"Tatted" Book & Exhibit on Philly's Tattoo Culture
GritCity Inc. recently released a tattoo photo-book focusing on Philadelphia's tattoo culture: Tatted: A Documentation of Self Expression the Most Permanent Ways.
The Pure Gold Gallery, host to the book release party, exhibited images from the 160-page hardcover with this tag: "3 City Blocks, 1 Year, 1 Pad of Paper, and 1 Photographer."
That photographer is Philly's own Marianne Bernstein who hunted tattooed strangers along the three-block stretch of South Street for a year, asking if she could photograph them and their tattoos. She says that she approached about 100 people and only one refused. In addition to taking their portrait, she gave them her notebook and asked if they could write down what their tattoos mean to them.
The book opens up with an essay by Independence Seaport Museum curator Craig Bruns, who offers a history of the art in Philadelphia. He calls the city "the cradle of the American tattoo," noting that sailors brought tattooing to the "New World" when Philadelphia was the nation's largest port. Other essays include those by tattooists Guy Aitchison, Shawn Barber, Troy Timpel, and the old salt himself Philadelphia Eddie, among others.
Read more about the book's genesis in the Philadelphia Inquirer article, which also includes an extensive photo gallery from the release party and the book itself.
You can buy Tatted directly from GritCity for about $35.
PS: Ok, you know how much I hate the word "tatts" and any derivative thereof, but as Miguel keeps telling me, it's part of street culture and I need to chill. Considering the book is about street photography and tattoos, I will.