Breast cancer often leaves marks on the body and self-esteem of women who have had to go through surgery. Once the disease is over, the trauma it leaves on the body and spirit must be overcome. A Venezuelan artist, Germán Gamboa, has taken on the task of helping these women with his art.
By MiamiDiario Editorial Staff
A sample of the degree of perfection that can be achieved with the tattoo to recover the nipple halo lost in a mastectomy. (Photos by German Gamboa)
Germán Gamboa is a Venezuelan tattoo artist, he explains that based on the technique of his art he achieves the pigmentation of the female areola to recreate the symmetry and natural similarities “This technique is usually applied, in people who have lost their nipples or have an irregularity in this area, caused by aesthetic operations, or by mastectomies related to breast cancer.”
Gamboa comments that these are processes that are very much associated with drawing, with detail, since drawing a nipple and making it look as natural as possible, depends on the person’s body. “This is a benefit that the tattoo offers and is not talked about much – he points out – and it is something that can change anyone’s life.”
Many people ask if it is very painful because we are talking about a machine with needles; however, as Gamboa explains, these women have partially or totally lost sensitivity in the area, and this favors the recreation of the nipple by the tattooist.
“The tattoo artists created a design that we worked with a 3D technique creating lights and shadows, simulating roughness. For those who find it a bit annoying, you can resort to anesthetic creams and thus totally eliminate any sensation,” he says.
For the artist, this type of work transcends the artistic. It is not only the perfection of the reproduced motif, which demands demanding handling of the technique of drawing and painting 3D and hyperrealist, is the transformation that they achieve in their human canvases.
“I have had to do this work on several occasions and it gives me incredible satisfaction; I am so grateful to be able to help this group of women to overcome their insecurities and complexes, and to see them change completely after they are ready.”
For Gamboa, the reconstruction of something as deeply associated with femininity as the nipple of a mastectomized woman’s breast has allowed her to see how they recover something that they thought was lost and affected their deepest personalities. This has given her a new perspective on the value of her art.
“This gives them back their security and love for their body, which adds up to a lot when it comes to valuing and respecting what the art of tattooing is today; for me, it’s a totally different experience than tattooing for any reason: I feel I’m changing their lives for the better, and that’s something I deeply appreciate.”
Translated by: Aleuzenev Nogales
You may also be interested in: