Tattooed Artist Polling Strongly in Czech Elections

Vladimir Franz (Source: Vladimir Franz for President: A Civic Initiative (CC)

And here I thought the U.S. was leading the world in weird politics.

With 11% of the vote, Vladimir Franz, an opera composer and painter is grabbing 11% of the vote for Czech president. That’s not out of the ordinary. Vaclav Havel was a playwright who became president. Franz is a bit different though. He’s tattooed from head to foot. It’s a surreal image for politicians, who usually try to groom their public image into something a bit less extraordinary.

Franz is running third in the race. Yet he has spent little and has been distracted by the performance of his new opera. There are nine candidates running and the frontrunner has only 25%. That puts Franz as a real threat to be elected president. Nevertheless, it is hard to imagine that he can get a majority of votes with a look like his. If he does, he’ll liven up those group photos when the prime ministers and presidents gather at international conferences.

Strangely, Franz calls his very public tattoos “private.”

“My tattoos are my private little garden. They are not a handicap, they are added value,” Franz said. “Elections are not a beauty contest. It is all about tolerance.”

Here’s Franz’s website where more photos can be found.

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