Tattoo News Review
Tattooed hands by Mark of Swatsika Freakshop featured in my upcoming book on blackwork.
I got a mega-tattoo news review update for ya -- headlines that have a hard time beating the latest memes like the Keyboard Cat, Mother Lover and every girl's fave, the Cuchini -- but with world record battles, gang wars, and hardcore tattoo throwdowns, it's a good fight.
Round one. ding ding.
In a bout between magazine bloggers on tattoo topics, Missbehave slugs it out with their war on gun and brass knuckle tattoos. Blogger Baby Sinead, personally affected by violence, asks women why they would want to glorify it. I get it, girl. Granted, I have more weaponry bling than anyone I know (thanks mostly to Father Panik Industries), but I see it as a nod to my Brooklyn public high school education in the 80s, pre-metal detector days. I'm not saying I'm badass. I guess I'm saying I'm old.
What is badass is the latest issue of Swedish mag Tare Lugnt inked on skin, not paper. Tare Lugnt is the art fanzine/mag project of Marc Stromberg, a 22-year-old graphic designer in Ume, Sweden. He tells the WSJ about the idea to tattoo this third issue on his leg:
"It seemed like a really untraditional and extreme way to publish the magazine. I think that everyone should explore new mediums, all the time. We should experiment and have the guts to do something that stands out. It would have been boring to do just another magazine on paper. I originally wanted to do a pair of long underwear, with the articles printed on the material, so you could wear them, lie down on the couch and read the magazine off your own legs. It sprung from that idea, taken a little further."
What is not badass: tattooing your 7-year-old with your gang symbol. I wrote about this story a couple of weeks ago, but the cops finally caught the Fresno father, who now faces 40 years to life. The boy's mother was the one who notified the authorities. Police are helping remove the gang graffiti from the child's body.
I fear a similar fate for the child of this couple -- a family portrait more menacing than awkward. [Thanks to Jesper for photo and Sarah for the link].
In consensual tattooing that demands removing ... Mark McGrath's Rolex rib ink. Dumbass, not badass.
And while we're talking asses... Will embossed bums replace the lipstick kiss on the butt as the latest in cheeky body art? [See more photos of the jeweled panties on Trendhunter.]
Round Two. ding ding.
In the fight over which story got the most coverage this week, it's the Christian Science Monitor's recession-proof tattoo article in one corner and the tattooed body suit museum donation in the other.
The CSM article on how tattoo shops have been thriving was syndicated nationwide, but it wasn't just another simple economy story. There are some brilliant quotes on the draw of tattoo art, in good times and in bad.
For example, Kit Yarrow, a business psychologist at Golden Gate University, said that "the allure of tattoos is more apparent in times of recession," adding "Tattoos resonate with how consumers are shopping now. They look for something that reflects their values, a sense of belonging, and permanence." There's also this great quote from Phuc Tran of Tsunami Tattoo:
"No one feels like a tattoo that they get will be foreclosed on or repossessed. I think that our clients feel like tattoos make them feel better, especially when many other things in the economy and news cycle can be bleak."
But Geoff Hostling of Australia also has been making pretty big headlines worldwide for the past couple of weeks now in donating his tattooed bodysuit to the National Gallery. I mentioned it in last week's review but more info -- like this interview with him -- and new photos of Geoff like the one right above by Getty are regularly surfacing.
Final Round: Who wins in the Battle of the Quick and Dirty Links ...
Special thanks to Scott for many of the links. Ok, see y'all at the NYC Tattoo Convention tomorrow!