Prison tattoos are a category unto themselves. Usually done with some kind of makeshift, homemade instrument and ink, they have a unique look and symbolism. (Sometimes I wonder how people survive the process under prison conditions!)
Recently, a tattoo artist traveled to Mexico, originally with the intent of photographing the tattoo culture there. After he arrived, though, he changed his mind and decided to be a participant rather than an observer. And thus he ended up constructing several DIY tattoo machines (one for each inmate he tattooed).
But he didn’t stop there. He also did some hyper realistic paintings of his creations. Thanks to an article in WIRED magazine, you can see the results here.