Britain’s most tattooed man says he was ‘hiding from managers’ at work because of his abundant ink

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Britain’s most tattooed man, who has 90% of his body covered in ink, says he was ‘hidden from managers’ at work because of his looks – but enjoys being a ‘work of living art”

  • Matthew Whelan is known as Britain’s most tattooed man due to his abundant ink
  • The 42-year-old from Birmingham says he enjoys being a ‘living work of art’
  • But he says his extensive body modifications led to unfair treatment
  • In one job he would be ‘hidden from managers’ when they were on tour

Britain’s most tattooed man has opened up about how his extensive collection of body modifications has led to unfair treatment in the workplace.

Matthew Whelan, from Birmingham, also known as King Body Art, kingofinkland79 or B-art, has tattooed over 90% of his body, spending over £40,000 on the extensive inking.

And while he says he enjoys being a “living work of art,” his unique appearance has drawn unwanted attention over the years.

In addition to sometimes having trouble finding a job, the tattoo fan says he was treated differently than his colleagues while working.

In a recent interview with the Daily Star, King Body Art revealed that while working in a call center, when managers came to take a look around the offices, he was “led from a desk to the other”.

Matthew Whelan (pictured), also known as King Body Art, kingofinkland79 or B-art, has tattooed over 90% of his body – and says he looks unusual

The body modification fan (seen here in a recent Instagram video) says he has suffered multiple problems due to his unique look, struggles to find work and has even been the victim of violence

The body modification fan (seen here in a recent Instagram video) says he has suffered multiple problems due to his unique look, struggles to find work and has even been the victim of violence

He explained: “The officials were coming in, so they decided to move into the office.

“The person they had to move was me. I was moved from one end of the office to the other when the officials arrived.

He has also spoken in the past about difficulties finding work, saying in 2015 it was something he struggled with.

“I personally find it very difficult to understand this because there are companies that employ people on merit,” he said.

‘There are [body] modified friendly societies. But the majority say, “Look at these people! You look different from everyone else in our office. You’re different. You don’t fit our criteria. We don’t employ you.” It’s frustrating.

However, King Body Art’s experiences in the workplace do not represent the most extreme reactions he has faced due to his appearance.

Speaking to The Independent in 2017, he revealed he was stabbed in Birmingham in 2009.

He said: ‘Reactions can range from bewilderment to hate. [The stabbing] showed me that every day is a bonus and humans are only around for a limited amount of time.

Body Art (pictured) got his first tattoo aged 16 and has since taken on other modifications

King Body Art pictured before his tattoo transformation

Once in a while: King Body Art (pictured left now and just before his body transformation) got his first tattoo aged 16

According to his interview with the Daily Star, the body modification fan has since found employment as a model and actor.

However, he says his appearance can lead to typecasting and he is often cast in prisoner-type roles.

During an appearance on long-running BBC Doctors series, he was cast as a prisoner.

As King Body Art joked, it’s unlikely to appear on period programs like Downton Abbey unless one of the characters “stumbles”.

Among his body modifications, King Body Art dyed both of his eye whites black.

He has also removed his nipples so tattoo artists have a smoother canvas to work on and has a crown-like implant embedded under the skin of his right hand.

The 42-year-old has plans for more edits and recently shared photos on Instagram of a small black tattoo, telling followers it will cover more black ink tattoos (in a process known as “blacking out”) in the future.

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