On May 15 2020, Facebook user Ed Lawson shared the following image, which purportedly depicted a man who had had Will Smith’s face tattooed over his own face:
The post was extremely popular, but not every commenter was convinced that the image was accurately described or reflective of a reality in which a person had actually tattooed the celebrity’s face over their own:
so I can’t prove it to you because I don’t have screen shots but this is definitely [photoshop] I took a second look at it and I’m an artist that uses Photoshop along with other applications at any rate look at his neck it’s almost part of his face some clone stamp tool
Although many had suspicions, no one seemed to be able to definitively prove that the “man with Will Smith’s face tattooed on their face” was a digital edit job. The image was also shared to Reddit’s r/oddlyterrifying in early February 2020:
In that instance, the title of the Reddit post yielded a clue — the Instagram handle of a tattoo artist, @victor_chil. And @victor_chil did Instagram the photo above in February 2020. But he also credited another Instagram user for creating the image:
Immediately after that, @victor_chil shared the original tattoo work he’d done. It did feature a very realistic rendering of Will Smith’s face, but it was clearly tattooed on someone’s limb:
According to @victor_chil, he originally tattooed the portrait of Will Smith (on a limb, not on anyone’s face) five years prior to the early 2020 post, and @philip.kremer used the photograph and credited the artist in one of his “face collages.” On Instagram, @philip.kremer’s page almost exclusively featured similar works of artistic photograph manipulation.
Update, 6/18/2020, 3:03 PM: Changed “arm” to “limb.”