The Enigma was at DINK, the Denver Independent Comic and Art Expo took place this past March, 2016. He and all of his glorious tattoos could be found walking the five beautiful floors of the historic Sherman Street Event Center just checking out all of the art and socializing. Well known to geeks for his guest role in ‘X-Files’ back in 1995, this unique performer has been entertaining audiences for over 20 years. The Enigma’s show is based on a circus and tattoo culture that impresses and entertains people all around the world. I had the chance to catch up to The Enigma and get to know him better. DINK returns next year Apr 8 & 9, 2017 to the new venue of McNichols Civic Center Building.
Colleen Bement: What do you think of the DINK Expo so far?
The Enigma: “I’ve traveled around the world many times over, and here I am at DINK, here we are: there are so many artists and they absolutely phenomenal. All those kids sitting in the back of the class doodling are all here. They are kids who were told you can’t make any money in art, and they don’t care about the money, man. They’re doing it because this is their thing. When you’re an artist, there’s a calling that goes beyond food, water, and sleep. The starving artist painting in the attic until the last day–that is what this is all about. I think Einstein’s theory almost has it right. E=MC2, but I think he’s missing a letter–like “I” for imagination, or “A” for art. That should be included in the formula for this amazing universe. And here they are in Denver.”
CB: Tell me all about yourself.
TE: “I’m kind of a unique case. I spent most of my life in the backseat of a car going back and forth to piano lessons, flute lessons, singing lessons, dancing lessons– just for an appreciation of the arts. Then I stumbled upon sideshows. Here was real magic, because when everybody believes one thing and you show them another, the truth appears as magic. I pursued doing sideshow stunts including sword swallowing, pounding spikes in to my skull, fire, and all that. Then in ’92 I hooked up with Lollapalooza with all the like-minded monsters, and traveled around the world. I thought I’d step it up and said hey; maybe I could be a different color. I found somebody in ’93 who would do the work. Then tattoo artists all over the like South Africa, Switzerland, all wanted a piece of the action. Then in ’95, just after a Nine Inch Nails tour with sold out shows, I did the ‘X-Files’. They got lucky–I got lucky, and it was great. It gave a lot of credibility to my art form. Then I got horns in ’96, then got my ears–they’re customized, or course. I got my eyes done –I was crying black tears (laughs). I’m still doing my shtick with the band Human Marvels, then Show Devils. Now I’m just The Enigma Live. I’ve been immersed in this art business for so many years. I gotta tell ya–this place here (DINK) is beyond expectations.”