Clayton Patterson  PREV  NEXT  INDEX

Freaky Fun for Young Refugees
The Villager, New York on October 27, 2016

The selfie with The Enigma [1]. A refugee kid in temporary living quarters at an Austrian messehalle
posed for a shot with one of the sideshow performers. Photos by Clayton Patterson

Refugees, in general, and refugee kids in particular, can be made to feel like virtual freaks in their new countries. It doesn’t even have to take a Donald Trump. But at the Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe [2] in Austria, real live freaks had some fun with the kids and showed them some love.Like, are you feelin’ me? Apparently so. The kids really got a rise out of The Enigma’s horns. Though they might have been a bit puzzled by his cranial tattoos and crenelated ears.

The event is a combination of sideshow acts and a tattoo messe (or "fair," in German). Clayton Patterson, the Lower East Side documentarian, regularly goes to Austria to participate in and document it.

Rev. B. Dangerous
Rev. B. Dangerous [3] definitely "nose" how to entertain. He "nailed" it, as far as the kids were concerned.

"In a back area at the Wildstyle and Tattoo Messe show in Dornbirn, there was a group of refugee children and some parents and guardians," Patterson recounted. "A few of us went out, and the freaks did their acts for the kids. They loved it. I heard one young boy say ‘Afghanistan.’

"In Austria and Germany, many cities have messes, or large convention-type halls, to hold shows in," Patterson said. "The spaces are built to be functional entertainment centers, not hotels, although they are much better than a tent in a compound.

wildstyle and refugees
Not everyone has a taste for this kind of sideshow entertainment, but the young refugees lapped it up.

"At our show, outside in the parking lot, Gary Rumley, the Rev. B Dangerous, noticed a bunch of kids playing in the paved  lot. Gary discovered these people are being warehoused in a messe halle. So he gathered some of us up, Kiros the Twisted Man, The Enigma and me.  The freaks dazzled the kids — freaked them out in a happy and fun way, with mothers and burka-covered guardians smiling in the background  I am sure this was a day these kids will never forget.

Enigma's horn
Like, are you feelin’ me? Apparently so. The kids really got a rise out of The Enigma’s horns.
Though they might have been a bit puzzled by his cranial tattoos and crenelated ears.

"I believe that these folks’ conditions and placement are as good as the local Austrian government can provide.  It is safe and clean, but it’s just not meant as housing.  But Europe is overwhelmed with the refuges.


"If you want to stop the refuges, stop the war," Patterson stressed. "And it is an American tragedy, from my perspective, being in Europe and watching the Presidential Kardashian race — that the most pressing issues are his hair, e-mails, groping, he is a pig, she is a criminal, and so on."



[1] The Enigma (born Paul Lawrence) is an American sideshow performer, actor, and musician who has undergone extensive body modification, including horn implants, ear reshaping, multiple body piercings, and a full-body jigsaw-puzzle tattoo. His tattooing process began on December 20, 1992, under the needle of "Katzen the Tiger Lady", heavily tattooed herself, whom he later married, and has since divorced. To date, the Enigma has had more than two hundred tattoo artists work on him, with as many as twenty-three tattoos underway at one time. See more

[2] Jochen Auer (inventor & producer of the Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe) would have never thought that his idea and concept would make such an impact, reach millions of people and help to gain tolerance – and most of all make the world a more colorful place! A lot of people don't like this and the popularity of tattoos but the crazy idea from back in the days turned into reality and the WILDSTYLE is still on tour. In the middle of the 90s the Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe was THE flash point of the tattoo hype that continues until today. An incredible 1,5 million (!!) visitors have seen the Wildstyle & Tattoo Messe live until today – which makes Wildstyle Europe's most successful tattoo show!! | See more

[3] Reverend B. Dangerous Freakshow. A traditional sideshow with a kinky horror movie twist. He has traveled the world doing shows with Ozzy Osbourne, Rob Zombie ,Slipknot ,and Pantera. He has also done shows all over the U.S.,Europe,and China. This is a show that you walk away form with memories to have nightmares to. Including but not limited to......
* Staples things to his body
* Swings old video camera from a hole in his tongue.
* Power tools up the nose
* Cinder block busted on crotch
* Picks up blocks with his nipples
* Face crushed in glass
* Condomand/or earth worms up the nose and out the mouth..........and much more
See more


return to top