Hamlet and Edgar Allan Poe weren’t the only men to contemplate the human skull with a mixture of wonder, awe, and terror for what lies beyond the grave.
Humans around the world have implemented the skull into various rituals and aesthetics, a symbol of mortality and the grotesque beauty of our own anatomy.
And while there are many tattoo styles and interpretations of the skull, from Gothic romance to Hell’s Angels insignias, often it is the realistic skull depiction that strikes the most dramatic note.
A pronounced and authentic black and white skull reveals its bearer to be a breed apart, a man who gazes into the face of mortality with a calm, almost scientific lack of fear. And just as Keith Richards once commented on his signature skull ring with “that’s what we all look like underneath,” the skull tattoo is a mischievous reminder that rich or poor, saint or sinner, we all wear the same grin.