The Enigma, a tattoo record-holder, shares how art inspires him

The Enigma is sideshow performer, tattoo legend and musician. We talk to him about his life and how he wants to see the world.

You aren’t going to mistake The Enigma for anyone else. The charismatic performer is a sideshow and tattoo legend, covered in ink from head to toe with over two thousand puzzle pieces. His head has modifications, with horn-like protrusions, and his ears have been split into a distinctive pattern. But really, he just wants to entertain you.

One of the founders of the Jim Rose Circus, a sideshow group that became notorious for their extreme antics while opening for bands like Nine Inch Nails and Marilyn Manson in the 199o’s, The Enigma (born Paul Lawrence) has been performing since he was a teen. Pound a nail up the nose? Sure. Grind some sparks into his eyes? No problem. While this kind of act might make people squirm, his dedication to the “unusual and bizarre” led him to a guest role on The X-Files, appearances in National Geographic, and a world-wide tour.

While touring the globe, he began to collect his life’s collection of body art, and in 2011 achieved the World Record for “Most Jig-Saw Pieces Tattooed on the Body”. Oh, and he’s a musician as well. See our interview with The Enigma at the Cleveland Villain Arts Convention, where he talks about his life, his art, and his belief in magic in the world.

Check out some of the other amazing body art seen at the Villain Arts Tattoo Convention here.