Photo of Vladimir Franz by David W. Cerny, posted with permission.
International news is buzzing over the campaign of Vladimir Franz, whose run for president of the Czech Republican has gained such momentum, he's now third among the nine candidates, according to ABC News.
The 53-year-old artist, drama professor and composer (who also holds a law degree) has near full tattoo coverage and has told reporters that his tattoos are "not a handicap, they are added value," adding "Elections are not a beauty contest. It is all about tolerance." Indeed, his four "pillars" of his campaign are "education, culture, morality and tolerance."
Mr. Franz is not part of any political party, nor does he have any political experience, and that his part of his appeal. According to RT.com, Mr. Franz decided to run for office "after a group of admirers launched the 'Franz for President' initiative and plead him to shake up the election with his shock factor." And by the press coverage he's getting worldwide, shock factor is an understatement.
It's interesting to read how different news outlets cover Mr. Franz's campaign. Obviously, the tattoos take up a large part of those articles; in fact, most of the headlines about his campaign have the word tattoo in them. Some even editorialize it like the headline of the ABC news piece I linked above: "Despite Face Tattoo Vladimir Franz Is Presidential Contender." Then there's this Guardian poll: "Are tattoos a political turn-off?"
Well, judging from the polls, the tattoos are a turn-on. And it is very exciting to see Mr. Franz represent the heavily tattooed in a very powerful way. We'll be following the Czech elections this Friday and Saturday to see how he does.
Here's a quick video below on his campaign, which includes a number of photos from David Cerny as well.