spongebob

Tattoo Tuesday: Matthew Plotnick

Luke Rafferty | Asst. Photo Editor

If you ask Matthew Plotnick how his mind works, he may point to the SpongeBob SquarePants quote he has tattooed on his back.

“It’s what really makes SpongeBob great,” said Plotnick, a junior English and textual studies major. “I’ve always loved SpongeBob, but as I got older I began to notice the little things that give it a level of intellect far beyond the age group it was intended for.”

Or in an effort to provide a symbolic but more confusing answer, he could lift up his shirt to show you Picasso’s painting “The Acrobat” somersaulting across his ribcage.

Each tattoo lends a hand in explaining the intellectual Plotnick — who he is, what he likes and where he’s been. But more importantly, his body art is an expression of his thought process, a portrait of his musings and the lens through which he views society.

Plotnick, who grew up in an Orthodox Jewish home, would usually be a rare candidate for a tattoo, as it is taboo in the Jewish community. But after spending his freshman year abroad in Israel, he transferred to Syracuse University.

After he received his first tattoo — the Batman symbol on his left calf — in fall 2011 at Halo tattoo on Marshall Street, he returned to the shop three more times throughout the school year. The SpongeBob quote and the Picasso painting are the most recent additions.

“I always wanted a tattoo. So far every one I’ve gotten has been under $150, but I’m building to something bigger,” Plotnick said. “But having Orthodox Jewish parents is a tough situation. My mother knows out of courtesy, but has kept my father in the dark, as he would be too devastated.”

Though Plotnick may have four spur-of-the-moment tattoos, each one has a particular meaning important to whom he is at large. But none express his innermost workings as well as the quote from an episode of SpongeBob SquarePants: “The inner machinations of my mind are an enigma,” said by Patrick Star.

The quote explains his thought process as just that: an enigma. As an English major, Plotnick managed to find one of the subtle intellectual nuances that makes SpongeBob great. If one looks closely at many Nickelodeon shows, he or she can find these nuances riddled throughout them.

“This quote in particular spoke to me,” Plotnick said. “It’s smart and impressive alone, but as a quote from Spongebob it’s simply surprising. People usually don’t get it, and I like that.”

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