Aussie artist connects airbrush to bloodstream
By Martin Zavan and Henri Paget, ninemsn
An Australian "blood artist" has painted a portrait of Marilyn Manson using an airbrush connected directly into his bloodstream via an intravenous tube.
NSW artist Rev Mayers, who goes by the name Dr Rev, was hooked up to the contraption by a registered nurse at the Sydney Tattoo and Body Art Expo in Homebush yesterday.
"Essentially it's the opposite to getting a blood transfusion, we use the same kit that they would use if you had an accident or something like that and they needed to give you a pint of blood, except we turn it around so it runs the opposite way," Mayers told ninemsn.
"It runs directly to my airbrush and instead of paint it's my blood."
It took the artist over one hour and 200ml of blood to create the artwork, which he sold to a fan for $1200.
Mayers usually does not extract blood on the spot for his work, instead he has it professionally taken out and then does the artwork afterwards.
He has done the stunt live once before — at the Tattoo Expo in Melbourne in September last year — but he says he will not be doing it again.
"That was my final performance," he said.
"It's potentially lethal ... if there's a blockage and air goes back into my veins."
Mayers said blood was difficult to paint with for several reasons.
"Every time I harvest blood I feel like s--- for a week," he said.
"It doesn't handle like paint, you put one layer on and then you put another layer on over the top and the first layer liquifies again and comes off, flies try to eat it, there are so many downsides."
He said he would use the money earned through the sale of his work to help fund a trip to the Ukraine, where he plans to demonstrate his techniques to promote a campaign to loosen restrictions on blood donations.
"Anyone who makes a cash donation I keep receipts of, and if I don't go to Ukraine the fund will to children's hospital," he said.
Andrew McBride, a spokesman from Auburn Council, said Mr Mayers was allowed to perform the stunt at the tattoo festival after he met their safety requirements.
"We did receive information that there would be a perspex screen and he would do his work behind it," Mr McBride said.
"Despite this we don’t endorse or support the performance but we would not try and prevent it."
The council said they refused Mr Mayers permission to perform last year because he did not meet "certain assurances for a risk assessment".
"Last year there was less understanding of who he was and what he was trying to achieve," Mr McBride said.