APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 3 February, 1999


Flesh as Canvas

A FashionSense Interview with Deucalion

Scott R. Blow

For those in the know, Atsi means one thing: bodysculpting. Ask these same socialites about bodysculpting and they mention the name 'Deucalion' without hesitation. The man has been lauded as a genius by the Ashanti fashion industry and condemned as a heretic by Sorrento's Revisionist Church. Fashion guru Geran Zacks called his work "an epiphany in muscle and bone; halfway between the sacred and the profane," labeling Deucalion himself as "the most dangerous designer alive, completely fantabulous." High praise, indeed.

Despite his controversial art, Deucalion is far from an imposing. Short and plump, he looks nothing like the semi-mythical beast one would picture. In fact, physically he is, well, rather disappointing. Imagine a young Buddha and you wouldn't be far off. His head is shaven, his sandals are wooden, and his hands are manicured. His wardrobe consists exclusively of a hundred gray kimonos and just as many folding black fans.

In this FashionSense exclusive, we met with Deucalion in his palatial Sakura Drive townhouse. After graciously serving us tea and leading us on a tour of his rock gardens, we were granted a unique opportunity to interview this sensitive, avant-garde visionary.

FashionSense: You all but single-handedly created the bodysculpting industry. How did you get your start?

Deucalion: It is an unlikely story. As a child, I was always a fan of monster movies, although the creature effects often terrified me. I wanted to be a make-up artist, but my parents, they wished for me to pursue a more 'respectable' career. So I became a doctor, and forgot my childish ambitions. Midway through medical school I found myself interested in cosmetic surgery. After a few years of correcting birth defects and performing skin grafts on burn patients, I yearned for something more. Instead of making these people look like everyone else, why could I not make them look better? The seeds for this revolution already existed in the facelifts and tummy-tucks enjoyed by celebrities. Intrigued by the possibilities, I left my hospital job and went into business for myself. The youth scene has always been the biggest supporter of my humble efforts, and that is how I became involved with The Rusty Bayonet.

FS: I'm sure most of our readers are acquainted with the infamous Rusty Bayonet nightclub and bodysculpting boutique, but your connection to it has always been unclear. Care to put an end to the speculation and set the record straight?

D: It is nothing so complicated. Tuan Tran, the owner of The Rusty Bayonet, and I were lovers as young men. He was always --how you say?-- the 'party animal,' and opening a dance club was the natural choice for him. He gained some notoriety for opening a tattoo parlor by the dance floor. When I left the medical profession, I came to him. He gave me a place to stay and the freedom to try some of my ideas.

FS: And this is how the bodysculpting craze began?

D: [laughs] Yes, I suppose you could say that. Of course, the techniques we used back then were all very crude. With no real income, I was forced to scavenge much of my equipment. Many of my forms --forms are implanted surgical appliances-- were made from sterilized industrial plastics scrounged from the refuse bins behind local factories. I once spent the night in prison after a security guard caught me rummaging through a Calliope dumpster! Fortunately I was eventually able to convince the authorities that I was just a punk kid and not a spy searching for military secrets.

FS: You were really living from hand-to-mouth in those days, weren't you?

D: Exactly. After leaving my position as a surgeon, much of my savings were quickly exhausted by debts from my education. The rest I shamefully squandered on clothes and drink. Being so poor was quite the, ah, 'waking up call.' I was a failure, and my parents refused to speak to me.

FS: But you did succeed spectacularly, after all. With you on board, The Rusty Bayonet went from an obscure dive to the bodysculpting Mecca, the place to be seen, all because of your work!

D: [smiling] No... It was the Atsi youth, not me. I was just fortunate enough to be in the right place at the right time. The teenagers of this city wanted a new way to express themselves, to get out from under the weight of tradition. All I did was offer them an opportunity to be the unique individual they always dreamed of being.

FS: Why did you leave The Rusty Bayonet, after having seemingly found your niche?

D: Tuan and I increasingly began to find ourselves at odds with each other. Both of us were having affairs, and it was difficult for us to simply talk without our conversation turning into an argument about some trivial matter. It became necessary for me to leave. I took my meager savings and began the first of my Deucalion Salons.

FS: Your supporters must have followed you, as your Salons have become a multimillion-dinar industry. Not only does your clientele include Atsi's hippest youth, but you've also performed sculpts for such notable celebrities as Cherubim Haart. What are some of the hottest body mods today?

D: Implanted horns and quills have always been popular, and the other day I did a full set of diamond-edged claws for Clarissa of the Black Jezebel shock trio. 'Beading' is still fashionable among Primal Dreamers; that is a technique where stainless ball bearings are implanted beneath the epidermis to form patterns of raised bumps. My phosphorescent light-tattoos are a big hit as well.

FS: Do you have a favorite mod? A masterpiece, if you will?

D: Ah, yes. My angel. She was a very beautiful lady, a former Légion Noire soldier with a very painful past. I gave her dak wings. The job was excruciating, and she nearly died on the operating table, but she was nothing short of exquisite when it was complete. I was even able to give her limited muscle control over the wings, but she could only twitch them, nothing more. The graft was not perfect, of course, and she had to take a host of drugs to prevent her body from rejecting the dak's foreign cell structure, but she could not have been happier with my work. She said that I had redeemed her soul. A few months after the surgery, she killed herself. She leapt from the balcony of her apartment building. I do not know if she felt she truly could fly, but when the paramedics retrieved her shattered body, she still had an oddly serene smile on her holy face. I dream of her sometimes, and I regret that I could not fulfill her dream of flight. She was my masterpiece and my biggest failure, all at the same time.

FS: Mods like this have been targeted by religious groups of all stripes. Is your work blasphemous? Are you tampering in domains that are better left alone?

D: No, nothing that dramatic. As I said before, I merely help people express their inner selves. I am interfering in no-one's divine plan. No Prophet, no God, no Spirit, no Father should ever try to keep an individual from being who he wishes to be.

FS: You're a world-renowned surgeon, artist, and fashion designer. You've been voted FashionSense's Most Intriguing Person of 1935. You're the head of a multimillion-dinar business and not even the sky is the limit. Have you and your parents reconciled?

D: No. I do not exist in their eyes.


Back to APAGear II Archives

APAGear II Archives Volume 1, Number 3 February, 1999