Lovers of ink art have been admiring pop superstar Sam Smith’s latest tattoo on their right bicep showing a shirtless figure in underwear and high heels. The striking work honours the singer’s non-binary identity—but the new tattoo looks remarkably like a drawing created by the Scandinavian artist duo Elmgreen & Dragset who created a very similar work called The Experiment for a 2016 book entitled Art Colouring Book-Facing Gender Diversity (other artists featured in the publication, compiled by gender sociologist Cecilie Nørgaard, include Olafur Eliasson, Sara Trier and David Shrigley). Maverick pair Elmgreen & Dragset also made a sculpture of the childlike figure who is gazing into a mirror. “We are not neurotic about copyright,” Michael Elmgreen tells The Art Newspaper, “and we are very happy to end up on Sam Smith’s arm.” We reached out to Sam Smith on Instagram for a comment about crediting E&D but they had not responded to a request at the time of writing.
Spot the difference? Sam Smith’s new tattoo looks just like a drawing by Elmgreen & Dragset
27 April 2021