Divorced Man Insists Covered Up Tattoo of Ex-Wife 'Doesn't Represent a Devil'

(INSIDE EDITION) People change, but tattoos last a lifetime.

Matt from California has tattoos all over his body.

He said his on-going collection of body art started almost 10 years ago, and each tattoo represents a different event in his life.

"Every time I go through something, we continue the work," Matt told InsideEdition.com.

When he was set to marry Tisha, he decided to include her portrait in Matt's collection of Japanese-styled tattoos. He recalled she was "nervous but excited."

But four-and-a-half years and a divorce later, Matt said he decided to have the tattoo covered up. He could no longer bear to look at his arm and see her face.

"At the time I was pissed off and mad. It was a hard time going through divorce," Matt told IE.com. "That was my way of dealing with it, and covering [it] up, and getting rid of it.”

Matt enlisted the help of a Los Angeles tattoo artist, Jojo Ackermann for a creative idea.

Matt said he thought the result was "awesome", but when Ackermann posted the before and after on social media, commenters had mixed reactions.

One Imgur user said: "Should have left it. Already looks like a monster in the first one."

Someone on Instagram wrote, "The 'after' is an amazing resemblance!"

Tattoo artist Ackermann even responded: "At some point this is outa my control and uncomfortable. The end."

Despite what some users said the tattoo looks like, Matt and the Ackermann both insist that it is not an image of the devil.

Ackermann told InsideEdition.com that "the tattoo is based on a Japanese legend, from the story of Kiyohime."

According to Japanese folklore, Kiyohime was daughter to a wealthy family who lodged traveling monks. She soon became romantically involved with Anchin, a monk who quickly refrained from furthering their meetings due to his vows. Anchin asked a boatman to help him escape across a river, and once Kiyohime received word of his departure, she transformed into a sea serpent to chase after his boat.

"He wanted to do something that was going to fit the Japanese theme," said Ackermann, who had also done most of Matt's other tattoos. "He didn’t want it to look like a cover-up or his ex-wife. When he said Japanese mask, that’s what we thought of."

Regardless, Matt's ex-wife Tisha told IE.com that the cover up "makes me sick".

"Going through this divorce has been devastating, but this tattoo has made it even more painful," Tisha said. "I believe Matthew did it to hurt me."

Tisha continued: "He could have covered the entire thing up out of respect for me [but instead] he turned me into his creature. I would rather have myself represented as I am, not as a demon."

Aside from any interpretations of the tattoo, Matt said Ackermann, who spent around 2 hours working on the mask, is "so creative" and "an awesome artist."

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A photo posted by Jojo Ackermann (@jojoackermann) on

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