With more than 70 pieces across his body, Davidson’s tattoos include the late US Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bader Ginsburg, presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, quotes from Albus Dumbledore and Rocky Balboa, as well as tributes for his late father and tattoos from previous relationships.
While the former SNL star previously said he planned to have many of his tattoos removed because he finds them “embarrassing”, a number of pieces he got while dating singer Ariana Grande These have been used in other work and covered. Johnny Depp famously altered his ″Winona forever″ tattoo to ″Wino forever″ after he split from 1990s squeeze Winona Ryder.
Geoff Ley, who operates the specialist laser tattoo removal clinic Ink Undone, says removing relationship tattoos is something he has seen “every week” since first opening nine years ago.
“A lot of our work is lightening previous tattoos so that something else can go over the top of it. That takes far fewer sessions than a complete removal and then the tattooist doesn’t have to cover it with just a black blob,” Ley says, explaining while lightening generally takes three sessions, a full removal can take between six and ten sessions.
While erasing relationship tattoos doesn’t make up the majority of his lightening and removal work, Ley says the romantic inks all have one thing in common.
“They seem to be the kiss of death. Of the names, initials and love hearts that I have removed, almost all of them say the relationship was going really well until they got the tattoo.”
Stubbs agrees, saying “as long as I’ve been tattooing it’s always been this common thing that when you get a partner’s name tattooed, it’s bad luck. It’s like this weird tattooer superstition, but they bring bad luck to the relationship.”