When the latest issue of the UK's Total Tattoo magazine arrived at my home, I had to giggle at the cover, which has "Marisa Kakoulas: Words of Wisdom," written right next to a young woman clutching her boobs. No matter how wise the words, they will always be eclipsed by cleavage. But if any one does actually read my column, that person will find a one-pager of my thoughts on celebrity tattoo culture. No mysteries of life revealed, but hopefully, something to chew on.
In the article, I harken back to earlier days in pop culture when tattoo artists began to be viewed as more than skin mechanics in the media, to the changing meaning of "celebrity" in the tattoo community, to potential responses to the oversaturation of trash TV. Here's a bit from that:
When legendary tattooer Lyle Tuttle graced the cover of Rolling Stone Magazine in 1970, a number of tattoo traditionalists blasted him for putting himself and the craft out there for mass media consumption. It is even said that Sailor Jerry taped Tuttle's photo to the inside of his toilet seat. Today, that magazine cover would barely spark an angry Tweet. Today, people have much more to be pissed off about.Read the full article in the August issue of Total Tattoo, which can be purchased at booksellers throughout the UK, US, and around the world. You can also download the digital version.
There are some great gems in this issue as well, including Lar Krutak's insightful piece on the disappearing tattoos of coastal women of Papua New Guinea, and artist profiles on Wendy Pham (and her "tweaked Japanese" style), and on lettering maestro Big Sleeps. Lots of tattoo goodness beyond the boobs!