When Spooks Joya, owner of Kissimmee, Florida-based Pride N Envy Tattoos saw a nude painting of Donald Trump with a small penis going viral on the internet, he thought it would be fun to offer a free tattoo to anyone willing to have the image inked on their body.
He never imagined that a tremendous amount of people would be into the idea, but the response was huge.
The image was created by the artist Illma Gore as a satirical response to Trump's political campaign. Soon after she posted it to Facebook and Instagram, people started sharing it far and wide on the internet.
Most people who've seen the tattoo have been surprisingly supportive
"I actually saw the original picture by Illma Gore and thought it was awesome" Joya said in an email. "I researched what the piece stood for and couldn't resist not doing it, so I offered to do it for free on anyone who wanted. It started out as a joke but I was surprised people seriously wanted to get it done. Men and women. It was nuts!!"
Hector Santos saw Joya's offer and was quick to reply. He had been following the Trump campaign and was familiar with Spooks' previous work so he says he reached out immediately to secure his place in history. Joya agreed to tattoo the nude image of Trump on Santos' left thigh.
"I took an interest because I don't know how it's possible that the system would let someone be President that is not into politics, and would have no idea how to run a country," Santos told Motherboard by text message.
This isn't the first time a man received attention for a political tattoo, albeit for very different reasons. In 2012, Eric Hartsburg auctioned off a 5-by-2 inch spot on the right side of his face for a Mitt Romney tattoo. Hartsburg was paid $15,000 by an anonymous Republican eBay user to get the Romney campaign logo on his forehead.
But financial motivation and attention is not what motivated Santos. According to him, this was much more personal.
"One of the main reasons why I got the tattoo is it reminds me to be a better person everyday. To never be as closed-minded and arrogant as Donald Trump."
Santos also sees his tattoo and the overall concept of Donald Trump as a bit of American satire.
"I also see him as a satire on politics because it's like he's running a joke that has gone too far. He doesn't represent any qualities as president or have any knowledge of policy. Basically he's running a circus and it's kind of getting out of control. And besides it's also a great piece of art, don't you think?"
Santos' sentiments align with some of the remarks made by Gore, who also made several statements about encouraging open mindedness and discouraging arrogance. In response to seeing a picture of Santos and his Trump tattoo on Instagram, Gore said, "I want to be his best friend."
Santos says most people who've seen the tattoo have been surprisingly supportive.
"People's reaction when they see the tattoo has been the opposite of what I thought I was going to get. People get impressed in the detail of the tattoo. It basically looks just like the painting. And I get a laugh because it's really funny. I've seen some comments on Instagram and they're like 'wtf who would get some like this done?' blah blah but idgaf really. I love my tattoo and I can care less if what people think of me or my piece."