Funky Matas (@funky) might be the only person in the world whose back is more recognizable than his face. But what else would you expect from the man who holds the world record for most signatures (245, to be exact) tattooed on his back?
“If you’re on there, it’s because you’ve inspired me in some way,” says Matas of the signatures on his back. “Or you’ve been part of my childhood, or you’re a family member.”
Matas started getting tattoos as a teenager, but his signature-laden back became a whole project on its own. At first, Matas would just have family members’ names on his back, but then after a famous tattoo artist signed his back, he wanted to get even more famous names and go on to ultimately become a living, breathing autograph book.
Matas’ first “real celebrity” signature was professional skateboarder, Tony Hawk. “So after that, I feel like, ‘Yo, Tony Hawk tattooed me, anyone can,’” Matas explains. “Some of the people that have signed my back include Jackie Chan, Will Smith, Kevin Hart, Stan Lee, the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shaquille O’Neal, Kelly Clarkson, [and] a bunch of voice actors like SpongeBob [and] Bart Simpson.”
Matas says he has a 99% yes rate when it comes to asking people to tattoo their signature on his back. “I just show them, and their reaction is priceless,” he says. “And they have absolutely no idea what they’re doing, but I do give them, like, a 10-minute intensive course on how to tattoo. And I set the tattoo machine up for them. So a lot of the celebrities or artists that have signed my back, the first tattoo they have ever done—and maybe even the only one—is on my back.”
ever to tattoo themselves while skydiving,” says Matas. “It was the first time I had ever skydived. It says the word ‘fly.’”
Of course, after learning about Matas’ signature-covered back many people are left wondering, “Why?” Matas explains that the reason is simple. “To spread as much love and happiness, and create as many smiles as possible,” he says. “Spread love, be nice, have patience.”
With 245 signatures and counting, Matas says his goal is to get at least 300 names total. “I think another 50-something, maybe even a hundred,” he says. “My goal is to get at least 300 in there. It’s close. I might have to retire soon, or move to the butt cheeks.”
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