Kate Moss and Her $1.6 Million Tattoo

Lylah M. Alphonse, Senior Editor, Yahoo! Shine
Fashion
November 19, 2012

There's no doubt that Kate Moss is worth millions of dollars. But what's news is that at least $1.6 million of it may be inked onto her lower back.

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In an interview with Vanity Fair, the super-skinny supermodel talked about her insecurities ("I hated my boobs!" she says), her paycheck (she still makes up to $400,000 for a day's work), and her breakup with actor Johnny Depp ("Nightmare. Years and years of crying"). And she also revealed that some of her body art was drawn on by the legendary German-born British painter Lucian Freud.

The 38-year-old fashion icon was pregnant with her daughter, Lila, when she met Freud in 2002. After telling a British magazine that the painter was the person she'd most love to meet, she got a call from his daughter, Bella Freud, saying, "My dad wants to meet you."

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She went to Freud's house for dinner, and he started painting her portrait that night. "Naked Portrait 2002" shows Moss nude and heavily pregnant, reclining against a pillow; though the artist later described it as "disappointing," it became one of his most well-known works.

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But the famous painter's art wasn't restricted to canvas. "He told me about when he was in the Navy, when he was 19 or something, and he used to do all of the tattoos for the sailors," Moss told Vanity Fair. "And I went, 'Oh, my God, that's amazing.' And he went, 'I can do you one. What would you like?' I was like, 'Really?' "

"He said, 'Would you like creatures of the animal kingdom?' I said, 'I like birds.' And he said, 'I've done birds. I've got it in my book.' And he pointed at a painting of a chicken upside down in a bucket," Moss continued. "And I said, 'No, I'm not having that.' And then he said, 'Maybe I should just do you.' I thought, I'm not going to have a girl on my … So we decided to do a flock of birds."

The flock turned into two pretty little creatures, one on either side of her spine, just above her backside. You might not have noticed it on the runway, but it's clearly visible in bikini shots taken by paparazzi on boats and at the beach.

"Lucian was always really kind," she said. "I adored him." The birds are a permanent reminder of her famous friend, who died in July 2011.

Freud's painting of Moss sold for 3.9 million British pounds -- about $6.25 million -- in 2005. So it's not that much of a stretch to guess that the two little birds on Moss's lower back would be worth $1.6 million or more.

"I mean, it's an original Lucian Freud," Moss told Vanity Fair. "I wonder how much a collector would pay for that? A few million? I'd skin-graft it."

Somehow, we don't think she'd really be willing to part with her custom-drawn body art.



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