April 17, 2019 7:23 pm
Updated: April 17, 2019 7:28 pm

Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin put on display, travelling across Canada

Cheryl Wenzel unboxes her late husband Chris Wenzel's preserved skin which displays his back, arm and thigh tattoos at Electric Underground Tattoos in Saskatoon.

Kayle Neis / The Canadian Press
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Before he died, Chris Wenzel always talked about travelling across Canada with his wife.

Cheryl Wenzel of Saskatoon is now planning that trip from Vancouver to St. John’s, N.L., to show off frames of her late husband’s preserved tattooed skin.

READ MORE: Dead Saskatoon tattoo artist’s skin removed, preserved to honour his work


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It was a wish the heavily inked, tattoo artist left for her to fulfil before he died of an illness last October.

A U.S. company that preserves tattoos removed the completed designs from the 41-year-old’s body and, after months of waiting, Wenzel recently received four frames showcasing the colourful designs on her husband’s body.

The artwork was unveiled at a tattoo expo in Saskatoon and will next be displayed at a conference in Vancouver. The plan is to take the designs on tour to the east coast.

“It’s giving myself and my children strength and courage to keep on moving on,” Wenzel said this week.

“Through honouring Dad’s wishes and to see the pride that he would have with us doing this for him.”

WATCH BELOW: Wife of Saskatoon tattoo artist says he didn’t want work on his body to be buried after he died

Reflecting on her late husband’s unusual request, Wenzel, who comes from a family of fur trappers, said at first they joked about it.

“I said, ‘Oh yeah, I’ll skin your ass. Don’t step out of line.’”

The whole idea was mind-boggling, she said.

READ MORE: Baby born without skin, undergoing treatment that could save his life

Her family’s story has garnered widespread attention and a range of reactions from inspiration to disgust, Wenzel said.

She said she has always been someone to push the limits and hopes that her family’s story can encourage people to be respectful.

“I always say to each their own,” she said.

“Keep an open mind when you’re listening to other people’s stories.”

© 2019 The Canadian Press

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