Venus Unbound (Jesi Collins)


Portrait of Jesi Collins

Oil on linen
Copyright Rose Adare 2012


“Jesi and I bonded over our pain with laughter. She was born missing a huge piece of her hip and spent a lot of her Hawaiian childhood stuck in a cast. I’d say she’s a survivor, but she’s more than that. She’s an enjoyer. On her right leg is a blow-fish which puffs up when she bends her knee. In the back of her hand is a starfish implant, and she has a magnet embedded in her finger to perform magic tricks for her daughter.

I remember on her birthday we went to the cliffs to see her suspended from a tree. She had meat-hooks in her back and headphones in her ears, and she flew out over the waves—grinning like a pierced tinker-bell! As a tattoo artist on a truly unconventional path, I’ve watched her grow into an amazing human being. From having to live in a bread-truck to becoming one of the Big Island’s most notable tattooists, she continues to inspire me. Even for this portrait she was pierced 36 times, and when we synched the ribbon—pulling all the hoops in her skin—she chuckled.”

Review Venus Unbound (Jesi Collins).