Britain's most tattooed man: I treat my body like a temple

"I'm fully aware of the risks involved. For my eyeball, I went to the opticians beforehand and got several opinions."

Britain's most tattooed man has spent 300 hours in the chair and has so much colourful body art he has even tattooed one of his eyeballs white.

The tattoo enthusiast, who has legally changed his name to 'Body Art', has spent more than £20,000 on his ink. He insists body modification is like a religion and he hopes to educate people about it.

Born Mathew Whelan, the 33-year-old said: "I've got so much respect for the history of body modification.Body Art before he began to cover his body with tattoos (Caters)

"It's an art and a culture and when a group of kids stare at me, I'll talk to them and explain the history of it.

"People who do what I do treat their body like a temple. Like Christian's have Jesus, we have our bodies."

Body Art, who volunteers for the Liberal Democrats, was first hooked on tattoos since he spotted his Dad and Uncle's colourful ink at the age of nine.

He got his first tattoo, a British Bulldog with a blank scroll, at the age of 16.

Colourful Snakes, scorpions and vampires adorn his arms, neck and face.

Body Art said: "I'm fully aware of the risks involved. For my eyeball, I went to the opticians beforehand and got several opinions."

Body Art has set up his own non-profit organisation, called Modify, to help those with body modifications to get employment.

He said: "For me it's a lifestyle. I have a personal belief in skinology and bodistry which is my adaptation of skin and story of the body.

Body Art tattoos include scorpions, vampires and eyeballs which cover his face and body (Caters)


"I don't see why someone should be discriminated against just because of the way they look, so I want to help those people as much as I can to find employment."

The ex-wrestler now works as a body modification model.

He said: "When I die I want to leave my body to a museum or a member of my family.

"There's someone in Canada who has already asked if he can have my skull to use as a paint pot."