Monday, July 11, 2011

Mr. Natural

I love this tattoo.
It is a reproduction of an existing piece of art (although slightly more difficult to do from a technical standpoint than it might appear), but it is from one of my favorite artists, Robert Crumb.
If you don't know who he is, you really should.
Mr. Natural is one of my favorite characters ever and almost sort of a personal hero.
I really dig the look and message of this tattoo and can't wait to finish the color.

Here's some clips lifted from Wikipedia to give an idea of the vibe of this comic icon of the 60s...

At first appearance, Mr. Natural is a mystic guru who spouts aphorisms on the evils of the modern world and the salvation to be found in mysticism and natural living. He has renounced the material world and lives off anything he can get in exchange for his nuggets of wisdom. 

Crumb's bearded guru is too unapologetic to be called a con man. Despite his renunciation of the material world, he's an unrepentantsybarite. His straight talk, while refreshing, can get him into trouble, as when he was kicked out of heaven for telling God it's "a little corny" in "Mr. Natural Meets God". But he may be the only Crumb creation who is genuinely likable.[2] Mr. Natural's aphorisms such as "Keep on Truckin'" form a disconnect with his image as a sage, and his inventions are at once brilliant and crackpot.

In the "biography", "Fred Natural" leaves America and travels for many years in Asia, which is where he picks up his unique combination of wisdom and chicanery. For a time he worked a taxicab driver in Afghanistan.[4] He returns to America during the Beat era of the 1960s, and is drawn to the San Francisco Bay area by nubile girls and people willing to listen and pay for his improvisational spirituality. He exhorts his disciples to eat only his own line of "Mr. Natural Brand Foods", and to listen to his broadcasts on WZAP Radio.[4]
When asked, "What is the meaning of life?", he responded, "It don't mean shit."

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