects of cross-cultural relations into the future. She just says, “This is part of Guernica,” and her eyes slowly cross while she fails to hold in a fart.

5/5 readings of Murphy’s law also imply that some celebrities tattoo their assistants as both a punishment and a reward system. It’s science.



Look at this wiseass. No, you definitely knew how to lay out Guernica way better than Picasso. Ace job, you stupid dick.

Besides, what are we supposed to get from this? Probably just that this person could barely lift a ream of paper, what with that gilded twig of an arm they’re showing off. Not saying that I’ve got tickets to the gun show or anything, but I, like most other decent humans, have the good decency to wear sleeves unless I’m in Hawaii.

Also, from a distance, this tattoo’s just going look like that jabroni’s arm is rotting off. Like it withered and died to get away from this drool-sipping donkey.

1/5 people who get a Guernica tattoo can’t pronounce the title.



Jesus Christ. That background looks like the green room on a low-budget snuff film. It could almost be an excuse for the tattoo, if the tattoo weren’t inexcusable. I take this part of the painting to be a kind of ‘eye of God’ thing impassively watching the destruction.

If that tattoo’s the eye of God, then what’s God watching? Is it looking out for this person’s buttcrack? I suppose anyone on a snuff film set should be worried about their buttcrack. You’re leaving ol’ faithful vulnerable around a lot of desperate characters in that scenario. But that’s your choice, dude. Ours is to move along and let you wallow in your miserable life.

2/5 signs from God are warnings about impending dangers on snuff film sets.



Nothing says I have serious opinions like offering physical proof that you’ve said to another human, “Please make my tattoo the weirdest bull you know popping out of a crooked vagina on my shoulder. For realz, the weirdest.” At best, we can hope they’re a hard drinking art history undergrad that lost a bet.

This tattoo artist obviously misunderstands human skin as being made of paper mache. Also, something in the bull’s eyes makes this iteration look unhinged. Not like it’s going through hard times so much as it’s trying to convince you that the Chinese implanted RFID chips in your teeth.

3/5 bad art tattoos begin with alcohol and end with regret.

That’s it for this week, and remember: Leave the masterpieces to the masters!

By Clayton

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Clayton Schuster

Sr. Contributor

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