The first-annual “all-ages” Fairbanks Tattoo Arts Festival featured an old pagan practice of jabbing massive flesh hooks into a young woman’s torso as she hung and swiveled from ropes attached to the rafters of the Carlson Center.

Sponsored by Villain Arts, the May 26-28 event included tattoo artists from all over the country, along with special guests, burlesque entertainment and the hooked performance by Veronica Fink.

A video of the incident shows spectators watching as the scantily clad and heavily tattooed Fink strikes erotic poses while precariously dangling from two large hooks that pull and strain against the skin of her upper abdomen. Fink travels the country performing with Villain Arts. Her shows also regularly include inserting long metal nails into her nostrils.

The popularity of Villain Art shows comes at a time when alterations of the human body have become increasingly popular. In addition to full-body tattooing, other practices include inserts under the skin, vampire fang implants and the lodging or piercing of myriad other objects into the body.

Suspending the human body with large hooks is an old pagan practice that dates back thousands of years. Introducing this into contemporary traveling shows is influenced by the so-called “modern primitive” movement. This consists of bodily manipulations and rituals that can include tattoos, piercings, permanent skin and eyeball dying, intentional scarring and branding. Often this is associated with a desire to alter one’s personal identity or appearance, engage in rites of passage, reject religious or cultural norms or connect to ancient pagan spiritualities.

The growth of these practices coincides with a marked rise in cross-sex hormones, removal or mutilation of bodily organs and puberty blockers for children – all aimed at altering the bodily appearance to achieve a perceived notion of personal identity.

While the Fairbanks Tattoo Arts Festival was largely focused on adult tattooing, it also included booths where young children could get their faces painted or receive temporary tattoos. Children under age 12 were given free admittance.

The same show swung through Anchorage last month, and there are plans to have it return in 2024.

Click here to support Alaska Watchman reporting.

All-ages Fairbanks tattoo fest features woman pierced and hung by meat hooks

Joel Davidson
Joel is Editor-in-Chief of the Alaska Watchman. Joel is an award winning journalist and has been reporting for over 24 years, He is a proud father of 8 children, and lives in Palmer, Alaska.


  • Mary says:

    Luke 17:28-29 “–as it was in the days of Lot—it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all “.
    If you doubt that this actually happened, check out archeological evidence of the region of the site of Sodom.
    If you think it cannot happen again, check the Word of God which clearly describes what is headed our way.

    • Proud Alaskan says:

      Agree, God speaks of this evil coming to reign over the earth with fire

    • Elizabeth Henry says:

      This is definitely evil and satanically driven. This is far beyond the decorative flower tattoo or ethnic sleeve.

    • Clark says:

      Sorry, but the story of Sodom and Lot wasn’t about tattoos or transgender people. Or homosexuals either. Whoever told you it was lied to you.

      As far as ‘what happened’ goes, the jury is definitely still out. Could have been wiped pit by an invading army. Could have been massacred by Christian zealots. Could have burnt down in a random catastrophic accident. Heck it even could have been a meteor shower that hit earth and they were just in the wrong spot. Assuming you believe the biblical version, you should be a lot more incensed that the man and girls that were ‘saved’ by the Angels were such awful people. Lot was basically a child sex trafficker; he offered to let a mob gang-rape his own daughters. And the two daughters grew up and got Lot drunk and raped him so they could have incest babies. Classy!

      • micah6v8 says:

        Godlessness in the Last Days (2 Timothy 3)

        But understand this, that in the last days there will come times of difficulty. For people will be lovers of self, lovers of money, proud, arrogant, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, heartless, unappeasable, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not loving good, treacherous, reckless, swollen with conceit, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God, having the appearance of godliness, but denying its power. Avoid such people.

        You are someone to avoid.

      • Friend of Humanity says:

        Amen micah6v8.

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      I agree with Mary, Proud Alaskan, and Elizabeth Henry. I sure am staying out of that world!

  • Ceak says:

    I see this as a circus type of entertainment. Although I would not going.

  • Lucinda says:

    Who cares? People do weird stuff all the time.

    • Becka says:

      I was digging this article. Was like dang, that sounds like a badass show! Wish I could have seen it. But then Joel went off the rails like usual and started inventing connections that don’t exist. Really? Blaming trans kids existing on tattoo culture?

  • Akdale says:

    more mental cases in Ak. asylums need to come bsck

  • Berdache says:

    Many plains Indian tribes included hanging from their flesh as part of their sacred Sun Dance. Once again, Joel and his followers show their true colors, prejudice and ignorance.

    • Ceak says:

      I don’t have a problem with anything at the tattoo festival, so I’m not going to say it’s wrong or anything. I do think it’s silly to act like it’s a protected thing, just because Indian tribes practiced it. I mean certain Indian tribes practiced scalping, so are we not allowed to say scalping is wrong? Just because it’s something that was done in tribes, doesn’t mean it was right or should still be practiced. There are many beautiful traditions that come from Indian tribes, but hanging by the flesh is pretty gruesome.

      • Berdache says:

        So a ceremony that is considered sacred by some shouldn’t protected ?
        Why not ? Do you know why the ceremony is considered sacred ?
        Do you feel the same way about male genital mutilation because that’s what circumcision is.

        Did you know that some Indigenous tribes have long histories of integrating multiple gender identities whom they consider to be consecrated by the divine ?

        Your bias is just part of the long history of colonialism and cultural genocide that forces your Western-defined gender binary and patriarchy on Indigenous communities.

        But go on, I digress

    • Friend of Humanity says:

      While what you are saying may be true (I’d have to research), did those tribes travel around the state or the nation doing a show for everyone?

      • StopTheMadnesz says:

        Berdache, Joel actually said:
        “Suspending the human body with large hooks is an old pagan practice that dates back thousands of years.” A “sacred sun dance” would be a pagan practice, no?

  • Berdache says:

    Stop the Madnez – Is the glass have empty or is it half full ? To an Outsider, I suppose that religious practice of Native Americans could be considered Pagan, yes, but I wouldn’t necessarily say that Native Americans, in general now, would consider themselves to be Pagan.
    The term “pagan” dates back to Roman times and was coined by Christians. Animism is probably a more appropriate term to use.
    I’ll just borrow this from Wikipedia.
    Paganism (from classical Latin pāgānus “rural”, “rustic”, later “civilian”) is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism,[1] or ethnic religions other than Christianity. In the time of the Roman empire, individuals fell into the pagan class either because they were increasingly rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi (soldiers of Christ).[2][3] Alternative terms used in Christian texts were hellene, gentile, and heathen.

  • Jen says:

    Totally inappropriate as well insensitive to being such an act into a state with the highest sexually assault and domestic violence against women and girls. These acts just continues desensitizing men and boys to reduce a woman’s worth.