VIN LOS is a young, gay man living in Montreal who by all accounts fits perfectly into the normal. He takes and shares endless selfies of his gym invested body to the happiness of his mass male audience, his stereotypical good looks are comforting to the eye and his social media presence possesses that strange normality where he’s collected a mass following while living a lifestyle most probably similar to that of your childhood neighbour.
Almost everything about him is so extraordinarily mainstream that this banality has morphed itself into utter bizarreness.
The average aspiration of any given individual now is that of a person fixated with luxury, wealth and confused consumerism. Capitalism with no aim and showing this off to your virtual world is now the non-challenged goal posts of a successful and happy life.
So why am I writing about VIN LOS now? If someone is really that normal, why on a magazine like Sang Bleu would we be giving an audience to such a conformist?
Where in many ways VIN LOS encompasses a conventionalist, his decision to capture our attention through his dreams which have engulfed themselves into his body modification is totally extreme.
VIN LOS has tattooed a variety of commercial words sporadically all over his face and upper body in his own handwriting. The words vary in size, most prominently the word FAME has been written on his forehead, followed by phrases and words like SCREAM MY NAME, OBSESSED, GUILTY, ICONIC, SEXY, GO HARD, FAME OBSESSED, WORLDWIDE, MY MAN IS STR8, MOST TALKED ABOUT, TOP OF THE WORLD, and many, many others.
The blatancy of VIN LOS placing his empty ambitions permanently onto his body takes the average quest for fame and fortune to a whole new level of dedication. You may have seen VIN LOS recently in a editorial styled by Nicola Formichetti in V magazine, or you may have seen his social media presence waft in to your sphere at some point over the last year, so he is starting to acclaim attention. But what is it for and where is it going? Is it simply just fame for fames sake? And if someone is just famous for being famous where does that lead?
The Kardashianisation of our culture means that fame is there for nothing, for no one but everyone and possessing it involves no other technique than an unforgiving confidence to your own narcissism.
With the way that the culture of tattooing has changed over the last decade the fact that he has tattooed most his head and face rather than the rest of his body isn’t nearly as shocking as it may have been before social media existed.
However, VIN LOS knows that to create fame you do now need a little more than just a virtual identity if your not genetically or sexually associated with huge wealth or fame. After following him online for a while I’ve become obsessed with his growing business where he is creating ‘luxury wallets’ and the advertisements to go along with them. He also occasionally does paintings which you can buy too.
His most popular posts though consists of his highly homoerotic presentations of his self, where he exhibits himself as a sexual entity. This has been perfectly encompassed through his home made adverts for his wallets. We all know that sex sells and in many ways we’re only used to these concepts being projected onto women, so seeing this in the vain of a homosexual audience is quite refreshing salacious.
After emailing VIN LOS a set of quite basic questions about his transformations and ambitions it seemed quite clear that he wasn’t all that clear about what fame actually is to him, a lack of coherence about such a hugely confident transformation. He also screen grabbed some of the questions I sent him and shared them on Facebook stating that ‘**********To any journalist of this world, never ask me questions like this. Rude and totally close minded, I must what is normal other than thinking what is common is normal ( which is a wrong answer ) So questions like this are a NO WAY FOR ME.” This was in regards to me asking whether he felt his aspirations were normal or not which made him all the more fascinating as this question to me seemed like one of the most obvious things to ask him.
The building of his VIN LOS brand is now his main concern but what it amounts to or is based in is even more confusing. Or maybe its not confusing at all, maybe it really is as one dimensional as the surface of his skin.
In many ways VIN LOS is one of the most interesting amalgamations of our virtual narcissistic society, a walking billboard for our capitalistic society where the aims and virtues of his vision obscurely filter into a lack of content but a colossal attention seeking ploy drowning in a success based on numbers. Luxury for the sake of luxury, fame for the sake of fame, sex for the sake of sex. A tidal wave of information, much like how we use the internet now has been bombard onto his body, a headache of information glossed over with permanent sex and self obsession.
Why are you starting a luxury wallet brand under your own name?
I started a brand under my name because I always dreamed of owning my own cie and since I love fashion / design / art I wanted to get into it. I also chose to make luxurious things later in life and keep it mainstream for now.
What is the Vin Los brand? Who are your clientele?
For now it VIN LOS is only wallets,but I’m planning to make it a full line of accessories, a bit like www.mattandnat.com and then when the company is wealthy enough I will be designing a full range of products. My clientele will be young adults that love fashion but can’t afford luxury. ( my wallet will be $68 USD in mai in a new campaign )
How are we supposed to dissect the brand from the individual?
Yes it is two different things, I personally am a tattoo artist / business man and VIN LOS the brand will be a brand on its own.
Why did you choose to get primarily tattooed over your face and upper body?
Because I wanted to get all of the most visible place on the body. My goal is to be seen and recognize in a second.
Could you please describe the reasoning behind getting some of these words tattooed?
Well all of the tattoos on me are a part of me, they describe who I am. I do get some expressions from internet and songs because I’m not perfectly bilingual and it helps me to assure that the words are right. But for exemple, all the sex references are true, I’m a really sensual person, the cities because I always been passionate into large cities, fame because it is the main purpose of all the process, Vin Los World on my stomach because one day, I will run that world.
Why did you choose this type of font? Is it supposed to look like it’s written in pen on skin?
The font is my handwritten because I wanted to keep it raw, nothing fake or pretty, just the real essence so you can’t escape the message on my skin.
What is luxury to you? Do you think that luxury is important?
I do love luxury, I love the feeling of paying for something that is quality. Even more in a world of product becoming more and more cheap. No it’s not important, the most important things are, love, health, and love again.
Do you see yourself as having turned yourself into a commodity? And if so what is this aim? How have people reacted to your own permanent modifications, and what was the aim for you re-designing yourself like this?
I don’t see myself as a commodity, because now I’m just who I always been inside. I always had “too big ideas” too big dreams etc etc, and now, slowy but surely, everything is one the right track. And even my relation with people are better, because now people understand me, they see what I’m doing.
Do you want to be famous? If so, why? What is fame and success to you?
I want to be famous yes. Fame is a huge power, the power to influence people because you have a bigger impact. Fame is not success, and vice-versa, they can come together but it’s not always a pair. Fame is a power, and success a accomplishment.
What is sex to you? How much of an important part does it play in your personal life and public persona?
Sex is important, but with the love one. I am a hopeless romantic who is waiting for the good guy. I don’t practive sex with strangers (one nights) etc. I keep myself for love.
And finally, it is quite clear that you a man with a vision, where are you going to go next?
Who did your tattoos?
Three artists did my tattoos and I can’t name any of them.
Do you have plans to get more tattoos?
Yes I’ll get more tattoos.
How have people reacted to your tattoos?
Everyone looked at me in public obviously.
How long has your tattoo journey been?
1 month for the full face/head, then maybe 3 months for the rest.
Do you think your aspirations are normal?
The last question is rude, since normality doesn’t exist, it’s would be hard to say what is normal, so I won’t answer that question.