There are far too many people out there who want to become professional artists and far too few with actual talent, so the wanna-bes resort to gimmicks to sell their art rather than earning their success.
But Norwegian artist Alexander Selvik Wengshoel wasn't trying to capitalize on a gimmick when he ate part of his own hip for an art project- he was just trying to make his art project that much more personal.
First, here's a little background on Alexander- he was born with a deformed hip, which was a constant source of pain and left him in a wheelchair for much of his life.
Around 2010 doctors offered him the chance to receive a metal hip replacement, which he jumped at so long as the doctors would let him film the operation and keep his old hip.
After some discussion the doctor agreed, and Alexander began The Body Project- the multimedia journaling of a life-changing event. So how did he end up eating his own hip?
Taking a piece of yourself home in a plastic bag is one thing. But how did you end up eating your own tissue?
Originally my meat wasn’t part of the project. I was just going to scrape it off and throw it away. As I gave the bone its first boil, in a little kettle, the flesh came off and I poured it into the wash sink. Then the shock hit me – I thought: "Oh my god, this is my flesh."
I quickly concluded that it was too personal to photograph and picked up a piece. I stared at it for a long time and then I said, "F@#k it." I put it into my mouth, tasted, chewed, swallowed and got to crying uncontrollably. It was happiness, anger and frustration combined.
Did you throw up?
No, after a couple of minutes of crying, it suddenly felt very natural and I didn’t think of it as human flesh anymore. So I continued boiling and scraping. Pulled out some chilli and garlic and fried it in a pan. Salt and pepper was mandatory and so was a good bottle of wine. Then I lit some candles and also whipped up some potato gratin. Sat down and ate it all – it became a ceremony, a ritual.