Supermodel Kate Moss’ tattoo on her lower back is the work of famed British artist Lucian Freud, and the celebrity reveals that the piece may be one of the only surviving works of the renowned artist in the medium of skin.
Kate Moss’ tattoo of two small birds the subject of discussion during a recent Vanity Fair interview in which Moss described how the valuable tat came to be on her body-canvas.
Moss, who was the subject of a nude portrait painted by Freud when she was pregnant with daughter Lila Grace, said that the artist’s rendition of her back in 2002 was not their only collaboration.
Moss explains that Freud dished on his years in the service, tattooing his buddies, and offered her the rare opportunity of being inked:
“He told me about when he was in the navy, when he was 19 or something, and he used to do all of the tattoos for the sailors. And he went, ‘I can do you one. What would you like? Would you like creatures of the animal kingdom?’”
Kate Moss’ tattoo was subject of debate between the two, as she said she initially rejected the suggestion of a woman’s figure as the subject before the pair settled on the birds.
And, Moss jokes, as Freud’s tattoo work was largely done upon Navy pals, she may be the only surviving person with a Freud work on her body:
“I said I liked birds and he replied, I’ve done birds. And he pointed down at a painting of a chicken upside down in a bucket to which I replied, ‘No, I’m not having that.’ We decided to do a flock of birds … I mean, it’s an original Freud. I wonder how much a collector would pay for that? A few million? If it all goes horribly wrong I could get a skin graft and sell it! It’s probably the only one on skin that’s still around.”
Before Kate Moss’ tattoo, the portrait Freud painted for which she posed fetched more than $4 million at auction.