To look into Marie Jose Cristerna's eyes is to behold a gaze that reflects inner turmoil, psychic pain and a sadistic pleasure from it all. She is known her home country of Mexico as La Mujer Vampiro--the Vampire Woman.

Cristerna is a tattoo and body modificiation artist, and her own body has become a shocking display for her work. She has implanted cranial ridges beneath the skin on her forehead, sports a set of dental fangs and has laced her pierced skin in ink with satanic imagery and intricate patterns.

My body transformation has been a part of taking my taste to the extreme, Cristerna told AFP at a recent tattoo expo in Venezuela. Life is short and sometimes we waste it on many things, so I've chosen beauty. And for me it's beautiful to be this way, so that's why I do it.