Category Archives: Fragmented Gods

Jack Dracula

 

He was known as Jack Dracula, Jack Martin or Barcelona Jack ‘The Marked Man’. In the early 50ies he started to work in tattoo shops. Famous are the pictures of Bela Lugosi and Frankenstein on his belly. As ‘Marked Man’  he had to show over 400 tattoos insideshows and ‘Ringling Brothers Barnum Bailey Circus’.

He got famous in the early 60ies when Diane Arbus pictured him in New York City. In the interview with me, 1999 in Philadelphia, he was very critical on this memories.

Jack Dracula, talking about Arbus, refers to her insistence that she takes photographs of him for free and also his fears of the material being misused, misinterpreted by the artist and her “cultivated” viewer. Susan Sontag wrote that Arbus’s subjects were “people who are pathetic, pitiable, as well as repulsive” and that the photographs were taken “based on distance, on privilege, on a feeling that what the viewer is asked to look at is really other”. These others fascinated Arbus because perhaps, they reflected the way she saw her own self. „Aspasia Stephanou, University of Stirling“

I learned to know him in 1998 through Dick Zigun, operator of Coney Island Sideshow kennen. One year later we had a photo session, the last before he was operated on his legs.

His last days he was hospitalized in West Philadelphia Park Pleasant Altenheim, cause of the diabetes his legs were amputated.

He died at the age of 75.