Why Does This Man Have a Stranger’s Face Tattooed on His Ass?

September 5, 2013 | Andy Cush

Joey Jordan lives in San Francisco. Amarildo lives in Brazil. The two have never met and know virtually nothing about each other, but Jordan has a small, realistic portrait of Amarildo–sunglasses on, arms crossed, and smirking, with a cigarette hanging from his lip–tattooed squarely on his right butt cheek. Why? Because of “human connection and all that good stuff,” says Jordan.

More specifically, because of Selfless Portraits, the project we wrote about back in February that asks participants to make art that depicts a randomly assigned stranger’s Facebook profile picture. While at Miami Ad School San Francisco, Jordan attended a recent lecture given Selfless Portraits co-creator Ivan Cash, who joked that if anyone wanted to get inked for the project, he’d pay for it.

“Obviously I didn’t consider getting a tattoo when Ivan mentioned it, but I did think Selfless Portraits was pretty rad and knew I wanted to participate,” Jordan told ANIMAL. “And then it just hit me one day. I was like, ‘Holy shit. I’m just going to get a tattoo.’ ”

“I got it on my ass because despite believing in the project 100%, it is still a strange man from Brazil that I don’t know, so it’s kind of a little compromise,” he added. “The real estate isn’t very public.”

Though he may not have expected anyone to take him up on his offer, Cash says he’s a man of his word, and agreed to finance Jordan’s glorious new ass tattoo, and made a short documentary film about the process while he was at it. Watch it above.

“I was definitely taken aback at first when Joey told me he wanted to get the tattoo of a random stranger on his ass,” said Cash, “But the more I thought about it, the more I dug it as a location because of how weird it is and because of the duality and tension it creates.”

The tattoo was “definitely a little painful,” says Jordan, but he’s still glad he did it. And he’s not worried about the next time he gets a little intimate with someone.

“Hopefully, if they’ve gotten to that point, then they know me well enough to not be too surprised,” he said. “It’s actually pretty reasonable, once you get past the humor behind it, why i got it.”

And does he have a message for Amarildo, besides the tattoo itself?

“You look great.”