Some people get portrait tattoos, but artist David Catá has a different way to pay tribute to the people who have marked his life—by marking his hand. He embroiders their faces into the palm of his left hand, and then pulls them out in cringe-inducing fashion.

Catá calls his Under the Skin project an "autobiographical diary." He stitches portraits of family members, friends, teachers, anyone who has been important in his life into his skin. "Their lives are interwoven with mine to build my story," he says on his website. As you can see from his photographs, most of the time he just pierces the topmost layer of skin, but some of those portraits do leave marks.

You can watch Catá remove one of his embroidered portraits, but be warned, the video may make you squirm:

Under the Skin [David Catá via Design Taxi]