Viceland: Why did you start tattooing pigs?
Wim: I started tattooing pig hides, which I’d get from the slaughterhouses, in 1994. It was only in 1997 that I started to work on live sedated pigs. I tattoo pigs because they grow fast and they are so much better to tattoo than fish. I tattoo them when they are young and I like the way the artwork stretches and distorts over time. Essentially, we invest in small tattoos and we harvest large paintings.
Viceland: Have you ever tattooed a person?
Wim: Yes, of course. I have tattooed art critics, art dealers and art collectors, and lots of butts. I come across my needlework everywhere I go. Some designs I try for the first time on people and, if they work, I will surely re-create the tattoo on a pig.
Viceland: To the close observer your work is laden with contradictions. For example, aren’t you a vegetarian?
Wim: Yes, I am a vegetarian. I am also very, very clean. I wash my hands like 100 times a day.
See more of Wim’s work here.