The 23-year-old “Love Yourself” singer shocked fans on Saturday when he showed off his massive new tattoo on Instagram in a selfie and a video. The new ink is the work of Keith “Bang Bang” McCurdy, a New York City-based tattoo artist who frequently does work on celebrities. Bang Bang documented Bieber’s tattoo on Instagram, showing a photo of himself working on the chest piece in what appears to be the musician’s backyard.
According to Bang Bang, the tattoo took 26 hours to complete, spread out over three consecutive days.
“@justinbieber Thank you for the trust,” he wrote. “26 hours over 3 consecutive days is the most I’ve ever tattooed anyone in my 13 year career. You’re tough as nails man!”
No stranger to getting inked (he has well over 60 tattoos covering his 5-ft.-9-in. frame), Bieber added to his constantly expanding his collection of body art with his most dramatic piece yet — a full torso tattoo with gargoyles, skeletons and archways that completely covers his stomach (and those abs he works so hard on).
It’s a tattoo that appears to be a part add-on and part cover-up, both incorporating the chest tattoo of a bald eagle that he got in March and masking the “Son of God” ab ink that he got in November.
It also connects the pieces Bieber has on his chest — which include the snarling head of a grizzly bear on his left pec, the stern head of a lion on his right pec, a large gothic cross in the center of his chest, and, in a tribute to his mother, the year 1975 in Roman numerals which live right under his collarbone.
As can be imagined, fans had a lot to say, their comments ranging from snarky to supportive.
“Justin Bieber’s new tattoos — oh my god, I don’t know what they mean to him but it looks AWFUL,” wrote one fan on Twitter.
“I don’t even know why everyone is so overreacting? I mean, yes, Justin got his whole torso covered with tattoos but he likes it so shut the f— up,” said another fan. “I don’t like it either but it’s his body and we should respect his decision.”
Close followers of Bieber know this isn’t the only time he’s tried to cover up a tattoo with more ink.
While the majority of Bieber’s tattoos have religious meaning, he does have a few dedicated to important people in his life, including former flame Selena Gomez, who is tattooed on his wrist.
“This is my ex-girlfriend, so I tried to cut her face up with some shading, but people still know,” Bieber told GQ in February.
Though his newest ink might only contribute to his bad boy appearance, a source close to the star previously told PEOPLE Bieber has slowly begun returning to his old self.
“It was a really bad scene,” the insider said of Bieber’s behavior on his Purpose world tour. “He was just not himself. He was profoundly unhappy. Exhausted, low energy. He was just miserable. He needed to step back, recalibrate, and then figure out his next move.”
“It has been a process, but he’s doing so much better,” the source continued, adding that Bieber has been involved in his church. “You can talk to him and see that the old Justin is coming back. He seems happier, more energetic. It’s encouraging. He’s not completely there, but he’s definitely on his way.”
The insider added that Bieber is emerging from a very dark place. “For a long time, it was just awful, but it’s not anymore. Justin is seeing the beauty around him,” the source said. “He sees that his life is beautiful, that he’s beautiful. He’s young and rich, but that’s not enough. He’s now becoming emotionally and spiritually grounded, and the difference is written all over his face. It’s beautiful to watch.”