The model from Verona, French by birth, tells Tattoo Life: “I got myself inked because they made me study maths as a teenager…”

She goes by the name of Meriem, is particularly tattooed and outgoing, has France in her DNA, but you’ve been introduced to her, or soon will be, as Ultima Suicide.

Ultima Suicide
Ultima Suicide

We, in the meantime, have had a little chat with her on the occasion of her TV debut as co-presenter of a programme where the main focus is nerd culture.

It’s all here below in this interview.

Hi there, Ultima. For a while now we’ve been able to admire you on TV (and the web) thanks to the programme on 7 Gold ‘Crossover-Universo Nerd’ devoted to the world of videogames. Do you think you’ll get to talk about tattoos as well in front of the cameras?
Sure, ‘Crossover-Universo Nerd’ will be a chance to present different worlds that have a lot in common. And there will be plenty of crossover between different topics.

Tell me the truth: on a scale of one to ten, how nerdy do you think you are?
To be honest, I’d give myself a seven. I’ve loved this world ever since I was little, and especially during my teenage years, I got to know it really well thanks to videogames, Manga comics and role playing games. Now, with work, it’s not that easy to keep up with it all, but I haven’t left it behind me, that’s for sure.

When did tattoo art make its first appearance in your life?
Well, at school I was always a bit different, you know… (smiles)

What kind of school did you go to?
I went to Scientific High School, even though my great love has always been art. As soon as I was allowed to, I started to collect it on my skin, seeing as how I couldn’t express it in the classroom.

Ultima Suicide
Ultima Suicide

You are pretty much covered in tattoos all over your body and every piece of yours has a precise meaning for you. So does that mean that for you, getting tattooed is also a means for understanding/analysing yourself in ever greater depth?
Exactly. Generally, I love to talk, but not about myself. So I use tattoo to tell personal things that I don’t want to or am not able to express in words.

I see that you have a very easy relationship with your tattooed body. You often appear wearing nothing much more than your tattoosi…
You know, I’ve never believed there was anything vulgar or shameful about nudity. Basically, that’s how we’re born, and I think it’s really important to communicate this to the outside world. Especially when a certain kind of censorship, a ridiculous level of censorship, is justiied by the majority…

Accepting that there is nothing wrong with our nature is a first step towards being well in yourself…

On your right arm you have a tribute to the holiday of Halloween: is that your favourite time of the year? it’s a bit of a nerd fest, it’s true.
Yes, I adore Halloween, and autumn is still my favourite season. Everything about that time of year inspires me, and then Halloween has that magic that makes me feel like I’m still a little girl.

Do you have a particular tattoo artist of preference or do you go to a number of different Italian tattooists?
Over the many years I’ve been getting tattooed, I have dealt with a lot of different artists, some of whom I’ve become friends with. Luca Pugno from ‘No More Pain Tattoo’ in Peschiera Del Garda, for example, has done a number of my tattoos. Including the famous octopus I have between my thigh and right buttock.

Ultima Suicide
Ultima Suicide

Apart from the octopus, you have some other marvellous pieces. Do you reckon there is any space left on your skin? Maybe on your back…
Well, my back is a work in progress by the Brescia artist Mattia Braga. He’s doing me a bear, which is my favourite animal. There’s not much space left, in fact, so I’m keeping it just for the best artists! (laughs)

I came across an “old” interview of your on a local TV station and I have to say you did a great job of it, despite the tone of the questions (on the subject of your tattoos) which were poking fun at you and rather simplistic. It seems we still have a long way to go in Italy before we can talk in any way seriously about tattoo art?
Let me just say that sarcasm and pointed answers are a part of my life. It’s not so unusual to find myself dealing with simplistic remarks, as you say, and the only thing for me to do is try to like it is all perfectly normal. Because nudity is a normal as tattoos.

Can we do any more to improve the situation?
In my opinion, we’re not doing all that badly here in Italy. There is a pretty happening scene, it’s growing all the time, and give it a few more decades and we won’t be hearing the famous “But what will you do covered in all those tattoos when you get old?” A question I always answer with: “Hey, I’m going to be ugly anyway. With or without tattoos!”

Photos by Camilla Cianfrone Leoni (Miss Sorry)

Instagram: @ultimainthemultiverse