Maxime Dalix is an extensively tattooed collector and shop manager. Born and raised in Stockholm, Maxime shares the inspiration behind some of her earliest pieces, they ways in which they index her changing taste and relationship to her body, and how they affect her socially.
When did you start getting tattooed?
I started getting tattooed when I was 18. I got my first tattoo as a birthday present from my dad and nan.
What made you want to get tattooed? What are your first memories of seeing tattoos?
I’ve always been very fascinated by them ever since I saw my first one; I was around eight. My dad’s friend, who rode a motorcycle, had a black panther ‘climbing’ up his forearm. I was mesmerized by it. For me, it’s an art form and a way to express myself. I wear my art on my skin instead of hanging it up on the walls of my home.
Who first tattooed you and how did you choose the design and placement of that tattoo?
Magnus Pettersson, who works at Evil Eye Tattoo in Stockholm, did my first tattoo. It’s a star on my left shoulder.
After your first piece, did you deliberately build a collection? How do you conceive of the relationship between your tattoos?
From the first time I saw a tattoo, I decided that I wanted to cover my whole body in them. I love all of my tattoos. I would probably not get some of them today if I didn’t already have them. Taste changes. But at the time I had them done I really liked each one. They are there and they remind me of that particular time in my life.
Are there particular pieces that have had a lasting symbolic and/or historical significance to you? Is the meaning of a given piece or the time and context in which you got it important to you?
I do have some memorial tattoos. My grandparents’ names, my cat, and also a portrait of my godfather, who I love deeply. I also have my parents’ and brother’s names tattooed on me. They’re still alive, but I wanted to honor them and have them with me all the time.
How do you choose your artists and motifs?
I choose the artists and motifs based on what I want tattooed. I choose the tattooist when I know they are going to do an amazing job on a given piece. I collect tattoos from people I admire and like—just like people who collect art and put it in their homes, only I put it on my skin instead.
How do you understand being substantially tattooed? How does it differ from living with your first few pieces?
People judge me a lot more, the more tattoos I get. They’ve spat on me, yelled at me, and told me off. People have pulled my arms and they stare at me. If people are curious and want to ask me something, I’m more than happy to answer questions. Rather than that, most of the time they talk about me like I’m an animal at the zoo.
Children are always super lovely and they are so fascinated about the fact that you can’t wash them off. It reminds me of how fascinated I was when I saw tattoos as a child.
Has your collection received any interesting reactions that you’d like to share?
People stare a lot. Some are really rude and think they can say and do whatever to me just because I have tattoos. I think it’s sad because this is my choice and body. If they don’t like it they can keep it to themselves. We need more love and light in this world, not hate and darkness. I think that everyone should respect everyone. We’re here on this planet, in this life, for such a short time. Why not make the best of it and treat each other well?
You can find Maxime on Instagram @maxdalix.