Russian Prison Tattoo Films
Screen shot from The History Channel's "Marked."
Over at Tattoo Artist Magazine, Nicki recently posted this video (embedded below) of an episode from The History Channel's "Marked", which focuses on Russian prison tattoos -- the heavy symbolism, gritty technique, and complex underworld structure associated with them. It's an interesting 45-minute close-up at this segment of tattoo culture. However, I have to note that my favorite film on the subject remains Alix Lambert's "The Mark of Cain," which is available for purchase online.
The "Marked" series, and its look at the seedier side of tattoos, are geared for a wider audience, driven by TV storytelling than in-depth research, and yet, the episodes offer more than just pure entertainment and are worth the watch. If you're looking for a holiday gift, the Season 1 box set of "Marked" could be a good bet.
But if you're looking for inspiration for your next tattoo, I say skip the mob markings, and look to more artful -- and safer -- designs.