Photos: Corey Morgue’s file
Sometimes we just need to stop listen.
Check it out this exclusive interview with the body modifier Corey Morgue from United States.
T. Angel: When did start your interesting about body modification?
Corey Morgue: I started to take interest at the age of 12 or so. It all began when I started to see people with lobes that were 1″+ , and I was immediately interested. I started to do some research online and look at media of various piercings and stretched body piercings. By that time I already started to plan some piercings for myself.
T. Angel: When did you start to modify yourself?
Corey Morgue: At the young age of 14 began my journey by getting both of my earlobes pierced, then my labret (DIY), and then my tongue. I started to modify very early in life, but nothing that would hold me back from getting a job.. Shortly after my ear lobes and tongue healed I began to stretch them – it almost felt natural, like I was supposed to be doing this. I can remember by my last year of school I had 3 lip piercings, my bridge, my septum, and my earlobes at 7/8″ (22mm). Whenever I was finished with school my tongue was at a 00g, because I was preparing to split it in half. Once I had the all of the necessary supplies I carefully cut the little skin in front of the barbell with a few swipes of the blade and then my tongue was split in half. I was scared, proud, excited, but most importantly I was and relieved. The tongue splitting is when I realized that body modification was something I truly enjoyed.
T. Angel: We know you are a modifier now. Tell us about how everything started. What do you consider necessary for someone become a modifier?
Corey Morgue: I didn’t plan on becoming a body modification artist. I always wanted to be a tattoo artist, but lacked the ability to draw, or so I thought. So instead I took up body piercing, and as time went on I eventually met the right people, learned some things about scarification. The excitement from doing scarification motivated me to draw, more and more, then moved on to lightweight scalpel work such as lobe sculpting and tongue splitting. Basically one thing lead to another, and present day I offer a fun array of body modification services.
If you’re dream is to become a body modification artist, take your time, education and patience are the only way you will succeed. You cannot just decide you think you’re an artist over night and begin to experiment on people. Know your limits and stay in your comfort zone. Start off with a body piercing apprenticeship, take a class for anatomy, attend seminars, find a body modification artist willing to apprentice you. Go slow and master one thing at a time and don’t and overwhelm yourself.
T. Angel: Let’s talk about your body. What kind of modifications you have done and what else is coming?
Corey Morgue: Not even one year ago I was a “normal” looking guy with just a split tongue and a few piercings and some hide-able tattoos. Whenever I had my left eyeball tattooed black I had reached the point of no return…. The artist who did my eyeball tattoo offered free scarification, so I decided to have a wicked smile branded into my face, on the same side as my black eyeball. Then and there my “dark side” started to come to life and my idea has developed more and more. After some intense thought I decided to have an “infection” tattoo put around eye to conceal some blackened subcutaneous tissue, and then my “dark side” was finally alive. I have started to modify the other side of my face with green themed work, such as a half green tongue, a green om / unalome symbol, a one of a kind green and black “zombie” eyeball tattoo design that I did myself in the mirror. (Note: tattooing your own eyeball is one of the dumbest things you could possibly do, don’t f*cking try it!)
For my future plans I am trying to focus on finishing old tattoo projects such as full sleeves and torso, then eventually back to tattooing some more of my face. As for future body modifications I have plans for subdermal implants in my hands, and transdermal horn implants in my skull.
(The “zombie” eye, designed by Corey)
T. Angel: What kind of procedure you make? And what kind you don’t make and why?
Corey Morgue: My favorite procedures to do are injection tattooing. It’s not something you see very often, and that’s what I love about it. I’ve tattooed my own eyeball, my tongue, and my genitals using my own pigment injection techniques. I always document my experiences, and some of them I choose to publish on my website so that people world wide are able learn something new. Some procedures I do not offer include: tongue splitting (I have split some tongues, but I do not enjoy doing it), 3D implants, and ear cartilage sculpting. The reason I do not offer some procedures is because I would rather take my time refining procedures, and mastering them one by one.
I plan on being a body modifier for the rest of my life, this is my passion and I wouldn’t have it any other way… Which means I need to go slow, and stay in my comfort zone until the time is right and I am ready to take it to the next level. When the time comes, and I am ready to take the next steps in my career, I will go for it with total confidence and proper education.
T. Angel: Eyeball tattooing is one of services you do. In your opinion what’s the most dangerous risk above the procedure and how do you perceive it all over the globe for now?
Corey Morgue: Eyeball tattooing is something I spent the better part of a year researching, mostly independently, but with a little bit of artist collaboration here and there as well. There are only a handful of reputable artists who have an excellent track record with the procedure and do not cause unnecessary complications. I took my time and waited until I was 110% confident with my own personal technique before just diving in and causing subcutaneous blowouts like most of these “self taught” artists.. It doesn’t matter if your artist has done 5, 10, or even 50 eyeball tattoos, if they cause problems more often than not, they’re being reckless and you need to avoid them no matter what kind of deal they are offering you.
The biggest and most realistic risk factor in my opinion is glaucoma, which would be caused when an artist injects too much pigment and creates a dramatic increase in intraocular pressure. Glaucoma is a progressive issue and you might not catch it until it’s too late, so ALWAYS DO YOUR RESEARCH! Don’t go to the first artist who offers to do the procedure, go to the one who provides you with healed photos (3+ months after the procedure) and still has good results. Anybody can upload a freshly done eyeball tattoo that looks good, but more often than not if you actually take the time to investigate you will notice that later down the road their client’s have staining around the eyelids, or distorted conjunctivas (lumps) from over injection and overall bad technique.
If eyeball tattooing does become illegal, we can thank the “artists” who have done these procedures without any concern for their client’s well being, because they’re the ones who are the problem.
T. Angel: Nowadays in Brazil we have a politician trying to ban and criminalize the eyeball tattooing. A part of Brazilian body modification community is supporting the politician. How do you see it?
Corey Morgue: I’ve seen a lot of poorly done work online that originated from Brazil; rumored to be done in very unhygienic work environments. If you’re willing to take your time and pick out the most educated and experienced artist for the job, then these hacks wont get to cause more problems, and in my opinion they can be weeded out. This is not like a lip piercing, where if it becomes infected you can usually correct the issue without much hassle – we are dealing with eyeballs, the stakes are much higher, and we cannot simply fix an eyeball that has suffered unnecessary trauma by an uneducated “artist”.
T. Angel: Do you know something about Brazilian body mods culture?
Corey Morgue: No. I am only a local artist in my state and a few surrounding areas. I know of a few Brazilian mod artists that I’ve heard of through Facebook and other social networks, but I have not met any of them personally.
T. Angel: For you, what is the future of body modification?
Corey Morgue: I don’t know, but I have two main thoughts about the future of this industry.
1) In the past 15 years there have been some amazing, dramatic leaps in the services industry professionals are able to offer their clients. It is truly amazing what we can do to the human body present day compared to 50 years ago when tattooing and piercing was considered “extreme” or “taboo”. I can only hope that the future will hold even more exciting things, things that we cannot currently even concept in our minds.
2) OR this option: where the industry gets flooded with reckless artists who have no concern other than “social media fame” and short term results so they can fill their pockets with money. If this is how it is going to be, then I can see the whole sub culture and industry turning into a giant mess, and more government officials stepping in and trying to shut it down.
T. Angel: If people want to contact you for appointment?
Corey Morgue: I typically work from West Virginia / Ohio / Pennsylvania / Michigan (United States) so if you are in these states feel free to contact me and setup an appointment. Travel is not an issue.
You can see some examples of my work, read my biography, and find my contact information on my official website: http://coreymorgue.com/