Banksy fan Graeme Brown gets cocktail rat tattooed in possible ‘world first’
One of Banksy’s biggest fans was so thrilled the elusive artist visited his Suffolk town, he got one of the works tattooed on his arm.
Graeme Brown, from Lowestoft, had the image of the rat on the deckchair enjoying a cocktail inked on him almost as soon as it was confirmed to be a genuine Banksy.
“I never thought in a million years we would be subject to any work of his and when I saw the news that some paintings had been done in the Banksy style, before he announced it was him, I hoped they were genuine,” said the 48 year old.
“But as so many had been done in such a small area in such quick succession, although it really looked like his work, I thought it could have been a really good copy.
“So when he announced it was his work it was great - finally, something good to be excited about in Lowestoft.”
Graeme was set to have a tattoo on Saturday before Banksy went around Lowestoft, and just before his appointment he visited the works and loved them.
And then he went to Jayson Smith, who works at Deerheart Collective tattoo studio in London Road South, who was as eager as Graeme was on the design.
“I was going to have a sugar skull theme, but I said to Jayson when I got there ‘shall we do the Banksy cocktail rat?’ and he said ‘Oh my God, can we?’, and the rest is history,” he said. “He was as excited as me to do it.”
Jayson, who is Graeme’s daughter Natasha’s boyfriend, then got to work and penned the design on to Graeme.
“I don’t have any other Banksy tattoos but this may pave the way the way, people seem to really like it,” he said.
“As far as I’m aware it’s the first, and maybe the only, tattoo of the cocktail rat in the world.”
Once the design was done the next day he was going to get a picture of himself with the rat on the seawall, but overnight vandals struck and defaced the valuable artwork.
“I was gutted to be honest,” said Graeme, who runs G&H Windows and Doors in the town with his business partner.
“I have messaged Banksy on Instagram to see if he will do one on a canvas for me, but obviously that won’t happen.”