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Fact check: Did a man really have Will Smith tattooed on his face?

Actor Will Smith
A photo that went viral on social media appears to show a man who tattooed a portrait of Will Smith over his face. Pic credit: ©

A photo that went viral on social media appears to show a man with actor Will Smith’s face tattooed over his face.

Facebook user Ed Lawson shared the photo on his Facebook page on May 15 with the caption:

“This fool actually tattooed Will Smith on his face…”

Many Facebook users were stunned by the claim that someone really got his face tattooed with a portrait of the Aladdin star, but some doubted the claim.

“What the hell he doesn’t want to be identified LMAO.”

“My eyes hurt I can’t see his face beneath that tattoo if it’s an actual tattoo.”

“I’m confused and uncomfortable looking at this.”

Ed Lawson Facebook
Pic credit: Ed Lawson/Facebook

But others concluded that it was just a prank and that the photo was digitally altered to make it look as if someone tattooed Will Smith’s face on his.

“Definitely photoshopped. Coming from an artist perspective the proportions are off, on the real guy and on Will Smith. Eyes normally line up with the top of the ear, in this picture his eyes are too low.”

The photo was also shared on Reddit by user bailasoprano, who credited it to Instagram user @victor_chil.

“This incredibly uncanny makeup artist’s work,” Redditor bailasoprano captioned the photo.

The image caused similarly stunned and confused responses among Reddit users:

“My brain just is NOT registering this.”

“I am incredibly confused…”

But many Reddit users also thought that the photo was most likely digitally altered.

“I wonder what it looks like when it’s not photoshopped to s**t,” one Redditor wrote.

Did a man really have Will Smith tattooed on his face?

Since the photo went viral on Facebook, people have been debating whether or not the photo is real.

Reddit user bailasoprano credited the photo to Victor Chil, a tattoo artist who has more than 420k followers on Instagram.

Similarly, Instagram user Phillip Kremer who posts weirdly digitally distorted portraits of people on his Instagram page, also posted the photo on his Instagram on February 20 and tagged Victor Chil in the post.

But it was not clear whether he meant that it was one of  Chil’s tattoo creations.

Phillip Kremer on Instagram
Pic credit: @phillip.kremer/Instagram

Chil later responded by posting the same photo to his Instagram on February 21 with the caption:

“Thank you @phillip.kremer for use one of my works on his college faces.”

Tattoo artist Victor Chil
Pic credit: @victor_chil/Instagram

Chil’s comment suggested that the Will Smith portrait was one of his original tattoo works, but was added as a collage on someone’s face.

However, Instagram users continued debating whether Chil had actually tattooed the portrait on someone’s face.

“Is that a real tattoo or just camera tricks?”

No, artist Victor Chil did not have Will Smith tattooed on a man’s face

Victor Chil eventually clarified the confusion with a post to his Instagram on February 23 that showed his original work before the digitally altered version was created.

“Actually this is the original portrait of @willsmith I did five years ago.”

Tattoo artist Victor Chil
Pic credit: @victor_chil/Instagram

Chil’s post shows that he had originally tattooed Will Smith’s portrait on another part of someone’s body — apparently a limb — five years before Phillip Kremer created the digitally altered collage that showed a tattoo of Will Smith’s face over his.

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