Dark Starry Knight: Batman And Van Gogh Make A Great Tattoo Team


Tattoos are hot. They’re even hotter when they involve superheroes.

So, when are superhero tattoos hottest? When they merge Batman perched above Gotham City with Vincent Van Gogh’s famous ‘The Starry Night’ painting from 1889, as in the image above.

If I met this man, I would melt faster than Clayface on a hot day.


  1. JeffRob says

    What’s actually “way cooler” is having amazingly beautiful artwork permanently attached to your body. Tattoos are now the domain of your everyday savant.

    Love it!

  2. Tonic says

    Anyone who’s concern with how cool or uncool they are, or how many people have them or who is and who isn’t getting them should definitely NOT get a tattoo.

    A well-designed, well-placed tat is super sexy. Not sure Batman accomplishes that for me, but kudos on its unique qualities.

  3. hodzer says

    And all you cool kids do not disappoint with your tattoo hate. I would no more tell someone that something looked horrible or that I despised something so much. Here’s a shocker: people with tattoos can hear and see and don’t really appreciate it. And guess what, your skin is going to look just as saggy and awful, except I’ll have a great story behind mine.

  4. Jeremy says

    The human body itself is a work of art. Tattoos are like putting bumper stickers on a statue. They may be cute or cool or even pretty, but they just don’t work within the compositions, and ultimately, are not aesthetic.

  5. Lexxvs says

    My respectful opinion about tattoos is that it is like willingly renouncing the freedom of choice. Even if willingly, you are chained to an art composition at best. Even if it you consider it beautiful and that considerations last for years and years –and years after years until your death- it will be there beyond your choice. The wise guy knows that evolution is part of life, a thought that seems to be the upmost example of supine grace could turn out to be just a childish naïveté when grown up, if that evolution happens. If your heart can not stay the same, what use has a tattoo? If your heart can stay the same, what use has a tattoo? If you love a concept, a piece of art, whatever, you don’t need to consecrate it under your skin and obviously you can hoard them as much as you want outside a skin that can only hold some at best.
    Either way, in twenty years from now the real daring ones will be those who have not even one to show. A real rebellion against the trend I guess, like daring to be nude when everybody uses clothes, being “tattooless” will be challenging, such a statement. Fashion is always an ugly slaver, but one you can choose to dismiss. Not for those tattooed obviously.
    You don’t need tattoos to tell stories about them. You need a life to tell stories. And I guess –when old- it’s going to be easier to talk about them than to bare your body to begin the narration.

  6. yunin says

    Tonez says… “He must be hoping Batman is relevant in 30yrs or else he is just going to get a lot of “oh ya, I remember him.””
    Yeah, because Batman has just barely survived the last 72 years…

  7. says

    It’s sad that none of you understand that tattoos are for the holder more than the beholder. As gay people, you’d think you would be more understanding of self-definition and self-determination.

  8. joeblow says

    Tattoos are a like every other fad that comes and goes like bell bottoms except for the people that get them. They were cool in the late 40s and early 50s then having a tattoo became a white trash identifier for the next 50 or so years. It will happen again, have you ever seen an old tattoo? In 7 years the owner of this tattoo will just be some old queen with a faded tattoo and saggy skin that no one wants to look at in a tank top. Why not draw on yourself with sharpies at least they will wear off eventually.

  9. Paul R says

    I could never get one because I know that my main interests 10 years ago are utterly different than those today. Take 20 years, I’m even more different. Would only consider them to cover scars from accidents attained doing other stupid things. No desire to live in the past, for good or bad.

  10. johnny says

    The worst part about this fad is that most receivers of tattoos are in their early twenties (and usually after drinking), not the best time in life to make decisions about a semi-permanent piece of “art” on your body.

    Sure, it’s about free will and saying something about yourself to yourself. But seriously, what does Batman say about someone… Infantile paralysis?

    Show me a tattoo that I’ll like. I have yet to see one.

  11. Akula says

    wow so many people against tats, like one person mentioned before your skins going to be sagging when you get old anyways but at least I’ll have a few interesting stories to go with it. And as for a “fad” Tattoos have been around for hundreds if not thousands of years, if you don’t like them don’t get one and saying you’d never date a guy with one, well guess what a guy with ink wouldn’t date some self-righteous prick so don’t worry about it.

  12. Tonic says

    Tattoos are a win-win for everyone involved. For those that only understand them as trends and the source of future regret, time won’t be wasted dating those with them.

    For those who love and understand tattoos, it saves time and effort on those with that attitude – as their attitude likely spills over to what art, music, fashion and expression they find “cool” and “acceptable.”

    And to those saying they’ll look bad when you’re 80-years-old. Um, hate to tell you this, but no one will feel any differently about your body – with or without ink.

  13. Oliver says

    I have no idea what shirt or trousers I will want to wear tomorrow, so can’t imagine wanting to be inked.
    I also find it interesting that when I ask people about their tattoo they inevitably tell me something along the lines of “it’s a personal thing”. Well if it’s so personal why do they insist on wearing sleeveless shirts in the dead of winter to show it off?

  14. Jim says

    Geez, don’t be so touchy!
    Ok, so maybe “cool” wasn’t the best adjective. My point was that in the late 80s-early 90s, tats were kind of interesting and still “fringe”. Then they became swallowed by pop culture and everybody and their grandma started getting them. Now they just look kind of trashy to me.
    But the worst is people who have all kinds of pretentious reasons for having them rather than “I like it”, which I can understand.

  15. Andrew Belonsky says

    I personally agree that some people get tattoos for the wrong reason — ie, those insipid “tribal bands” — but I do believe that if people have a reason for having a tattoo — I have a tree on my wrist, in memory of my father and as a tribute to my living relatives — that is their business and should be celebrated.

  16. RogerDoger says

    Is it just me or is this blog starting to have that creepy Queerty, before it folded vibe. Yes Ms Belonsky I’m looking at you and this trashy tattoo “story”.

  17. Derek Pearce says

    Cute body, meh tattoo. More importantly, that is just temporary body art that will wash off– really, that is not a traditional permanent tattoo folks. Look more closely. The yellow starry bits especially are in no way tattoos.

  18. Mike says

    Just don’t understand why hot guys ruin their bodies with these things. I guess it is another form of insecurity, trying to hide behind something they think is cool. Kind of like cigarette smoking used to be cool. Look how that turned out.

  19. al says

    there are many who love and understand tattoos, including me. i find that most people, notwithstanding the reputation for tribal bands, etc., get tattoos that have personal meaning. like others have said, if you find tattoos to be so uncool, gross, or passe, chances are guys with ink don’t want you either, so stop bitching about it. i encourage belonsky and towleroad generally to continue celebrating artful, attractive, or meaningful tattoos like this one.

  20. johnny says

    “i find that most people, notwithstanding the reputation for tribal bands, etc., get tattoos that have personal meaning”

    Yeah, right, because Batman is such a deeply psychological and meaningful symbol. For who? It’s a comic figure, for chrissakes! This is my problem with most tattoos, most are idiotic looking, extremely badly done and use the worst possible imagery to put forth and justify the wearer’s supposed “deep meaning”.

    I find that most ink wearers have absolutely zero good reason for getting a tat and always defend it their ink a very self-deluded, insecure manner.

    Want to do something with yourself to show deep meaning? Write a song, or a book or create a piece of art or go out and help the homeless or something else that will actually help SOMEONE ELSE instead of inking up your body in a totally self-absorbed, self-obsessed, show-off, ex-con way.

    All this talk about “deep meaning” is just a bad attempt to make something that was ordered up during a beer-binge be “personal” because the wearer is embarrassed to admit he has no real reason why he got it in the first place other than following a fad.

    I have many over-50 friends with tattoos and all but one are VERY sorry they got them and wish they could afford to remove them. Just wait, youngsters with ink, you will soon feel the same way. 😉

  21. ravewulf says

    We understand that many of you despise tattoos, men that shave their bodies, and other petty complaints like that. Please keep them to yourselves and let those of us who do admire those things admire them in peace. Thank you.

  22. Tonic says


    There are so many things wrong with your post, it’s hard to even begin. That you can’t imagine enough meaning a tat can have demonstrates, not a lack of meaning for those with them, but the limits of what you can understand. Do you have telepathy? Can you read minds? It’s ridiculous that you think you can decide an individual’s motivation or decision-making process. If someone wants to get a tat, that’s absolutely reason enough.

    You think tats are the only way those sporting them show meaning and creativity? I paint, do graphic design and in the midst of writing my second novel. If anything, I find those with tats are MORE likely to be creative.

    Help someone else instead of getting ink? What? Exactly who are you to tell anyone to do that? When one gets a tattoo we sign a contract saying we’ll no longer do any charity work, so it’s no longer an option!

    And I have many older friends who don’t regret their ink. Maybe they aren’t the ones with Tweety Bird or tattoos of Janet Jackson. However, If they were and they were happy with them – more power to them.

  23. Tonic says

    Sorry, I’ve been editing for too long this morning.

    My second sentence should read: “Your inability to imagine the meaning a tat can have demonstrates, not a lack of meaning for those posessing them, but the limits of what you can understand.”

  24. Trilogyfan says

    I’d love to know who the artist is. I have a (bad) sun tattoo on my back that I’d like to have transformed into a Van Gogh sunflower. Oh, and I live in Portland, if anyone has a recommendation. Thanks for any info!

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