How to Tattoo a Banana: A Non-Toxic, Waste-Free Art Project

How to Tattoo a Banana
Video screen capture. YouTube

YouTube/Video screen capture

Like the ephemeral nature of earthworks and Hindu Kolams, such is the nature of the tattooed banana.

With a banana peel as your medium, there is little hope of preservation for prosperity -- unless you find good fortune in banana bread. Your work will slowly transform from art to mush, but not without some beauty in the meantime.

And as with many other forms of impermanent art, crafting an image on a banana requires no toxic art materials and results in no additional waste.

The technique was conceived by Phil Hansen, author of Tattoo a Banana: And Other Ways to Turn Anything and Everything Into Art . Hansen is a multimedia artist who works at the intersection of "traditional visual art, pointillism, and offbeat techniques, using media that connect to the subject matter, such as karate chops, tricycle wheel imprints, burger grease, and worms." And bananas.

In the video below, he shows exactly how to tattoo a banana. In a perfect mix of prison and pointillism, all you need is a banana, a pin, and your imagination.

And for those of you who are itchy about wasting bananas, here's the trick. If you refrigerate the fruit in question, the skin will brown so that you can witness the transformation, but the deterioration of the fruit itself will be restrained, leaving it available for all of your banana needs.

You can share photos of your banana art at Phil in the Whaaat?. This is a fun project for kids too, not only will it encourage the little ones to eat more fruit, but they'll certainly enjoy seeing their banana pictures shared in the collective project gallery as well.