As children we often dreamed of or threatened to run away to join the circus.
Something about the colorful and slightly strange life on the road, surrounded by those who never quite fit in, and basking in the nightly applause of visitors from near and far was an irresistible prospect.
As we grow older we abandon such fantasies–or do we?
If the tattoo world has anything to say about, the circus is still with us and an operation of one. Commanding ringmasters, unweildy clowns, and a menagerie of lions and elephants have all made there way into tattoo art, depicted in all styles ranging from nostalgic to macabre. Where circus tattoos are concerned, a carousel, sword swallower, or juggler can be classic reminders of childhood wonders or sinister harbingers of menace; from Barnum & Bailey to Tim Burton, the circus world has room for everyone.
Whatever his reasons, the man who dons a circus tattoo is himself a little strange and unusual. He does not seek out the ordinary, and the ordinary certainly steers clear of him. However, for those who know him best, he is still on the road, seeking the company of those who view life from big top heights, and laugh in the face of taboo.