This New Zealand tattoo artist's work is so lifelike it makes you do a double take

Christopher Reeve by Steve Butcher. Photo: @stevebutchertattoos/ Instagram

New Zealand tattoo artist Steve Butcher has garnered worldwide attention for his lifelike inkings of celebrities.

Butcher has posted dozens of examples of his work on his Instagram account, including tattoos of basketball star Michael Jordan, boxer Muhammad Ali, Superman’s Christopher Reeve, Heath Ledger as the Joker and more.

According to Inked Magazine, Butcher, who went to art school, started tattooing in 2011.

Starting out with illustrative and oriental styles, Butcher’s aim always was to use realism, and preferably “anything NBA themed,” he says. “I am a basketball nut”.

Despite his artistic finesse, Butcher told Inked he still has a long way to go.

“There’s always more to learn and apply in your work, and, because I’ve only been tattooing for four years, I feel that I’m only at the tip of the iceberg when it comes to getting where I want to be.”

Here is some of his work from his Instagram account.

Vince Carter

Ray Allen

Christopher Reeve

Muhammad Ali

Kobe Bryant

Michael Jordan

Heath Ledger

Papua New Guinea tribesman

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